Latest News

Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing

Talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old Ragazzo Mach has been placed at his first two appearances after resuming from a spell, and his reinsman Shannon Suvaljko is confident he will chalk up his eleventh win at his 22ND start when he begins from the prized No. 1 barrier in the Follow @Gloucesterpark On Twitter Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Ragazzo Mach, prepared by astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed, started from the No. 2 barrier and led for the first 200m before being crossed by Typhoon Banner in a 2130m event last Friday night. Ragazzo Mach was hampered for room in the home straight when he finished a sound second to Typhoon Banner.

“He got out as quick as he can, but Typhoon Banner just had too much speed,” said Suvaljko. “This week he will get out quickly and won’t have to change lanes. He will be able to go out in a straight line and I’m pretty sure he will be able to lead easily.

“He needed the run last week. I drove him on the track the previous Tuesday, and he needed it (the workout), and on the Friday he went to the line good. I am confident he can win, and the run will improve him further.”

Reed has a good chance of landing the quinella, with his other runner, Blitzembye, favourably drawn at barrier two. Gary Hall Jnr has been engaged to drive Blitzembye, who should enjoy a perfect trail behind his stablemate.

Suvaljko had the choice of driving ten-year-old Twoandahalf Tigers, 11-year-old Billy Mack and nine-year-old Disco Under Fire in the Allwood Stud Farm Pace — and he has opted to handle the Tracy Reay-trained Twoandahalf Tigers, who will begin from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m event.

Twoandahalf Tigers has a losing sequence of 27, but Suvaljko is upbeat about his winning prospects, saying: “His past two runs have been really good, and I’m sure he will be hard to beat.

“Two starts ago he started off 30 metres in a stand at Pinjarra, and he ran a big race (starting at $91 and coming from five back on the pegs to finish fourth behind Call To Arms) when the last 800m off the front was run in 58sec. And then at Pinjarra on Monday this week he flew home to run third to Joey James and Miss Boudica.”

The major danger to Twoandahalf Tigers looms large as nine-year-old Athabascan, whose most recent success was in Albany in February 2020.

Athabascan is now being prepared by Debra Lewis, and he will be driven by Chris Lewis from out wide at barrier eight. He has impressed in recent trials — leading and winning at a 1.59.1 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra and finishing a close second to Magnificent Storm over 2150m at Byford last Sunday week.

Suvaljko is also looking forward to driving Bracken Sky for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg in the 2130m TABtouch Pace, in which the seven-year-old with a losing sequence of 23 is awkwardly drawn at barrier six.

“This is a big drop in grade for Bracken Sky, and he should run a good race,” said Suvaljko. “He has a few options. He has good gate speed, and he can sit up and run home.”