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Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing

Coolup trainer Dan Costello was all smiles last Tuesday when The Kraken drew the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Matty Joss Pace to be run at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The better performed Vespa, from barrier three, was the $1.95 favourite, with The Kraken the second fancy at $5.40. But this did not dent Costello’s confidence.

“We don’t look at the prices, and don’t care if there is an odds-on favourite,” he said. “When The Kraken drew one, I thought he could lead and win.”

Reinsman Mitch Miller shared Costello’s confidence, and he got The Kraken away smartly and the big Art Major gelding dashed over the lead time in 36.2sec. as he held out Vespa and Jaspervellabeach, each of whom began speedily in unsuccessful bids to take up the early running.

“Last week The Kraken drew out wide (barrier eight), so we took our medicine and went back and drove him soft,” said Costello. “Tonight, he ran a good time (rating 1.57.8) on a muddy track, and Mitch says that he keeps improving every week.”

Friday night’s win ended a losing sequence of 17 for The Kraken, whose previous victory was when he started from the No. 1 barrier and was seen in his favourite role as pacemaker in a 2130m event last November.

The Kraken has been a handy performer, and he now boasts a record of 89 starts for 13 wins, 28 placings and $141,373 in prizemoney. He is the fifth foal out of the Safely Kept mare Before Night Falls, who won at her first seven starts, as a two-year-old in the 2007-08 season when her most important success was in the Group 1 Diamond Classic in which she led and defeated her stablemate La Joconde. She was retired to stud with a record of 38 starts for 12 wins, eight placings and stakes of $169,279.