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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Smart New Zealand-bred five-year-old Moonlite Drive warmed up for the $30,000 John Higgins Memorial next Friday night with an effortless victory in the 2536m Jim’s Test And Tag Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Moonlite Drive, the $1.20 favourite from barrier one, led early as he held out $13 chance Vulcan Star, who began brilliantly from the No. 7 barrier and led by a length but was unable to cross to the front.

However, Moonlite Drive then was surprisingly overtaken 600m after the start by his stablemate and $17 chance Armed Reactor, who was overracing badly. Gary Hall Jnr then urged Moonlite Drive forward to regain the lead 200m later.

Moonlite Drive then travelled strongly in front and after a final quarter of 28.3sec. he won by just over two lengths from $13 chance Sound Wave, who fought on gamely after racing in the breeze.

“It wasn’t how we expected the race to be run, but Moonlite Drive got the job done,” said trainer Michael Young. “After the Higgins next week, I’ll probably give Moonlite Drive a break. He’s done a good job.”

Moonlite Drive, owned by New Zealander Shane Kiran, raced four times in New Zealand for one win and two placings before having 31 starts in Victoria for four wins. His form for Young in WA has been outstanding, with his 12 starts in the State producing five wins and five seconds which have taken his career record to 47 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and stakes of $94,006.