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Quality mare Mandy Joan will return to racing after a seven-month absence when she starts from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the Bridge Bar Open At Every AFL Game Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

She was most impressive in scoring a runaway win in a five-horse 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Wednesday of last week. She was last with 450m to travel before she revealed sparkling speed to charge to the front 100m later and then career away to win by almost nine lengths from Suzies Gem, rating 1.59.6 with final quarters of 29.4sec. and 26.9sec.

“She is a class mare and I was happy with her trial,” said trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo. “Obviously, starting from barrier nine will make it hard. We’ll sit her up and let her run home. I hope I can get her back to her best in this preparation.”

The sparkling trial revealed that she certainly would be hard to beat. Her toughest rivals are likely to be Bettor Get It On, Smooth Rye and Alice Kay.

Gary Hall jnr will drive the Justin Prentice-trained Bettor Get It On from the No. 5 barrier, and he gives the four-year-old a solid winning chance, saying: “Her form is good. But there are a few of her. When she turns up, she is hard to beat.”

Aldo Cortopassi also is upbeat about the chances of the Peter Anderson-trained Smooth Rye, who is handily drawn at barrier three. Smooth Rye, a winner at nine of her 30 starts, was most unlucky when sixth behind Radiant Amber last Sunday week. She raced in the one-out, one-back position before being hopelessly blocked for a run in the final circuit.

“She is going really well and it will pay to forget her latest run,” said Cortopassi. “They all came in a rush and I stayed in, and then nothing opened up after that. This is a winnable race. The more you hold her up, the better she is.”

Alice Kay, trained by Katja Warwick, is the only runner on the back line. The four-year-old is expected to show marked improvement at her third appearance after a spell. She enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before battling on to finish a fair third behind Fifty Five Reborn and Queen Shenandoah last Friday night.

Chris Voak has high hopes of finishing the nine-event program on a high note when he drives Linebacker for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett in the Gloucester Park Entertainment With Horsepower Pace for two-year-olds.

Linebacker set the pace and dead-heated for first with Tomlous Jambo over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.

“Against the fillies, he should be hard to beat,” said Voak. “He went well on Monday and will be much improved.”

Written by: Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators