Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
“Mirragon likes to lead, and he should give a good sight,” said champion reinsman Chris Lewis when assessing the prospects of the four-year-old in the 2536m Westral Meshlock Security Doors And Screens Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The former Victorian pacer has drawn ideally at barrier one, and Lewis declared that this was a winnable race.
Mirragon, who is prepared by Debra Lewis, the wife of the reinsman, and he should be close to peak form after three solid performances in his current preparation — thirds behind Born To Boogie and Al Guerrero and a last-start strong-finishing fourth behind Back In Twenty.
Lewis chose to drive Mirragon ahead of the Nathan Turvey-trained The White Rabbit, who will start from the No. 2 barrier. He drove The White Rabbit when he set the pace and dashed over the final 800m in 56.5sec. and won by more than five lengths from Beat City over 2536m on Tuesday of last week.
“The White Rabbit went very well over 2536m,” said Lewis. “But this time he won’t be leading.”
Lewis will also have plenty of supporters when he handles Mirragon’s stablemate Hampton Banner in the 2130m Westral Shadetrack Outdoor Blinds Free-For-All in which he is awkwardly drawn at barrier No. 6.
Hampton Banner has won at each of his past six starts, including his two outings after a spell. He is a dashing frontrunner who is sure to be tested this week by Perfect Major from the No. 1 barrier, and Wildwest from barrier five.
“Hampton Banner doesn’t have to lead to win,” said Lewis. “He’s got good speed on the way home as well. We will consider our options at the start. He’s quick enough to lead. Perfect Major is racing well and barrier one is a big help for him.”
Trainer Ross Olivieri is expecting a strong performance from Perfect Major (to be driven by Chris Voak), saying: “He’s back in form, is feeling enormous and I expect a strong effort.”