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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop has former New Zealand pacer Our Star Watch racing keenly, and he has high hopes that the four-year-old will take advantage of the No. 1 barrier and win the opening event, the 2536m TABtouch Better Your Bet Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  

Reinsman Kyle Harper shares Mellsop’s enthusiasm, saying: “It’s a pretty even field I think we can win. Our Star Watch has more than one string to his bow. He can sit and he can lead.

“I haven’t spoken to Bob regarding tactics. The horse has his options and I think that either way he is a good each-way chance. He led (after 270m) and won two starts ago, and his latest start he couldn’t get into the race after starting from the outside barrier.

“I had a look (for the breeze or the lead), but couldn’t get in, so I had to go back. And he wasn’t disgraced (in finishing eighth behind Bettor Be Oscar). I don’t think that the distance (2536m) will worry him one bit.”

Our Star Watch has raced once over 2536m, finishing third behind Our Sequel on July 6 after racing without cover. He had five starts over 2600m in New Zealand for a win, a second and two thirds.

Among Our Star Watch’s opponents are in-form performers Middlepage, Beat City, Whatabro and The Tiger Army.

Middlepage, trained and driven by Lindsay Harper, is handily drawn at barrier two. He raced without cover before winning over 2130m two starts ago and was an all-the-way winner over 2536m in early June.

The Michael Brennan-trained Whatabro is due for a change of luck after his first five starts in WA have produced two seconds, two thirds and a fifth placing. He will be driven by Michael Grantham from the No. 4 barrier.

Ross Olivieri’s Beat City (Chris Voak) and Michael Young’s The Tiger Army (Shannon Suvaljko) are racing with plenty of spirit and have each-way claims.

Mellsop and Kyle Harper will combine in the final event, the 2130m Westside Auto Wholesale Pace for two-year-olds, when Art Major filly Precocious Lady starts from the coveted No. 1 barrier.

Precocious Lady notched her second win from seven starts when she resumed after a spell and raced in the one-out, one-back position after a lap before finishing solidly to win from Wall Street Girl on Tuesday of last week.

“She was quite impressive in beating Wall Street Lady,” said Harper. I’ll have to wait to see what Bob wants to do, lead or sit. I imagine the way Wonderful To Fly can get out of the gate that she could well end up in front.”

Wonderful To Fly has a superior record to the records of her six rivals and she is sure to prove hard to beat. She resumed after a 33-day absence when she finished fourth behind smart colt Seven No Trumps last Friday night.

She settled down in last position in the six-horse field before getting off the pegs and moving forward without cover 1400m from home. She got to a neck second to Seven No Trumps 550m from home before wilting in the home straight.

The exciting filly, who is trained and driven by Shane Young, is sure to have derived considerable benefit from the outing. Wall Street Lady, trained by Debra Lewis, has won three times from 11 starts and is also worthy of consideration.