Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Evergreen seven year old Rock Me Over continues to enjoy a steady menu of racing, and he lines up for his 175TH start when he begins from the No. 1 barrier in the $18,500 City Discount Tyres Suspension And Brake Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he has excellent prospects of breaking a losing sequence of 16.
The Matt Scott trained gelding has won only once from his past 44 starts, but he is a noted frontrunner who gets an ideal opportunity to notch his 24TH win and add to his significant earnings of $355,028. He will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko, who was in the sulky for his most recent victory when he started from the No. 1 barrier, set the pace and won from Illawong Mustang and Pocket The Cash on March 4 this year.
Rock Me Over is the most prolific winner in Friday night’s event in which the 12 runners have had a combined total of exactly 1400 starts for exactly 140 wins. Scott will also be represented by Euston Flyer, Trittrittbangbang and Billy Mack.
Punters would be well advised to consider the least experienced runner in the race, five year old Texas Tara, who has raced a mere 43 times for nine wins and nine placings. He is trained by part-owner Luke Edwards and will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr from barrier two on the back line. He has been unplaced at his past five starts since winning from The Verandah and Glenledi Chief six weeks ago.
Two inexperienced and extremely smart New Zealand bred four year olds in Cooper and Himself will clash in the City Discount Tyres Performance Tyre Handicap, a stand over 2503m, and they are sure to dominate betting on the event.
They will start from the front line, and each boasts an outstanding record in standing-start events. Himself, trained by Greg and Skye Bond and to be driven by Ryan Warwick, contested three stands in New Zealand for two wins and a second placing, and he has won easily at his first two Australian starts, scoring in stands at Bunbury and Northam earlier this month.
He started off the 40m mark in a 2503m stand at Bunbury when he dashed to the front after 550m and set a solid pace before sprinting over the final 400m in a dashing 27.2sec. and winning from Mega Mach. Eight nights after that he started from 20m in a 2150m event at Northam when he settled down in seventh position before charging to the lead after 600m and going on to win easily from Hesacharmer and Celebrity Chief.
Cooper, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for trainer Michael Young, is unbeaten at his three appearances in stands – two at Bunbury and one at Narrogin. Joseph Suvaljko drove him when he began off 50m (virtually 40m, with the sole frontmarker starting off the 10m mark) in a 2636m event at Narrogin last Friday night when he settled down in fifth position before dashing forward to take up the running after about 500m. He went on to beat Mega Mach by a length.