A bit of a mixed bag of best bet selections from members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Award-winning scribe Ken Casellas believes the nine-event card could be dominated by polemarkers.
“On a program that will be dominated by horses carrying the No. 1 saddlecloth, I have chosen Powerplay, from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m www.horseandhound.com.au Pace, as my best bet on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He is an excellent frontrunner and should lead his rivals on a merry dance. He led comfortably on a rain-soaked track at Pinjarra on Monday before sprinting over the final 400m in 26.9sec. to win from Arma Einstein over 1684m.”
Longshot guru Pat Harding is of the opinion that the leading yard of Greg and Skye Bond could have a night out.
“Could be an interesting night for the Bond camp,” Harding said. “It has been a bit quiet for them lately, but they could land some good winners this Friday. My best bet comes up in race six with with the Bond-trained Howard Hughes. He ran a good third first-up after a spell last week and should get a good run off the backline and record a strong win.”
The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Alta Engen in the last race on the program.
“Four-year-old Alta Engen indicated he had returned in top order when a first-up winner of a John Higgins Memorial heat last Tuesday week and this time in looks set to reach cups class,” Manning said. “The gelding showed big potential when winning at eight of his first 11 starts. He bounced back from three unplaced runs and won again at his last start before trainer Aiden De Campo spelled him last February. He has the gate speed to hold up from gate one.”
TABradio’s Hayden King has made Tyler Brett his best bet.
“Tyler Brett comes up with the pole and gets his chance to lead,” King said. “He’s a bold frontrunner, and he’s now getting down in grade. This is his big chance and I expect him to lead throughout.”
The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has opted for Minstrel in the stand as his star bet.
“This season’s Golden Nugget winner Minstrel has hardly put a hoof wrong since arriving in WA late last year and has won at both starts this preparation, including a win off the same handicap a fortnight ago,” Havercroft said. “The Greg and Skye Bond-trained gelding appears well-tuned for another fruitful campaign.”
TABradio’s Matt Young believes Queen Shenandoah has the gate speed to post an all-the-way victory in race five.
“Queen Shenandoah has good speed to lead the mares event,” Young said. “Her form has been brilliant and this looks the deserved victory.”
However, Guild president Wayne Currall doesn’t see the race in the same light as Young and has made Alice Kay his best bet for the night.
“Alice Kay’s last-start eighth behind surprise winner Radiant Amber was an eye-catcher,” Currall said. “She didn’t see daylight until we’ll into the home straight and flashed home with a be-on-me-next-start effort. This race is shaping up to be run at a hectic pace and I can see Shannon Suvaljko biding his time before unleashing Alice Kay late.”
KEN: For value, I suggest Carrera Mach in race two. He made a splendid return to racing after a spell when he surged home, out five wide, to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Rocknroll Whitby on Sunday night.
PAT: Lightning Jolt has had a couple of good wins and is first-up after a spell. I would not be at all surprised if he bobs up at a good price.
ERNIE: Alice Kay has won only once in her past 15 starts and a backline draw is against the mare. But the Kat Warwick-trained four-year-old possesses talent and looks in line for her first Gloucester Park victory. She had difficulty getting clear when a first-up eighth on July 11.
HAYDEN: Black Jack Zac has been thoroughly luckless recently. From a good gate, I think he can sit close enough to unleash his strong finishing burst to win. It’s only a matter of time before things go his way.
RYAN: Caveman is racing consistently and can figure in the finish despite the wide draw.
MATT: Bad Round is improving and looks a strong each-way chance in an open race.
WAYNE: If Deni Robert’s can put Henwood Bay in the breeze without doing too much work then he’ll keep probable leader and favourite Powerplay honest. Loves grinding away in the “death seat” and has the fitness to take this out at odds.
Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week.