Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Astute trainer Mike Reed was delighted with the stylish first-up victory of Five Bangles at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week and is confident the filly will continue her winning ways when she contests the Westral Meshlock Security Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“She hadn’t been to trials, and she won first-up, running home in 56.5sec.,” said Reed. “That run has really brought her on, and she is definitely the horse to beat on Friday night. Last Saturday morning she worked as good as any two-year-old has ever worked for me.”
Five Bangles set the pace and scored easily from Torrevean Amy and Diamond Dance at her first outing for six months when she sprinted over the final quarters in 28.7sec. and 27.8sec. and rated 1.58.7 over the 1730m journey.
Five Bangles, a New Zealand-bred filly by Bettors Delight and to be driven by Reed’s son Mark, is favourably drawn at barrier three on Friday night when one of her chief rivals is likely to be her stablemate Queeninthecorner, who will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko from out wide at barrier seven.
Queeninthecorner is unbeaten at her two starts but has not appeared for four weeks. “She has recovered from a cold and her recent work has been good,” said Reed snr.
In The Spotlight, a winner at three of her six starts for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and star reinsman Ryan Warwick, impressed last Friday night when she was fifth at the bell before finishing fast to be third in a three-way photo finish behind smart colts Floewriter and Youre So Fine. She will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) but cannot be underestimated.
Jay Elle, a filly by Alta Christiano trained by Justin Prentice and to be driven by Gary Hall jnr, has won twice at Gloucester Park from five starts, and will have admirers, despite her wide draw at No. 8.
Mike Reed also has high hopes for his five-year-old mare Arma Indie, a winner of ten races but unplaced at her past nine starts. She is perfectly drawn at the No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Westral Roller Blinds Pace.
Arma Indie began from the outside barrier, raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before wilting to finish ninth behind Tyler Brett over 2130m last Friday night when having her first start for three weeks.
“She has the gate speed to lead from barrier one here, and hopefully she will dictate and get the money,” said Reed. “The run in the breeze was a good, hard hit-out and would have helped her. She is ready to win, and this is her field.”
Arma Indie’s chief rival is likely to be the Ross Olivieri-trained Double Expresso, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from the inside of the back line.
Reed is also expecting good efforts from Blitzembye in the Westral Roller Shutters Pace and Our Shelley Beach in the Westral Window Blinds Pace.
Blitzembye, a three-year-old gelding by Bettors Delight, has won at six of his 13 starts, including frontrunning efforts at Northam at his past two outings when he strolled to victory by more than six lengths in both events.
“I think Blitzembye will work his way to the front from barrier four and give his rivals something to chase,” said Reed. “Usually, he does only what he needs to do, but the other night at Northam I was quite surprised with the way he got away from them. Usually, he waits for them.”
Blitzembye is sure to be tested strongly by the Gary Hall senior-trained pair of Jumpingjackmac (barrier No. 7 in the field of seven) and Finvarra (barrier six). Finvarra caused an upset when he dashed to the front in the first lap and set a fast pace before winning from Jumpingjackmac over 2130m last Friday week.
“There’s not much between them, but I’m leaning towards Jumpingjackmac,” said Hall snr.
Adding interest to the race will be Star Of Willoughby, who will be driven by Emily Suvaljko from barrier three. He caught the eye last Friday week when he was last in a field of nine with 220m to travel before finishing strongly to be third behind Finvarra and Jumpingjackmac.
“He is going really good,” said Suvaljko. “He is the type of horse who has to be driven for luck. So, I will probably duck to the pegs.”