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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Pacing punters will be scratching their heads when they study the form of the 12 runners in the sixth event, the 2130m Italo-Australian Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night, with most of the contestants boasting lengthy losing sequences.

What is apparent is that the barrier draw will result in Machlani (barrier No. 1) and Tyler Brett (barrier three) dominating the betting.

Machlani, a five-year-old prepared by Michael Brennan, is likely to start at a very short quote, given that horses starting from barrier one have an outstanding record at Gloucester Park.

Machlani has a losing sequence of 27; he has been unplaced at his past six starts, including wilting efforts on the past two Friday nights when he finished eighth in a field of eight and last in a field of twelve. On the credit side is that he will be handled by Michael Grantham, who has formed a splendid association with the gelding, having driven him to eight of his ten career victories, as well as notching 18 placings. And Grantham is a wonderful frontrunning reinsman.

Tyler Brett has a losing sequence of 17 (which includes only two placings), but he warmed up for this assignment in encouraging fashion last Friday night when he began speedily from the outside barrier (No. 9), moved into third place (three wide) and then was restrained by Dylan Egerton-Green back to tenth.

He began a three-wide move with 700m to travel and was still ninth at the 300m mark before running home strongly to finish fifth behind The Kraken. That was his seventh unplaced effort in succession, but it hinted at better things to come.

That performance came at the horse’s first start for debutant trainer Chloe Brown, daughter of ace reinsman Colin Brown, and if her partner Egerton-Green can guide the seven-year-old to victory on Friday night it would be a wonderful achievement for Chloe to notch a winner at only her second attempt.

Another runner with a hope of winning is Peter Anderson’s Jesse Allwood, who caught the eye last Friday night with his strong-finishing third behind Walsh. Jesse Allwood, to be driven by Aldo Cortopassi from barrier five, has managed one win from his past 44 starts. Brett Smith’s McArdles Gem also has claims from the inside of the back line. He has been placed twice from his past three starts.