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A spirited workout on the Byford track last Friday impressed star reinsman Chris Voak, who said the seven-year-old made strong appeal as the best of his eight drives on the nine-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Space Junk, handled in the workout by trainer Giles Inwood, is favourably drawn at barrier two in the 2130m Etch Coatings Pace, in which he will clash with smart five-year-old Robbie Easton, a winner of ten races who will be making his first appearance for five months.

“Space Junk worked really well and looks my best chance on the program,” said Voak. “He should lead and prove hard to beat.”

Robbie Easton has changed stables and is now prepared by Michael Young. The gelding will be driven by Gary Hall jnr, who said: “It’s a good draw for him (barrier two on the back line) and Michael is confident he will perform well.”

Hall, who will compete in all nine events on the program, said that Mr Fantastic (race one) and Bettor Get It On (race eight) appeared to be his best winning prospects.

“Mr Fantastic’s last run (when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing a well-beaten second to Kobe Edward at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week) was a bit disappointing,” said Hall. That followed a smart all-the-way win at Bunbury ten nights earlier when making his Australian debut.

“On his game, Mr Fantastic should be hard to beat.

Aiden de Campo (The Good Life) and Voak (Lil Happy Fella) also give their drives a solid each-way chance, with de Campo saying: “If he gets a good run (from barrier four), he will run a good race. He is a nice enough horse who is working back into form. I lost him at his previous preparation, but we now seem to have him under control, and he should continue to improve with racing.”

Voak said that the Barry Howlett-trained Lil Happy Fella was a smart sit-sprinter. “He has been racing very well, without luck, and he doesn’t have a great barrier draw (No. 6),” he said. “However, he has a powerful finishing burst.”

Voak predicted that the Ross Olivieri-trained Carrera Mach (barrier No. 3) would fight out the finish of the 2130m Retravision Pace in which the polemarker Caveman makes strong appeal as the pacemaker and likely winner.

“I will press forward and try to look for a forward position with Carrera Mach,” said Voak. “He will battle on, and he is heading in the right direction.”

Voak gives Queen Shenandoah an each-way chance in the Pacing For Pink Pace, in which the Olivieri-trained mare will start from the No. 4 barrier. Queen Shenandoah was a beaten favourite last Friday night when she was beaten for early speed from the No. 1 barrier, raced three back on the pegs and was blocked for a clear passage until the final 250m. She went four wide on the home turn and finished solidly to be second, a half-length behind the pacemaker Fifty Five Reborn.

“I thought she had her chance last week,” said Voak. “She peaked on her run after I thought she had it sewn up turning for home. This week, she will look for cover, more than likely, and will get home well.”  

Written by: Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators