Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Few pacers, let alone a two-year-old, set a scorching lead time of 35sec. in a 2130m event. But that’s what the Art Major colt Major Overs did last Friday week.
Champion reinsman Chris Lewis intends to use the two-year-old’s sparkling gate speed in a bid for victory in the $20,250 Hoist Torque Australia Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Major Overs, trained by Debra Lewis, will start from the No. 4 barrier in a field of five and will certainly be tested by Kim Prentice’s talented colts Tantabiddi and Soho Firestone, and Brian Ferguson’s highly-promising gelding Lethal Edition.
Major Overs, a $26 outsider from the outside barrier in the field of seven in the group 2 Champagne Classic two Fridays ago, began with blistering pace and burst straight to the front to record a lead time of 35sec. followed by solid quarters of 30.3sec., 30.5sec. 30.2sec. and 30.2sec. He was overhauled 60m from the post by the fast-finishing Lord Titanium and held on to finish second to that colt.
“He is a nice little horse with good gate speed, and he has good depth,” said Lewis. “It’s only a small field on Friday night, and we’ll be looking for the front.
“He ran a 35sec. lead time at his latest start and he was still there at the finish. You wouldn’t get too many youngsters who would be there at the finish after running such a fast lead time. And you would think that he will be suited over 1730m this week.”
Prentice trains Tantabiddi and Soho Firestone at his Blythewood stables, and he has chosen to drive Soho Firestone, who will start from the No. 2 barrier. Stablemate Tantabiddi will begin from the prized No. 1 barrier and will be driven by Mitch Miller.
Soho Firestone has raced only once, for an impressive all-the-way victory over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He rated 1.59.9, with a final quarter of 28sec. In that event Tantabiddi settled down behind the pacemaker before breaking into a gallop 200m after the start.
Tantabiddi dropped back to last before he dashed forward to the breeze with 700m to travel. He wilted over the final stages to finish last in the field of five.
Then, at his next start on Monday afternoon this week, also over 1684m at Pinjarra, Tantabiddi was restrained from barrier four and raced one-out and one-back before going three wide on the home turn and finishing solidly to be second to Hotly Pursued.
Lethal Edition, to be driven by Micheal Ferguson from the outside barrier in the field of five, won on debut, over 1684m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago when he sat behind the pacemaker and finished strongly along the sprint lane to beat Ima Aussie Artist and Hotly Pursued. He then ran on from sixth at the bell to finish a close third behind Lord Titanium and Major Overs in the Champagne Classic.