Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Brilliant young driver Emily Suvaljko has handled Walsh at his past six starts for two wins, a second and a third, and she has given punters a strong lead by opting to drive Roman Art (who has been unplaced at his past five starts) in preference to Walsh in the Garrard’s Gloucester Park Pace at pacing’s headquarters on Friday night.
Roman Art, a promising five-year-old owned and trained by Victor Bryers, has drawn perfectly at barrier one, and Suvaljko believes that he has excellent prospects of ending an 11-month drought.
“I drove Roman Art at his latest start when he ran ninth,” said Suvaljko. “But he actually hit the line really good. He is a horse who can’t really come off the track, and I was four or five wide on the corner, but he still hit the line well.
“He has had three runs under his belt now, and he is a quick beginner and a good frontrunner. If he can lead, he will definitely be in with a chance. He hasn’t had a draw for a long time, and now he’s got the draw.”
Trainer Nathan Turvey has engaged Jocelyn Young to drive Walsh, who is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven. “His past two runs haven’t been as good as his previous efforts,” Turvey said. “We have changed a few things and hopefully he goes better.”
Suvaljko will team up with Turvey later in the program when she will drive Miracle Moose in race five, and No Republic in race nine. Miracle Moose is sure to be prominent in the Howard Porter Memorial, while No Republic will be fancied when he starts off the 20m mark the 2503m Garrard’s Perth Trot.
“No Republic is a consistent earner who likes the stand and the 2500m,” said Turvey. Seven-year-old No Republic is racing with commendable enthusiasm, with his past seven starts producing four wins, two seconds and an eighth placing.
His two starts since a spell have been in mobiles and resulted in a smart victory over Tears Of Joy at Pinjarra when he covered extra ground and raced without cover, and a last-start distant second behind Mr Sundon over 2185m at Pinjarra.
“We have got 30 metres on the two good ones (the 50m co-backmarkers Mr Sundon and former Victorian trotter Majestic Courtney),” said Suvaljko. “So, we will be looking to keep that advantage.”
Mr Sundon, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Lewis, gave an outstanding performance when he came from sixth at the bell with a supercharged burst to beat No Republic by six lengths over 2185m at Pinjarra at his latest appearance.
“If he can replicate that run, he’s in with a good chance,” said Lewis. “However, it will be a big ask, considering he will be giving Tears Of Joy a 50m start.”
Tears Of Joy, to be driven by her trainer Aiden de Campo, excels as a frontrunner, and if she begins safely off the front line and sets the pace, she will take plenty of catching.