Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Outstanding reinsman Shannon Suvaljjko has a drive in seven of the ten events at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and he labels five-year-old mare Alice Kay as his best winning prospect.
Alice Kay, prepared by Byford trainer Katja Warwick, is ideally drawn at the No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Choices Flooring Pace for fillies and mares.
“She is racing really good, and when she leads, she is a different horse,” said Suvaljko. “If she can hold the lead, she will be really hard to beat. She drew barrier one nine starts ago when she led and won at a 1.57.8 rate over 2536m.
“Alice Kay doesn’t race that well in the daylight, but her run when third (behind Classic Choice) at Pinjarra on Monday this week was super. And so was her fast-finishing second to Nota Bene Denario last Friday night.”
An interesting runner in Friday night’s race is the seven-year-old New Zealand-bred mare Purest Silk, who will be having her first start since April 2020 when she led and finished third behind Balcatherine over 2130m at Gloucester Park. She led and won at Pinjarra week earlier – her tenth win at her 25TH start in WA.
Purest Silk, previously trained by Barry Howlett, is now being prepared by Dylan Egerton-Green, who said: “I’m pretty happy with her. She is working well and should run a good, honest race.”
Purest Silk will start from barrier six, and other mares in the race who are sure to be fancied include Mandy Joan (barrier two and placed behind Savvy Bromac and Nota Bene Denario at her past two starts), American Arma, Newsy, Run For Mercy and Misstiano.
Suvaljko also is confident of a strong performance from the Michael Young-trained Orlando Blue, who is favourably drawn at barrier one in the Direct Trades Supply Pace over 2536m.
Orlando Blue is a smart frontrunner who has made most of the running in winning at his past three starts — at Northam, Gloucester Park and Bunbury.
“He is not a weak horse and will go well over 2536m,” said Suvaljko. “He beat Finvarra (rating 1.55.1 over 2130m) two starts ago.”
Orlando Blue’s major rival looms large as the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Dont Bother Me None, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier No. 5.
Dont Bother Me None, a winner at ten of his 15 starts, has not appeared since he broke into a gallop when third on the home turn and dropped back to finish a distant sixth behind Captured Delight at Pinjarra on November 8.
He set the pace and won, hard held by Ryan Warwick, in a four-horse 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning, rating 1.58.9, with final quarters of 29.6sec. and 28.7sec.
“Dont Bother Me None is a quality animal who should run a good race,” said reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green.
Orlando Blue and Dont Bother Me None will not have matters all their own way, with Pradason (barrier four) and Star of Willoughby (three) racing with admirable enthusiasm.