Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Brilliant five year old Magnificent Storm is poised to resume after a 19 week absence in winning form, following a solid workout in a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning.
The lightly-raced American Ideal gelding will be driven by Aiden De Campo when he starts from the No. 2 barrier in the $30,000 Etch Coatings Free-For-All at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
De Campo, who replaces the injured Aldo Cortopassi, drove Magnificent Storm in the four horse trial in which he started from the No. 1 barrier, led for the first 150m and then sat behind Athabascan before regaining the lead after a lap and going on to win by 2m from the nine year old Athabascan, rating 1.59.7 after final quarters of 28.7sec. and 28.2sec.
Magnificent Storm, prepared by Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams, has enjoyed a beneficial spell since he finished a close fourth behind Wildwest in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup on February 4 when he settled in 11TH position and surged home from ninth at the bell with a three and four-wide burst.
Interestingly, Magnificent Storm will clash for the first time in a race with his talented stablemate To Fast To Serious, who will start from the outside in the field of six and will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green.
To Fast To Serious bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he raced without cover before getting to the front 220m from home and winning easily from Double Up over 2130m when the final quarters whizzed by in 28.5sec. and 27.8sec.
De Campo has bright prospects of winning the opening event on Friday night when he drives his own nomination Dominus Factum in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Fencing And Gates Pace.
Four-year-old Dominus Factum, the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, will be having his first start after a 19-week absence. A winner at 12 of his 37 starts, the American Ideal gelding will begin from barrier three.
He led and won at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in January towards the end of his previous campaign, but it is problematical whether he will set the pace in Friday night’s event, with capable frontrunners Medieval Man and Whoswhointhezoo drawn inside of him.
Medieval Man, trained by Kiara Davies, will start from barrier two and will be driven by Emily Suvaljko. The five year old’s most recent victory was eight starts ago, on January 14, when he led from barrier three and beat Whoswhointhezoo.
Whoswhointhezoo, a giant eight year old, bred, owned and trained by Karen Thompson, is one of the most frequent visitors to Gloucester Park, having raced there at 123 of his 148 starts. He has a losing sequence of 35 but has impressed with strong finishing efforts at several of his recent outings.
He has begun from the No. 1 barrier at 12 of his 123 Gloucester Park appearances for one win (when he led and beat Tyler Brett by a neck, rating 1.57.9 over 2130m on April 24, 2018), two seconds and three thirds. The most recent time he has set the pace was 30 starts ago when he led until the final 350m and finished fourth behind Jaspervellabeach on September 17 last year.
Dominus Factum’s main danger looms large as Euphoria, who is racing keenly with placings at four of his past five starts. The five year old trained by Gary Hall Snr has the ability and race fitness to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line.