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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Outstanding young trainer Michael Young will set New Zealand-bred pacer Moonlite Drive for the $30,000 John Higgins Memorial on July 29 after the five-year-old was untroubled to score an easy victory in the 2536m Bridge Bar Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Moonlite Drive, the $1.30 favourite, gave an excellent frontrunning performance to beat $17 chance Stamford, who fought on gamely after racing in the breeze, with the winner dashing over the final 800m in 55.9sec.

Moonlite Drive, a winner at one of his four starts in New Zealand and a winner of four races in Victoria, gave star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr the first leg of a driving treble, and it improved the gelding’s WA record to nine starts for three wins and four seconds.

By Bettors Delight, Moonlite Drive is bred to be a good winner. He is the third foal out of Christian Cullen mare Miss Moonlite, who earned $184,249 from 13 wins and 14 placings from 67 starts. His five wins in Victoria included the Group 1 Breeders Crown for four-year-old mares at Melton in August 2012.

Miss Moonlite’s dam Dancingonmoonlight retired after racing 100 times for 19 wins, 34 placings and $402,832 in prizemoney. Her feature wins included the New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park and the Breeders Crown for three-year-old fillies at Moonee Valley in 2000, and then the group 2 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley in May 2001.

“Moonlight Drive should do a good job like Vespa, just that one step below Free-For-Alls,” said Young. Moonlite Drive’s half-brother, the Art Major four-year-old Serious Moonlite is showing good promise in New Zealand where he recently notched his fourth win.