Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
An important gear change should help smart square gaiter Patched to return to the winning list when he begins from the inside of the front line in the 2503m standing-start DTS Farm Fence Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to his Pinjarra trainer David Young.
“Hopefully, removing the nearside one-eyed blinker will help him,” said Young. “Aiden (De Campo) said that Patched had been a bit of a pig turning (behind the barrier strand before the start),” Young said.
“The starting procedure here in stands is a bit different to Melbourne (where he did his early racing) where horses have a bit more room in the move-up. Patched had been trying to look around.
“This will be his first run for me without the one-eyed blinker, but he has done a heap of track work without it and he has done a lot of jump-outs and has been as good as gold. As long as he gets away safely he should be able to keep his advantage over Beefour Bacardi, who will start off 30 metres. His work last Saturday was super, and he worked really well this morning (Tuesday).”
Patched performed badly when he was the $1.70 favourite and galloped badly from the No. 1 barrier in a 2130m mobile event four weeks ago. He dropped back to last and did a good job to make up a lot of lost ground in finishing fourth, three and a half lengths behind the winner Beefour Bacardi.
He was most impressive in winning by big margins at his three previous starts, two in stands and one in a mobile event.
Beefour Bacardi is in superb form for trainer Michael Young and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, with stylish wins at each of his past five starts, three in mobiles and one from the 30m mark in a 2116m stand at Pinjarra. He certainly cannot be discounted as a winning chance.
However, Young admits that the six-year-old, a winner at 16 of his 37 starts, faces a stern task against Patched.
“Beefour Bacardi is pretty much handicapped out of races here, having to come off 30 metres in every metro stand at Gloucester Park and drawing out wide in mobiles,” he said.
“So, I’m thinking about nominating him for the Interdominion Trotters Championship in Victoria in November and December. He has been too good for me to bash him around from back marks all the time, and I don’t want to get to the point where he is busting himself to run fourth off big handicaps.”