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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

A sparkling trial by five-year-old Eighteen Carat at Byford on Sunday morning was a firm indication that the New Zealand-bred mare has the ability to make a successful Australian debut when she starts from barrier four in the 2130m Bringing Home The Bacon Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Eighteen Carat, trained by Michael Young, was driven with supreme confidence in the 2150m trial by Gary Hall jnr. From the No. 2 barrier she set the pace and was not extended in coasting to a six-length victory over Texas Tara, rating 1.57.4 after final 400m sections in 29.6sec. and 27.6sec.

“It was a good trial, and she is a pretty nice horse,” said an admiring Young. “We’re still trying to figure her out. She is a bit of a nervy type, but she seems to have a fair share of ability. She has been here for about six or seven weeks. She was a relatively expensive purchase, and I expect her to win.”

The Greg and Skye Bond-trained Booraa will start from the outside of the back line, with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. Her two runs since resuming from a spell (third to Vulcan Star at Pinjarra and fourth behind Master Yossi at Gloucester Park) have been encouraging, and she is expected to be one of the hardest for Eighteen Carat to beat.

The Bonds and Warwick have excellent prospects of landing a double with Lawrence and Dont Bother Me None. 

Lawrence will start from barrier one in the 2130m Coppa Kabana Pace, and the seven-year-old possesses excellent gate speed which should enable him to set the pace. A winner of five races in New Zealand, Lawrence has raced 21 times in Western Australia for eight wins, six seconds and a third. He has scored all-the-way wins at Narrogin (2242m) and at Gloucester Park over 2130m and 2536m.

Dont Bother Me None is a New Zealand-bred four-year-old who is favourably drawn at barrier two in the 2536m The Mondo Streaky Bacon Pace. He is a strong stayer who is ready to show his best at his fifth start after resuming from a spell. He has won at ten of his 19 starts.