Plutonium, a much-travelled Auckland Reactor five-year-old has bright prospects of making a successful debut at Gloucester Park when he contests the opening event, the 2536m TABtouch Pace, on Friday afternoon.
The Michael Young-trained gelding will start from the No. 5 barrier and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is planning to use his good gate speed in a bid to set the pace.
Plutonium made his Western Australian debut in a 2185m event at Pinjarra last Monday week when he was beaten out from the No. 2 barrier by the polemarker Moonlight Shadow before he mustered speed to take up the running after 250m on his way to an easy 10m victory over the fast-finishing Classic Choice.
That first-up victory followed the gelding’s three starts in Victoria last December when he led and won all three events. Before that, he had nine starts in New Zealand for one win, and five starts in South Australia for two wins and two seconds.
“His Pinjarra run was good,” said Hall. ”He usually gets out quicker than he did at Pinjarra, and I think he will get out better this time from the middle of the line. I think Palatino (barrier one) will hold up early, but we will be having a look for the lead. It’s a good field and Boom Time and Mirragon look the two to beat.”
It is interesting to note that Palatino, trained and driven by Cody Wallrodt, is a renowned frontrunner whose six wins have all been achieved after he has set the pace.
The Ross Olivieri-trained Boom Time is knocking on the door and will pay to follow after impressive placings behind Matai Geordie and Lawrence at his past two starts.
Hall had the choice of driving Diego, Vespa, Liam Neil and My Carbon Copy in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Pace, and he has opted to handle My Carbon Copy, who starts from the inside of the back line.
Micheal Ferguson will drive Diego, a strong-finishing second to Mighty Conqueror last Friday night, Chris Voak has been engaged for Vespa, and Maddison Brown will be in the sulky behind Liam Neil.
“It was a choice between My Carbon Copy and Diego and I went for My Carbon Copy because of the draw,” said Hall. “From the inside of the back line we should get a good run behind the likely pacemaker Shadow Roll.”
Aldo Cortopassi will drive the Ray Williams-trained Shadow Roll and he said he planned to take full advantage of the No. 1 barrier. “There is a fair bit of speed to our outside, but we will pump the gate hard,” he said.
Shadow Roll returned to his best form at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he led from the No. 1 barrier and won in good style from Dominate The Dojo.
By Ken Casellas