Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Punters face a difficult task when deciding on their selection in the final event, the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night, a race in which the likely favourite Dominate The Dojo has a losing sequence of 48.
Dominate The Dojo, to be driven by Gary Hall jnr for Henley Brook trainer Kevin Keys, has not been successful since he led and beat Our Rhythm N Blues over 1730m at Gloucester Park on May 18, 2019.
Dominate The Dojo’s chief asset is his sparkling gate speed, and from barrier three, Hall will be anxious to send the eight-year-old straight to the front.
However, Middle Swan trainer Brett Smith has cast some light on the possible outcome of the race in which he has two runners, Maestro Bellini (barrier No. 1) and Burning Rubber (No. 2), by advising his plans. He will drive Maestro Bellini, and Chris Lewis will handle Burning Rubber.
“Ideally, Burning Rubber jumps to the front and holds the lead,” he said. “And if he does, he should prove pretty hard to beat. Maestro Bellini is also a good frontrunner, but Burning Rubber is going better at the moment.”
Burning Rubber has started from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park nine times when he has led and won four times, led and finished second once, and sat behind the pacemaker four times for two seconds, a third and a fourth.
Burning Rubber has started from the No. 2 at headquarters six times for two all-the-way wins over 2536m, a second after leading, a second from the breeze and two unplaced efforts over 2536m when setting the pace.
The Debra Lewis-trained Pierre Whitby is in sound form and should fight out the finish, while Mike Reed’s smart five-year-old mare Arma Indie is certainly capable of causing an upset after being unplaced at her past eight starts since leading and winning from McArdles Gem over 2536m just over 12 months ago.