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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Five-year-old Sportswriter gelding The Tiger Army has not been dangerous at his past three starts, but trainer Michael Young is confident he will bounce back to his best form when he starts from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m SEFS, You Name It, We Fund It Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“He really gets his chance to win,” said Young. “He has led once for me and has won. That was four starts ago when he led from barrier one and ran home in 57.1sec. He then was unplaced from unfavourable barriers at his following three starts. He just doesn’t try unless he is in front.”

Maddison Brown will drive The Tiger Army, and Dylan Egerton-Green will drive stablemate Zazu from barrier three. Zazu led from the No. 1 barrier and won from Pradason and Orlando Blue three starts ago and he performed strongly last Friday night when he came from seventh, three back on the pegs, at the bell to finish fourth behind Franco Ecuador over 2130m.

Starting from the No. 2 barrier and in between The Tiger Army and Zazu will be Will I Rocknroll, who is sure to appreciate a drop in class after competing against Mighty Ronaldo, Bletchley Park, Vultan Tin, Diego and Gambit in recent weeks. Will I Rocknroll was most impressive two starts ago when he was sixth at the bell before charging home, out five wide, to finish a close second to Diego.

Young is also looking for a strong performance from Vespa, who will start from the No. 1 barrier and be driven by Aiden de Campo in the 2536m SEFS Finance Kenwick Pace. Vespa maintained his excellent form when he surged home, out wide, from seventh at the bell to finish a well-beaten second to Double Up over 2130m last Friday night.

A week earlier Vespa set the pace from barrier three and won by just over a length from the favourite Hampton Banner, who raced in the breeze for most of the way.

This week Hampton Banner will start from the No. 4 barrier and Chris Lewis is expected to take full advantage of the gelding’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to burst to an early lead.

Hampton Banner began speedily from barrier nine last Friday night before getting to the front after 500m and then setting the pace on the way to his fighting half-length victory over the fast-finishing Valentines Brook, with a final 800m of 56.4sec.

“I would like Vespa to lead, but Hampton Banner might be a bit fast for him off the gate,” said Young. “The last time Vespa led Hampton Banner sat outside of him and couldn’t beat him over 2536m. So, if Vespa leads on Friday night, I think he will win.”