Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Golden State has recovered from problems that forced him on to the sidelines for 13 months, and he has sound claims of ending a two-year drought and a losing sequence of 18 when he starts from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Choices Flooring Free Measure And Quote Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Golden State, who has been brought along quietly by Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed, is a noted frontrunner, and Lindsay Harper is sure to be anxious to win the start and dictate terms in front.
Golden State resumed after a 13-month absence when he trailed the pacemaker As Happy As Larry before running home strongly, four wide, to be second to Alta Blues over 2130m on November 5. He reappeared after a two-month absence at Gloucester Park three Fridays ago when he sat behind the pacemaker Papinik and ran home strongly to finish second to that pacer over 2130m, with the final quarters being run in 27.9sec. and 27.1sec.
Three of Golden State’s five rivals on Friday night are prepared by Gary Hall snr — with Nota Bene Denario (Callan Suvaljko) starting from barrier two, Alta Intrigue (Gary Hall jnr, barrier four) and Sir Galahad (Michael Grantham, barrier six).
Nota Bene Denario is in top form and looks very hard to beat. His past four runs have produced wins over 2130m and 2536m and seconds to Alta Intrigue and Mighty Ronaldo. He is a smart frontrunner who showed plenty of spirit to fight on determinedly when second to Mighty Ronaldo last Friday night after racing in the breeze.
Magnificent Storm will warm up for his appearance in the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup on Friday week when he runs in the Choices Flooring For Laminate Pace over 2536m. He will start from the outside barrier in the field of seven and should prove too brilliant for his rivals.
Magnificent Storm had a tough run in the 2536m Fremantle Cup last Friday night when he raced four wide early and then in the breeze outside the pacemaker Minstrel after 550m. He resisted a challenge by Chicago Bull for the breeze position after a lap and wilted in the final circuit to finish ninth behind Minstrel.
Miracle Moose, who will start from the No. 4 barrier, caught the eye last Friday night when he was seventh and last at the bell before finishing strongly to be fourth behind Papinik in the Fremantle Cup Consolation last Friday night.