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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Talented filly Taking The Miki will resume racing after a 22 week absence when she starts from barrier six in the $20,250 Noah George Fundraiser Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night – and trainer Ross Olivieri is quietly confident she will prove hard to beat.

“In a perfect world she would have another trial, but with no race for three year old fillies next week, I decided to start her this week,” Olivieri said.

“She has been pleasing us and she is a very athletic filly who can get under your guard a little bit. I expect her to run a very competitive race.”

Chris Voak drove Taking The Miki in a five horse 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Wednesday of last week when the filly set the pace and won from Bonsco Circus, rating 1.59.8, with two 28.7sec. final quarters.

Taking The Miki last appeared when she led early and then trailed the pacemaker Wonderful To Fly before finishing a well beaten second to that star pacer in the group 2 Sales Classic in February. She also finished second to Wonderful To Fly in the group 1 Westbred Classic for two year olds in June last year, a month after her second to In The Spotlight in the group 1 Diamond Classic.

Gary Hall Jnr will drive Bonstar for owner-trainer Peter Marsh, and the filly at her first outing since last November has sufficient gate speed to set the pace. But Taking The Miki is likely to receive the stiffest opposition from Elsamay, Wall Street Girl, Five Bangles and Dontbesillychilli.

Elsamay, trained by John Graham, will be driven by Emily Suvaljko, who gives the filly a good each way chance from barrier three.

“Elsamay looks to be my best drive on the night,” said Suvaljko. “She will need luck but is racing very well. It’s a trick race and I’m thinking I’d like to stay in the moving line. I want to be close (to the leaders) to give her a good chance.”

Taking The Miki is one of Olivieri’s eight runners on the ten event program, and he gives them all a sound each way hope, with Rupert Of Lincoln (race three), Papinik (race six) and Steam Punk (race seven) all capable of winning.

He is particularly bullish about the prospects of Steam Punk, who will start from the No. 1 barrier and will be driven by Chris Lewis in the 2130m City Discount Tyres SA Pace.

“Steam Punk will take a hell of a lot of running down if he leads,” he said. Steam Punk caught the eye two starts ago when he finished strongly along the inside to be second to the pacemaker Bracken Sky. His most serious rival appears to be Euphoria, who is favourably drawn at barrier two and has a reasonable hope of ending a losing sequence of 16.