Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
A dashing win in a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning is a pointer to Soho Confidential’s prospects in the $20,250 Garrard’s Service with Integrity Pace for two year olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The Glenn Elliott trained Art Major colt set a solid pace in the five horse trial before careering away from his rivals in the final stages to win by eight lengths from Elwaddell, rating 2.0.3, with a final quarter of 28.1sec.
He was handled by Shannon Suvaljko, who is sure to be keen to get to an early lead from the No. 3 barrier in Friday night’s 2130m event in which astute trainer Kim Prentice holds a powerful hand with three runners, Tantabiddi, Crowd Control and Our Lililou.
Soho Confidential will be having his first start since his debut when he led from barrier three and won by four lengths from Sweet Vivienne at a 1.58.1 rate over 1684m at Pinjarra on February 14.
His clash with the richly talented Crowd Control should provide plenty of fireworks. Crowd Control resumed after a spell with a sizzling performance in a 2185m event at Pinjarra three Mondays ago when he was the sole runner on the back line, settled in fourth place on the pegs in an Indian file, moved off the inside after about 450m and then raced in the breeze before bursting to the front 650m from home and racing away to beat the pacemaker Cold Hard Cash by 12 lengths.
Crowd Control gave a sample of his brilliance with a scorching 26.5sec. third quarter of the final mile before coasting home over the final 400m in 29sec. That remarkable performance came after placings behind the brilliant Valedictorian in a heat and the final of the group 1 Sales Classic in February.
“Crowd Control has come back very good after a spell and he has trained on very well since his Pinjarra win,” said Prentice, who has engaged Mitch Miller to drive Tantabiddi, with Corey Peterson given the job to handle Our Lililou, an all-the-way winner in a 1730m event for fillies last Friday night.
Adding considerable interest to the race will be the appearance of Star Lavra, a half brother to champion four year old Lavra Joe. Star Lavra, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr from the prized No. 1 barrier.
Star Lavra is resuming after a spell, and he showed his fitness in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Wednesday of last week when he began speedily from the outside barrier in the field of six, dashed to the front after 400m and fought on determinedly to win the trial by a neck from Morissette, rating 2.0.3, with a final quarter of 28.8sec.
“Star Lavra is very lazy, though he is not lazy out of the gate,” said Hall Jnr. “Obviously, we intend to lead, and will take it from there. He is a laid back horse who has a terrific motor. He is a lot better than he is probably going to show as a two year old.”
Capel trainer Aiden De Campo will be driving Magnus Victor, who will start from barrier five. Magnus Victor, a Sweet Lou gelding, impressed, first up, when he finished strongly from the rear to win from Spinner Of Yarns over 2185m at Pinjarra a month ago.