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Trainer Ryan Bell is under no false illusion that star pacer Shockwave faces an easy task to complete a winning hat-trick when he lines up at barrier No. 5 in a quality field of six in the $25,000 Direct Trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“This is going to be another stepping stone for him heading towards the Victoria Cup if we decide to go to Victoria,” said Bell. “Drawing outside Mighty Conqueror (barrier four) definitely is not going to be easy.

“But I’m very happy with him; he is ticking over perfectly, and he seems very well.”

Shockwave has resumed racing after a spell in fine style, setting the pace and winning the 2536m Winter Cup by seven lengths from Perfect Major, and then doing plenty of work before winning by almost a length from Mighty Conqueror in the 2130m Past Presidents Cup last Friday week.

Mighty Conqueror, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, also has returned to racing after a spell in grand form, racing in the breeze before winning a 2130m Free-For-All from Patronus Star and Chicago Bull, and then starting from barrier seven and surging home from eighth at the bell to finish second to Shockwave in the Past Presidents Cup.

The Ray Williams-trained To Fast To Serious has drawn nicely at barrier two and should be prominent. Punters would be wise to disregard his last-start fourth behind Back In Twenty over 2130m last Friday week.

The race was not run to suit, with Back In Twenty setting a very slow pace for the first thousand metres while To Fast To Serious, restrained at the start from the No. 7 barrier, was racing in sixth position in the one-wide line. He fought on doggedly but was unable to challenge Back In Twenty, who sped over the final 800m in 55.3sec.

Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri will be represented by in-form pacers Major Times (barrier six) and Perfect major (barrier three). Perfect Major has been placed twice behind Shockwave in recent weeks and Major Times worked hard in the breeze and finished with great determination when a head second to the pacemaker Patronus Star in a fast-run 1730m Free-For-All last Friday night.        

At his previous appearance, a month earlier, Major Times ran home powerfully from sixth at the bell to win a 2536m Free-For-All by almost a length from Chicago Bull.

“I probably should have gone out a bit harder against the leader last week,” said reinsman

Chris Voak. “Being first-up I thought I would keep him for the run to the finish, and he ran home very well. He will be much improved this week.”

Written by Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators