Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Art Major colt Hoppys Way revealed dazzling early speed to burst straight to the front from the No. 8 barrier on his way to an impressive victory in the 2536m Summit Bloodstock Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The New Zealand-bred Hoppys Way is capable of developing into a candidate for the $200,000 WA Derby on November 4, with reinsman Shannon Suvaljko saying that the Mike Reed-trained colt was capable of winning a big feature event.
“He could be a Derby hope, and he will run a strong 2500 metres,” said Suvaljko. “He also has blistering gate speed. It’s something you can’t use all the time because if three or four horses drawn inside of him come out (fast) then it would be hard for him to cross to the front.
“Tonight, I considered that there was only one horse, Maungatahi, from barrier one, was going to come out, so I thought I’d have a crack for the front. If we went back at the start, we would be last. So, things worked out well for Hoppys Way tonight.”
Maungatahi, who was resuming after a spell, was the $1.95 favourite, with Hoppys Way the fifth favourite at $14.50. Speedwagon ($14) went forward at the start from barrier three, but like Maungatahi, he was unable to hold out the flying Hoppys Way.
Maungatahi enjoyed an ideal passage behind the pacemaker before he fought on gamely to finish third, with Speedwagon fading to ninth after racing in the breeze. Goodfellaz ($3.40) raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before finishing strongly to be second, and Noted ($23) also finished solidly into fourth place after racing on the pegs in seventh place.
Hoppys Way has earned $55,909 from seven wins and four placings from 19 starts. He is out of the Bettors Delight mare Joannes A Delight, who won a Group 1 Sires Stakes Championship for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in May 2014. She was retired to stud after racing 21 times for five wins, eight placings and stakes of $198,146.
Joannes A Delight’s younger full-brother Jacks Legend has amassed $851,042 from 31 wins and 30 placings from 86 starts. He won nine times in New Zealand, once from two Australian starts as a two-year-old in 2017 and then won another 21 times in America.