Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Gee Smith, a fast-finishing winner in a 2536m mobile event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week, will return to standing-start racing when he begins from barrier two on the front line in the Direct Trade Supply Maddington Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The former Victorian pacer is a standing-start specialist, with four wins in stands from his previous five West Australian victories.
Gee Smith’s part-owner and trainer Matt Scott concedes that Ima Fivestar General deserves to be a short-priced favourite, but he is hoping that a ten-metre advantage will help Shannon Suvaljko to guide Gee Smith to victory over his more talented opponent over the short 2096m journey.
“Gee Smith will have to rate about 1.58.5 off the front to beat Ima Fivestar General,” said Scott. “We hope that over the short distance Gee Smith can get a bit of a break on his rivals. He worked well last Saturday, and he has been consistent, having finished in the first five in his 24 starts in WA.”
Ima Fivestar General, trained and driven by Robbie Williams, galloped at the start at his only appearance in a stand in WA before he recovered and won from Just Wing It and Lawrence at Pinjarra early last month.
Scott is also looking for a strong showing from the evergreen Rock Me Over, who will start from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply We’ve Got Shedloads Pace. Rock Me Over notched his 23RD win three starts ago when he set the pace from barrier one and beat Illawong Mustang and Pocket The Cash over 2130m.
“He was going to run a place last week (before finishing fifth behind Alta Rhett),” said Scott. “Shannon said that Rock Me Over got pushed back in when attempting to ease off the pegs about 250m from home.
“I’ll leave the tactics up to Shannon on Friday night, but I’d say that we will probably attempt to lead. The horse is pretty bright and is running around at home which is rare for him.”