Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Star reinsman Chris Voak is planning a flying start in a concerted bid to drive Perfect Major to victory in the $25,000 Specialised Equipment Funding Solutions Free-For-All over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“We will come out guns blazing in a bid to lead,” said Voak. “His latest win was ten starts ago when he sat in the breeze outside Jack Farthing and won from Balcatherine and Stroke Of Luck, rating 1.53.5 over 1730m.
“Perfect Major should be able to go 1.52.8 if he leads this week.”
Perfect Major, who is prepared by Ross Olivieri, has drawn ideally at barrier No. 2, and he should have enough speed to cross the polemarker and noted frontrunner Space Junk, who faces a steep rise in class.
With Voak intending to take full advantage of Perfect Major’s gate speed and the ideal barrier, there could be plenty of early fireworks, with speedy beginner Vampiro drawn the outside barrier in the field of eight.
Dylan Egerton-Green made the most of Vampiro’s sparkling gate speed last Friday week when the evergreen seven-year-old mustered great pace from the No. 9 barrier to burst to the front after 220m on the way to a powerful frontrunning performance to win the 2536m August Cup from Patronus Star, with Perfect Major racing three back on the pegs before finishing solidly into fourth place.
Vampiro, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has resumed after a spell in fine form with a third and second placing before all-the-way wins at his latest appearances, both over 2536m. He is a proven performer over 1730m, having raced seven times over that sprint journey for two wins, a second and three thirds, as well as a retired effort when he suffered an atrial fibrillation.
He rated 1.55.2 when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before winning the Mount Eden Sprint in October 2018, and then rated .52.9 when he led from barrier three and won the Village Kid Sprint from Herrick Roosevelt in December 2019. He finished strongly when third behind Chicago Bull and Shockwave in the Mount Eden Sprint last October, and last month he raced four back on the pegs and was hampered for room when third to Patronus Star and Major Times over 1730m.
The toughest for Vampiro and Perfect Major to beat should be Ideal Liner (barrier three) and Galactic Star (seven).
Ideal Liner, trained by Gary Hall snr, has a losing sequence of 17, but should pay to follow after recent placings behind Mighty Conqueror, Vampiro and Magnificent Storm. Last Friday night Ideal Liner trailed the frontrunning Magnificent Storm in a 2130m event and impressed with his fast-finishing second.
“Ideal Liner was almost back to his best last week,” said reinsman Gary Hall jnr. “He burst through the gap (in the home straight) really good. I’ll probably go to the fence on Friday night, and I’d like to think he could finish in the top three.”
Galactic Star, a stablemate of Vampiro, will be driven by Ryan Warwick and is capable of a bold showing at his first appearance for 19 weeks. The eight-year-old has won 31 races and $684,287 in prizemoney.