Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Star reinsman Gary Hall jnr enjoyed happy memories of driving Before Night Falls to victories in the Western Crown Classic and Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies in 2008 when he guided The Kraken to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m Cowden Ltd Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The Kraken, a five-year-old by Art Major, is the fifth foal out of Before Night Falls, who earned $169,279 from 12 wins and eight placings from 38 starts.
The big gelding, trained at Coolup by Phil Costello, has been plagued by bad barriers, and his win from the coveted No. 1 barrier on Friday night ended a losing sequence of 18 and a 12-month drought.
“Leading is his best asset, and we’ve been praying for a good barrier,” said Costello. “Sitting up, he’s not a genuine horse, but in front he is.”
The Kraken, who has earned $122,298 from 12 wins and 25 placings from 71 starts, has always shown signs of his ability, with Costello pointing to his close third behind Fifty Five Reborn and Alta Blues in the group 3 Kerry Clarke Four and Five-Year-Old Classic and his fifth behind Gambit and Vespa in the Chandon Pace in July this year.
The Kraken’s full-sister Soho New York had 27 starts for ten wins, four placings and $65,710 in stakes, with her best performance her third placing behind Straighttothehilton in the group 1 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies in June 2014.
The Kraken was favourite at $1.80 from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night when he set the pace and won by four lengths at a 1.58.3 rate from $126 outsider Bettys Lass, who finished gamely after racing three back on the pegs.
Costello is now looking forward to his stable star Vultan Tin resuming racing after a spell, saying that the veteran of 189 starts was working in fine style and would return to action in about five weeks and was on target to contest the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups early next year.
Vultan Tin, who has amassed $949,758 in prizemoney, won the WA Pacing Cup last December, and in March this year he won the group 2 Pinjarra Cup and the group 3 Narrogin Cup.