Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Six-year-old mare Vivere Damore was a $91 outsider who finished last in last week’s Stratton Cup, and this week her reinsman Shannon Suvaljko is brimming with confidence that she will bounce back at her third appearance after a spell and win the $22,000 Channel 7 Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Vivere Damore, who is trained by Peter Tilbrook, is handily drawn in the 2130m event at barrier No. 3 on the front line, and Suvaljko is planning an all-the-way victory.
“She is flying and will lead and win,” said a bullish Suvaljko. “She was unlucky last week when she didn’t get a run and was bolting on the line when she finished only ten metres behind the winner Perfect Major.”
Vivere Damore started from barrier six and Suvaljko restrained her to the rear. She raced in seventh position, four back on the pegs, and was hopelessly blocked for a clear run in the final circuit and was bolting all the way in the home straight.
“She would have beaten home Texas Tiger, Medieval Man and Hurricane Harley if she had been able to get clear,” said Suvaljko. “The previous week (when she finished a first-up fourth behind Vespa) she was in need of the run.
“This week I am confident she will win, rating 1.54 or 1.55. Her form when she has led has been excellent. She led when she won the group 2 Christmas Gift (rating 1.55 over 2130m) last December. She beat Patronus Star by two and a half lengths, with a final 800m in 56.3sec.”
In previous seasons Vivere Damore led and won the Coulson Pace for mares, rating 1.56, in December 2019, and she also led when she won by a head from Queen Shenandoah, rating 1.56.3, in 2020.
A win for Vivere Damore will be no easy task, with Wainui Creek, Star Of Diamonds and Mandy Joan all racing in wonderful form. They have drawn out wide at barriers nine, eight and seven, respectively, but are capable of overcoming this disadvantage.
Wainui Creek, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is sure to prove very hard to beat, having won at five of her past six starts. At her most recent appearance Wainui Creek started from barrier nine, settled at the rear and then charged forward after 400m to race outside the pacemaker Alta Louisa and go on and win by a head from the fast-finishing Star Of Diamonds, with Mini Mine Yet charging home, six wide, from last at the bell to be third.
Wainui Creek set the pace when she won from Star Of Diamonds over 2130m at her previous outing. Star Of Diamonds, trained by Barry Howlett, maintained her outstanding form when she trailed the pacemaker Vampiro and was hampered for room before finishing resolutely to be third behind Perfect Major in last week’s Stratton Cup.
Mandy Joan, trained and driven by Aiden de Campo, will have admirers after her impressive victory last Friday night when she finished strongly from eighth at the bell to beat Jaspervellabeach and Pierre Whitby.