Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Exciting young pacer Hampton Banner will resume racing in the Garrard’s Horse And Hound Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night after an absence of 25 weeks — and champion reinsman Chris Lewis declared: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he wins.”
The lightly-raced New Zealand-bred Hampton Banner, trained by Lewis’s wife Debra, is favourably drawn at barrier three, and his clash with star three-year-old Jumpingjackmac will be a highlight on the ten-event program.
“Hampton Banner has been working well and should run a pretty good race,” said Lewis. “He is more experienced than Jumpingjackmac, but he’s first-up. However, he has had a lot of work under his belt, and a win would not come as a surprise.”
Hampton Banner possesses brilliant gate speed, and he has led and won at his past four starts, all at Gloucester Park last April and May. The Bettors Delight four-year-old boasts a splendid record of 17 starts for seven wins, two seconds and stakes of $73,338.
Jumpingjackmac is also destined for stardom, having raced 12 times for eight wins and three seconds. He has good gate speed and will start from the No. 4 barrier. He has been freshened up since he contested the group 3 Kersley Pace three Fridays ago when he began from barrier five, raced wide early and took the lead after 900m before finishing a head second to Alta Engen at his second appearance after a spell.
“He raced against older horses when he was beaten by Alta Engen, and this should be another good test for him,” said reinsman Gary Hall jnr, while trainer Gary Hall snr said: “He should go close; Hampton Banner is the only danger.”
Typhoon Banner, trained and driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, impressed with his fast-finishing second Born To Boogie last Friday week, and he and sit-sprinter Rockaball should battle it out for the minor placing.