Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
New Zealand-bred four-year-old Savvy Bromac is a brilliant sit-sprinter, but outstanding young driver Emily Suvaljko is planning to take full advantage of her natural gate speed from the prized No. 1 barrier and attempt an all-the-way victory in the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“The distance should suit her; she’s got good gate speed, so we should be able to hold up,” said Suvaljko. “And Nathan (trainer Nathan Turvey) thinks she is good enough to cop any pressure that comes her way.
“Disregard Savvy Bromac’s eighth in the Norms Daughter Classic last Friday week when the race wasn’t run to suit.”
Savvy Bromac was restrained from barrier eight and was last at the bell before charging home out six wide to finish three lengths from the winner Born To Boogie.
This will be Savvy Bromac’s first attempt over 2536m, but she showed her staying ability when she started from 20m and sustained a powerful finish when second to Star Of Diamonds in the 2503m Race For Roses last April.
Savvy Bromac has led and won twice, over 2130m at Gloucester Park last October and over 2185m at Pinjarra last January.
“I think the nerves will start kicking in on Friday morning,” said the 21-year-old Suvaljko, who has driven 155 winners this season. She drove the Turvey-trained Royal Essence to an all-the-way win over 2130m last Friday night, and Turvey has engaged Jocelyn Young to handle the three-year-old filly in Friday night’s group 1 event in which she will start from the No. 3 barrier.
Suvaljko said that she rated the Ross Olivieri-trained Born To Boogie as Savvy Bromac’s main danger, and also predicted that Balcatherine, prepared by Gary Hall snr, would prove a formidable rival.
Balcatherine, to be driven by Gary Hall jnr, is poorly drawn out wide at barrier No. 7 for her second appearance after a four-month absence — when she was most impressive in finishing a close second to Born To Boogie in the 2130m Norms Daughter Classic.
She started from barrier three, settled in tenth position and began a fast three-wide move after 500m to move to the breeze outside the pacemaker Wainui Creek. She fought on with great determination to finish a half-length second behind Born To Boogie.
Balcatherine has won at ten of her 25 starts, with the highlight of her career being her victory in the Mares Classic 12 months ago when she started from the outside of the back line, settled in tenth place, started a three-wide burst 1400m from home, moved to the breeze 200m later, took the lead with 470m to travel and won easily from the fast-finishing Somebeachparty, rating 1.56.8.
“She is the best mare and has the best driver,” said Hall snr. “She is going better now than she was when she won this race 12 months ago. Her latest run was outstanding, and she has worked very well since.”
Born To Boogie began from barrier No. 10 (the inside of the back line) when Chris Lewis drove a masterly race to land her a narrow winner over Balcatherine and Wainui Creek in the Norms Daughter Classic.
“It’s uncanny that she has drawn No. 10 again,” said Olivieri. “She is jumping out of her skin, and I’m very pleased with her. Her toughest opponent obviously is Balcatherine, whose first-up run was enormous.”
Born To Boogie, whose nine appearances this year have produced seven wins and two close seconds, will be driven by Chris Lewis, who said: “If she goes as good and gets as much luck as she had at her latest start, we will be happy. She can repeat the dose.”