Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has been engaged to drive exciting mare Heavens Showgirl in the Group 3 $30,000 The Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and the five-year-old looks set to fight out the finish of the 2130m feature event.
Trainer Nathan Turvey has driven Heavens Showgirl for effortless victories at her first three appearances in Western Australia and he has decided to concentrate on the training aspects this week.
Heavens Showgirl has started from the No. 1 barrier at her three WA starts and has not been extended in setting the pace and winning by an average margin of three lengths. She sizzled over the final 400m in 27sec. at her latest appearance when she easily defeated her smart stablemate Savvy Bromac last Friday week.
She rises in class this week when she will start from the No. 6 barrier. But she has the natural speed and strength to overcome her somewhat awkward draw.
In an excellent field of mares, Heavens Showgirl is sure to meet spirited opposition from the polemarker Star Of Diamonds and other in-form performers including Somebeachsomeparty, Savvy Bromac, Nikasa, Leap Of Faith and Weewah.
While Turvey has two of the main contenders in Heavens Showgirl and Savvy Bromac (who will start from barrier two on the back line and will be handled by Emily Suvaljko), so does Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who will be represented by Star Of Diamonds and Somebeachsomeparty.
Four-year-old Star Of Diamonds will be handled by Chris Voak and will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. She is racing with refreshing enthusiasm and her past 16 starts have produced six wins and eight placings, including her easy victory last week.
“She won with the earplugs still in last week,” said Voak. “She gets her chance to lead this week and should be very hard to beat. The last time she led was four starts ago when she was narrowly beaten by Altamatum (after a final 800m in 55.6sec.). I think she has the edge in fitness over her stablemate Somebeachparty, who is racing first-up.”
Somebeachparty, who will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, should enjoy an ideal trip after starting from the inside of the back line, and she should not be underestimated. She boasts a splendid record of 20 starts for eight wins, seven seconds and two thirds.
This will be Somebeachsomeparty’s first appearance since she covered a lot of extra ground and finished third behind Waltzingwithsierra and Vivere Damore on January 8.
Nikasa, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from the outside of the back line. She is racing keenly and is due for a change of luck after finishing second at five of her past seven starts. The Bonds will also be represented by another Bettors Delight four-year-old Weewah, who notched her 13TH win from 39 starts when she finished strongly to beat Western Arterra and Power And Grace over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week.
The Luke Edwards-trained Leap Of Faith, the fast-finishing winner over Lawrence and Glenledi Chief in the 2902m Easter Cup last Friday week, faces a stern test from the No. 8 barrier.
Maddison Brown will be the new driver for the Jocelyn Young-trained Has No Fear, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. The five-year-old who has earned $259,677 from ten wins and 18 placings from 61 starts, has a losing sequence of 14. She finished strongly when second to Wainui Creek in the 2536m Empress Stakes two starts ago.
by Ken Casellas