Brilliant young pacer Black Jack Baby, a stylish all-the-way winner of the Westsired listed classic last week, will be seen in a different role in the $100,000 Westbred Fillies Classic for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
She will be driven with a sit after drawing barrier No. 11, two out on the back line and has excellent prospects of notching her 13th victory in a glittering career for breeder-owner-trainer Shane Quadrio and star reinsman Chris Voak.
“We said that the barrier we most wanted was No. 11, just so we could sit back and have a look at everything,” said Quadrio. “Instead of us being hunted all the time, this time we will be back before having a crack at them.
“They will be looking for us because we’ll be sitting back, having a look. I couldn’t be happier with Black Jack Baby. Her work today (Tuesday) was tremendous, and whatever she did last week, she will definitely improve on.”
Quadrio predicted that the toughest rivals for Black Jack Baby would be the Nathan Turvey-trained pair of Captains Beachbabe and Bettor Beach Belle, talented fillies owned by Mildred Malazarte.
Captains Beachbabe, to be driven by Emily Suvaljko from barrier three, has won at three of her five appearances as a three-year-old, and Bettor Beach Belle, who will start from the No. 4 barrier with Gary Hall jnr in the sulky, has won five races, including two wins from her past four starts.
Turvey will also be represented by Shakira Blue, an easy last-start winner in modest company at Narrogin last Saturday night. She will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green and faces a tough assignment from the outside barrier (No. 9).
Byford trainer Donald Harper has two runners in Star For Me (barrier one) and Our Star Billing (six). They are daughters of Follow The Stars, who is also the sire of Black Jack Baby.
Our Star Billing has impressed at her four starts as a three-year-old, with an effortless all-the-way win at Northam, second placings behind Bettor Beach Belle and Black Jack Baby and an excellent third behind Newsy and Always An Angel in the $50,000 Diamond Classic.
Harper will handle Our Star Billing and has engaged his brother Kyle to drive Star For Me.
“I have driven Star For Me only once, and that was last week when she got home very good when fourth behind Black Jack Baby and Our Star Billing,” said Kyle Harper. “Drawing barrier one is a very good starting point, and barring bad luck, she should be right in the finish.”
The Ron Huston-trained Benesari Lane, the surprise winner of the Group 1 WA Oaks three starts ago, cannot be underestimated. But she will need all the breaks to overcome the awkward barrier at No. 7.
by Ken Casellas