Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Standing-start specialist Just Wing It is proving a bête noire for Glenledi Chief, who has had victory snatched from him at his past two starts.
Glenledi Chief, trained by Greg and Skye Bond and driven by Ryan Warwick, was the $2.75 favourite from the 10m mark in the 2503m Meat Me At The Post Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he hit the front on the home turn and was overhauled in the final stride by the fast-finishing Just Wing It, the $4.40 second fancy from the back mark of 20m.
It was almost a carbon copy of when the pacers had met a fortnight earlier — when Glenledi Chief (the $2 favourite) took the lead 220m from the post and was narrowly beaten by $3.80 chance Just Wing It, who finished full of running.
Just Wing It, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Lewis, rated 1.59.5 at the first of his two wins. He rated 1.59.4 on Friday night when $10 chance Gee Smith gave his rivals something to chase as he reeled off 28.6sec. quarters for the second and third sections of the final mile.
Glenledi Chief settled down in fourth position in the Indian file affair before Warwick eased the four-year-old off the pegs with 1100m to travel. Lewis immediately urged Just Wing It forward to enjoy a perfect trail behind his main rival.
After racing in the breeze for 600m, Glenledi Chief was angled across to trail the frontrunning Gee Smith 500m from home, thus leaving Just Wing It racing without cover.
Warwick then eased Glenledi Chief off the pegs at the 250m, thus forcing Just Wing It out three wide. Glenledi Chief got the better of Gee Smith on the home turn, but just failed to hold out Just Wing It, who scored by a nose.
Olivieri is delighted with the way Just Wing It is performing in stands, with three wins from his past four starts. He is now looking forward to trotter Ace Commander making his WA debut when he starts off 40m in a 2116m event at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.
Ace Commander, a winner of five stands in New Zealand, is a half-brother to Blue Sky Commander, whose ten runs in WA for Olivieri in 2017 produced five wins, three seconds and one third.
“I’m looking forward to Ace Commander replacing Mr Sundon, who has sustained an injury and has been retired,” said Olivieri. Mr Sundon, a powerful square gaiter, earned $154,142 from 19 wins and ten placings from 56 starts. He had 25 starts for Olivieri for 11 wins and five placings.