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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Exciting four-year-old Lavra Joe did not turn a hair after sprinting home in a sizzling 26.5sec. over the final 400m on his way to beating Beat City by two lengths in the 2130m Fly Like An Eagle Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and owner-trainer Ray Jones declared: “The time has come.”

Jones was referring to the fact that Lavra Joe’s comfortable and stylish victory meant that the four-year-old was no longer eligible to contest conditioned events and now had to line up against the State’s best pacers in Free-For-All company.

“I think he will measure up to horses like Chicago Bull, Magnificent Storm and Jumpingjackmac,” said Jones, who is looking forward to the challenge facing Lavra Joe when he clashes with WA’s seasoned and more experienced campaigners in Free-For-Alls.

Chris Lewis gave Lavra Joe little more than a track workout as he allowed Lavra Joe to amble through the lead time in 39.3sec. and the opening quarters in 32.2sec. and 31sec. before giving the gelding more rein to dash over the final 400m sections in 29.6sec. and 26.5sec.

“At this stage I plan to nominate Lavra Joe for the Free-For-All next Friday night,” said Jones, who is delighted with the way the pacer has performed with two easy victories at his first two appearances after a 55-week absence as he recovered from a damaged nearside front suspensory ligament.

Lavra Joe’s record now stands at 36 starts for 22 wins, eight placings and stakes of $322,545.