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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond look set to win the $50,000 Etch Coatings Lord Mayor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night with star pacer Minstrel, who has drawn perfectly at barrier No. 2 in the 2536m group 2 feature event.

The Bonds won the previous Lord Mayor’s Cup when Mighty Conqueror began speedily from the No. 2 barrier, set the pace and won from fast-finishing stablemate Vampiro when the race was run over 2130m in December 2020.

Minstrel will be driven by star reinsman Ryan Warwick, who finished fifth with Galactic Star when Mighty Conqueror was successful, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky.

Egerton-Green will drive Patronus Star from barrier five in Friday night’s Cup. The Bond stable will also be represented with nine-year-old Galactic Star, who will be driven by Deni Roberts from out wide at barrier seven.

Five-year-old Minstrel gave a bold frontrunning display when he won the 2536m Fremantle Cup two starts ago. He held on to beat Patronus Star by a short half-head, with that pacer impressing greatly with his effort in charging home, out seven wide, from eleventh at the bell.

Minstrel then gave another superb performance when fifth in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup last week. He raced in seventh place, one-out and two-back, until Warwick dashed him forward, three wide, 1050m from home. He raced three wide for the remainder of the race in which he was third on the home turn and finished just two metres behind the winner, Wildwest.

Patronus Star followed Minstrel’s three-wide run before wilting to finish tenth. His previous form was excellent, and he cannot be left out of calculations.

Hall Of Fame trainer Gary Hall snr, who has won the Lord Mayor’s Cup a record eight times, will be represented by Diego (Gary Hall jnr) and Heez Our Perseus (Maddison Brown).

Diego faces a tough assignment from the outside barrier (No. 3) on the back line, while Heez Our Perseus will start from barrier four and will be tested against several better-performed rivals. However, he has won at six of his past 17 starts, including a head victory over Mighty Ronaldo over 2130m last Friday night when he finished strongly from fourth at the bell.

Hall snr has won the Lord Mayor’s Cup with Trickey Bey (1994), Abit Rich (1997), Live To Reign (2007), Talk To Me Courage (2010), Livingontheinterest (2014), Northvierw Punter (2015), Cyamach (2016) and Chicago Bull (2018).

Boyanup trainer-reinsman Cody Wallrodt has Babyface Adda racing keenly, and the WA-bred six-year-old should be prominent from barrier three. Babyface Adda set the pace and won from Gambit over 2536m last Friday night.

Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed was delighted with the strong performances from Bletchley Park and Golden State when they charged home, out wide, from the rear to finish first and third, respectively, in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup last Friday night. Lindsay Harper will drive Bletchley Park (barrier seven) and his son Kyle will handle Golden State (barrier eight).

Ten-year-old Vultan Tin is handily drawn on the inside of the back line. And reinsman Chris Voak said he expected a strong effort from the 194-start veteran, who worked hard in the breeze and finished a nose second to Bletchley Park last Friday night.

“It’s not that bad a draw,” said Voak. “He was brave last week and should benefit from that run.”