Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Emily Suvaljko is in dazzling form in the sulky, and she landed her third treble in successive Gloucester Park meetings when she was successful with Royal Essence, Joey James and Shellna on Tuesday evening.
In between that rare feat, the brilliant 20-year-old drove three winners at Narrogin last Saturday night. Before her three successive Gloucester Park trebles, she landed a double at each of the three previous meetings at harness racing’s headquarters.
She revealed great skill in winning 23 races in the first 21 days of September. She has been booked for drives in eight of the ten events at Gloucester Park on Friday night but conceded that she faced a tough night.
Suvaljko gave punters a handy lead when she opted to drive Walsh in preference to Vespa in the Follow The Stars Standing At Medowie Lodge NSW Pace. She won over 2130m with both pacers last Friday night, with Walsh rating 1.57.4 and Vespa rating 1.56.8.
Walsh is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2, with Vespa to start from barrier three.
“It looks like I could be stuck in the breeze with Walsh, which is not ideal,” said Suvaljko. “But Walsh has shown that he is very versatile, and he should go well.”
Walsh is in hard racing condition, having had nine starts in his current campaign, whereas the likely favourite Babyface Adda will be having his first start — from the coveted No. 1 barrier — for five months.
Babyface Adda will be driven by his trainer Cody Wallrodt, who is sure to be keen to take full advantage of the inside barrier by attempting an all-the-way victory with the Rich And Spoilt five-year-old.
Punters will be anxious to support Babyface Adda, whose past 14 starts have produced three wins and six placings. He raced wide throughout before winning the group 3 Northam Cup four starts ago, and followed that with a close third behind Vultan Tin in the group 3 Narrogin Cup, a close fourth behind Leap Of Faith in the group 2 Easter Cup after racing three wide for much of the way, and then racing in Free For All company and finishing behind Stroke Of Luck, Vultan Tin, Im Full Of Excuses and Galactic Star.
The versatile Vespa, a noted sit-sprinter, will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, and the Mach Three five-year-old Maestro Bellini and Shadow Roll appear the main dangers to Babyface Adda and Walsh.
Maestro Bellini, to be driven by his trainer Brett Smith from barrier four, impressed at his first start in Western Australia when, as a $91 outsider, he raced three back on the pegs before charging home to finish third behind Boom Time and Shadow Roll last Saturday week.