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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Up-and-coming superstar Finvarra is a three-year-old who has had only eight starts. His exciting potential excites Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall snr who is toying with the idea of setting the West Australian-bred colt for the rich Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in January.

Finvarra’s runaway victory in the 2536m Garrard’s Online www.horseandhound.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night gave Hall four winners, and his son, champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr his fifth victory on an evening during which his sublime skill in the sulky delighted harness racing fans and reinforced his standing as one of the best drivers in the world.

“Finvarra has had feet problems, but he is a high-class horse who is capable of winning really good races,” said Hall snr. “The distance of the Cups (2536m for the Fremantle Cup and 2936m for the WA Pacing Cup) are no problem — and those events are well and truly on the radar.

“Gary is an outstanding driver and one of the best in Australia. There’s nobody who is better than him.”

While setting such an inexperienced pacer for the big Cup events might sound somewhat ambitious, Hall snr has no doubts that the colt will be able to measure up to competing against talented pacers who are older and vastly more experienced. He will be a four-year-old when the Cups are run.

Finvarra, the $1.10 favourite, started out wide at barrier seven on Friday night and he settled down at the rear before Hall jnr dashed him forward soon after the start. He then raced in the breeze before he took a narrow lead over the pacemaker Major Mucha 400m from home and surged away to beat that pacer by just under three lengths, with final quarters of 28.6sec. and 28.2sec.

This gave Finvarra his fifth win from eight starts and boosted his earnings to $94,129. He is by American Ideal and is the first foal out of the New Zealand-bred Changeover mare Nuala, who won at her only start in New Zealand, as a two-year-old in 2014.

Nuala then had 18 starts in WA for the Hall stable for 13 wins and two placings. She won the Daintys Daughter Classic in February 2015 and was retired with stakes of $132,449.

Hall jnr said that Finvarra was still maturing mentally, and he predicted a bright future for the colt. “He has got any amount of speed and went super tonight,” he declared.

Earlier in the night Hall had been successful with Alta Cinderella, Euphoria, Alta Intrigue and Hurricane Harley. He has driven 192 winners this season and heads the WA drivers’ premiership table from Chris Voak (143) and Emily Suvaljko (136).