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Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is excited to be reuniting with veteran superstar pacer Chicago Bull when the nine year old will be attempting to end a losing sequence of eight by winning the $30,000 Call Garrard’s Horse And Hound Free-For-All over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“I’m looking forward to driving Chicago Bull, and I’ll be asking him to come out hard (from the No. 3 barrier),” said Hall, who has driven the champion pacer to victory 58 times in his glittering career of 62 wins, 20 seconds and 12 thirds from 109 starts.

Hall had little hesitation in choosing to drive Chicago Bull this week in preference to his up and coming four year old stablemate Jumpingjackmac. Hall has won with Jumpingjackmac at Gloucester Park on the past two Friday nights, with Chicago Bull finishing third over 2536m two Fridays ago and a head second over 2130m last Friday night.

Jumpingjackmac will start from the outside barrier on Friday night in the field of seven, and he faces a stern test with Chicago Bull favourably drawn at barrier three, Magnificent Storm at No. 6 and Handsandwheels at barrier four.

Callan Suvaljko, who has driven Chicago Bull at his past four starts, including his three runs in his current winter campaign, will be in the sulky behind Jumpingjackmac on Friday night.

Chicago Bull, trained by Gary Hall Snr, has managed just one victory from his past 17 starts, and that was when he started from barrier six, raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing resolutely to get up and beat Motu Premier by a half-length over 2536m on January 14 this year. That win ended a losing run of eight.

“Chicago Bull is due for a win at his fourth start back,” said Hall Jnr. “He is ready to go, and you would expect him to be a bit better than he was last week.”

In last week’s race Chicago Bull started from the outside barrier in the field of six and he raced in last position in the one wide line before finishing fast to fail by a head to beat Jumpingjackmac, who had set a solid pace.

The Ray Williams trained Magnificent Storm had a tough run in the breeze last week, and he lost few admirers in finishing a close up third. That followed smart victories at his two previous outings, after resuming from a spell. He raced without cover in the final lap when he won by a head from the pacemaker While They Pray over 2536m, and then he raced in the breeze before winning from Diego and Chicago Bull over 2130m a week later.

The return to racing of Handsandwheels after a 23 month absence adds enormous interest to Friday night’s Free-For-All. The eight year old, a winner of 28 races and $666,739 in prizemoney, has recovered from a leg injury and the winner of the 2017 WA Derby has impressed in two recent trials.

Handsandwheels finished strongly to win a 2100m trial at Bunbury three Wednesdays ago when he dashed over the final 400m in 27.7sec. and beat Sugar Street by three lengths. Then, at Pinjarra on Wednesday of last week he took the lead after 900m and went on to win by just under three lengths from Freyja, rating 1.55.2 over 2185m, with the final three 400m sections being covered in 28.6sec. 28.6sec. and 27.9sec.