Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
New Zealand-bred six-year-old Carrera Mach has set the pace and been successful at five of his twelve wins, and trainer Ross Olivieri and driver Chris Voak are looking to employ frontrunning tactics with the gelding who is favourably drawn at barrier No. 1 in the 2536m Vale Percy Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Carrera Mach resumed after a spell four weeks ago when he started from the back line and raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly to be fifth behind stablemate Papinik over 2536m.
“He has good tradesman-like gate speed, and he can hold up,” said a confident Olivieri. Voak agreed and said: “He likes to lead and is a good each-way hope.”
Four-year-olds Manning and Mirragon as well as eight-year-old Im Soxy loom as Carrera Mach’s main rivals.
Manning, to be driven by Maddison Brown for trainer Justin Prentice, is wonderfully consistent and is sure to fight out the finish after starting from barrier four. Manning came home with a sparkling late burst when second to Al Guerrero over 2130m last Friday night. His followed an all-the-way win and placings behind Papinik and Fanci a Dance.
Mirragon generally runs his best races when he leads, and he will need a touch of luck from out wide at barrier seven, while Im Soxy, trained in Bunbury by Brian Clemens and to be handled by Ryan Warwick, is sure to appreciate a favourable draw at barrier No. 2 as well as a drop in class. Olivieri and Voak should combine to win the 2130m Etch Coatings Mobile Sandblasting And Painting Pace with the brilliant Papinik, who should lead and prove too good for his four rivals.