Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Outstanding young driver Emily Suvaljko brought up a century of winners for the season when she gave yet another splendid display in the sulky to win a 2130m event with $4.40 chance Baltic Ace at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening.
This was her 99TH success in Western Australia to go with her win with Jaffa Josh in a heat of the Australian Female Drivers’ Championship in Launceston in March.
The 20-year-old Suvaljko drove 113 winners the previous season, which was extended by four months to a 16-month season. She had driven 78 winners at what normally would have been a normal 12-month season which was disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With 99 winners, she now is in third place on the WA drivers’ premiership table, behind Gary Hall jnr (144 winners) and Chris Voak (114).
Suvaljko hopes to chalk up her one hundredth WA winner for the season at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she has a drive in eight of the ten events.
She will begin the night with high hopes of guiding the David Thompson-trained six-year-old Machs Gold to victory in the opening event, the Nova 93.7 Pace in which the gelding will start from the No. 4 barrier. This will be her first drive behind Machs Gold, who has a losing sequence of 18.
Machs Gold’s recent form has been quite encouraging: setting the pace to finish a nose second to Vespa three starts ago and then fighting on from fourth at the bell to be third behind Carrera Mach over 2130m at his most recent outing, last Friday week.
Suvaljko replaces Machs Gold’s regular reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green, who is committed to drive his own nomination Illawong Mustang, who is overdue for a change of fortune after being placed at four of his past five starts.
Illawong Mustang, Disco Under Fire, Infatuation and Pierre Whitby loom as the chief rivals for Machs Gold.
Disco Under Fire, an eight-year-old veteran of 135 starts, has managed just two placings from his past 16 starts, but should prove hard to beat for trainer Giles Inwood and reinsman Chris Voak from the coveted No. 1 barrier.
“I think he has a good chance,” said Voak. “He probably gets his chance to lead, and he has won before when he has set the pace. He ran well last week when fourth behind One For Dave Andme. Infatuation is a nice horse and looks a danger.”
Suvaljko’s other drives on Friday night are Major Stare, Medieval Man, Mini Mine Yet, Son Of A Tiger, Blissfullabbey, Ohoka Damo and Southern Belle. Of those runners, Mini Mine Yet and Blissfullabbey make good appeal as sound each-way prospects.