Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Three sound trials in the space of 12 days have revealed that small filly Hello Gorgeous will be ready to produce a strong effort at her debut when she starts from the No. 1 barrier in the SEFS Asset Finance Specialists Pace for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Hello Gorgeous has been beaten in all three trials — but her runs have been impressive when she has lowered her colours to the unraced Art Major colt Major Manhattan, a stablemate and highly promising member of Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi’s team.
“She is a very nice filly who can run,” said Cortopassi. “She could have won a couple of trials, but a good colt in Major Manhattan has kept beating her. Hello Gorgeous has trained on well after those trials, and I think she has a very good chance on Friday night. She has the perfect draw and has good gate speed.
“She is a tiny little thing, a real sweetheart, who is a full sister to Shandale. At her first trial (over 1684m at Pinjarra on February 9) she led when a one-length second to Major Manhattan, with a final quarter of 28.5sec.”
Four days after that trial, Hello Gorgeous trailed the pacemaker Major Manhattan in a field of five in a 1750m Byford trial and ran on solidly to finish second. Then, a week later in another 1730m Byford trial Hello Gorgeous set the pace and led until the final 400m when third in a field of three behind Major Manhattan.
Hello Gorgeous is already showing some of the ability of Shandale, whose career ended in a race fall at Gloucester Park in June 2018. Shandale raced 54 times for 14 wins, 15 placings and $305,028, with his most notable victory being in the 2017 Stratton Cup in which he defeated Soho Tribeca and Chicago Bull.
Sweet Vivienne (barrier six) and Flametree (barrier seven) have shown excellent form and will be popular with punters.
Sweet Vivienne, to be driven by Kim Prentice for breeder-owner-trainer Paula Petricevich, led early from barrier one and then sat behind the pacemaker when third behind Quartzz over 1730m at Gloucester Park on February 8 before finishing an encouraging second behind Soho Confidential over 1684m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago when the final 400m was covered in a brisk 27.6sec.
“Sweet Vivienne has given me a good feel in both her races,” said Prentice. “She’s got gate speed, so we might come out and see where we can slot in.”
In-form reinsman Mitch Miller has a high opinion of the Barry Howlett-trained Flametree, who was restrained from barrier seven and settled down in eighth position before running home strongly, out five wide, to finish sixth behind Cabsav in the group 1 Sales Classic last Friday night.
That followed a debut victory over 1832m at Albany on February 4 when she raced without cover before sprinting fast to take up the running after 400m and coasting to a three-length victory over Eastern Advance. Then, 11 days later she enjoyed a good sit in the one-out, one-back position before fighting on to finish third behind Temukas Girl in a heat of the Sales Classic.