Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
The much-travelled New South Wales-bred five-year-old Spy Major has flourished since entering the Hopeland stables of Debra Lewis in December, and he has bright prospects of scoring twice in a week when he starts from the No. 2 barrier in the 2130m The Caduceus Club Come Up And Join Us Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Spy Major impressed at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when Chris Lewis drove him to an all-the-way victory, rating 1.57.8 over 2536m, despite hanging out for most of the way. He maintained a solid pace and dashed over the final four 400m sections in 29.7sec., 29.3sec., 28.7sec. and 29.2sec.
“He’s done pretty nicely,” said champion reinsman Chris Lewis. “This will be a step up for him, but from barrier two he should get a nice run. I expect Crocodile Kid (with a losing sequence of 17 and placed once from his past 16 starts) to be happy to take a trail (from the No. 1 barrier) and then we’ll work from there.
“Spy Major is not just a frontrunner. Two starts ago he did breeze and ran a nice third, only two- and a-bit metres from the winner (Apologize). So, he’s got a bit of versatility.”
Spy Major arrived in Western Australia last year after having won at three of his 31 starts for trainer John McCarthy in New South Wales, being unplaced at one appearance in Queensland winning once from five Victorian starts.
Adding interest to Friday night’s race will be the return to racing of the smart but lightly-raced seven-year-old Rockaball, who will having his first start for three months. The New Zealand-bred gelding, who will be driven by Micheal Ferguson for owner-trainer Caris Hamilton-Smith, will start from barrier No. 5.
Rockaball has had only 38 starts for ten wins and seven placings. His latest success was two starts ago when he settled down in twelfth and last position before dashing forward, three wide, after 600m and then working in the breeze on his way to an impressive victory over the pacemaker Joe With The Flow and Rupert Of Lincoln.
Valentines Brook (inside of the back line) and Doc Holliday (barrier two the back line) are racing with plenty of enthusiasm and are sure to appreciate a drop in class.