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Harness racing fans are in for a treat on Friday night at Gloucester Park when the free-for-all stars clash in the $30,000 RWWA Stakes (2536m).

It’s one of the best line-ups of quality pacers we have seen at headquarters in months and a timely reminder that the upcoming summer carnival is just around the corner.

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have wisely steered clear of the feature event when searching for their best bets on the 10-event card.

Guild president Wayne Currall is confident punters can start the night off on the right note by siding with The Ideal Touch in the opening event.

“Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jr has given punters a good lead by electing to drive The Ideal Touch in preference to last-start winner Heez Our Perseus,” Currall said. “The Ideal Touch has won at two of his five starts since a long spell and has the class to put this field to the sword. Get on.”

TABradio’s Matt Young is bullish about the chances of Vivere Damore in race six.

“Vivere Damore was a good effort last start and she finally comes up with a good draw,” Young said. “She should lead and control with Emily Suvaljko to get the best out of her here. Very keen.”

However, award-winning journalist Ken Casellas disagrees with Young.

“Balcatherine has fared poorly in the random draw, but she has the class to overcome the outside barrier in race six on Friday night and she gets my nod as the best bet on the program,” Casellas said. “She is sure to appreciate a drop in class and deserves to notch her first win for just under 12 months. She has worked hard and has fought on grandly to be placed at her two appearances after resuming from a spell.”

The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believes newcomer to the state Rupert Of Lincoln can win at his first start at GP.

“Rupert Of Lincoln makes his WA debut on Friday night and he wouldn’t need to be any champion to account for this field,” Havercroft said. “The Merv Butterworth-Ross Olivieri combination is formidable and this son of Lincoln Royal has won 12 races from 39 starts and should be adding to that number from barrier one here.”

TABradio’s Hayden King is a fan of Gambit and has made the former Kiwi his best bet for the night.

“Gambit is absolutely flying and bursting to win a race,” King said. “Last week he worked industriously out wide and still stuck on doggedly. The horror draw means we just get a better price.”

Longshot guru Pat Harding has opted for Alice Kay as his star bet.

“Looks like a tough night for punters at GP this Friday night,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three with No. 3 Alice Kay. She has been very consistent. Had a win four starts ago and I think is poised to win again over the 2130 metre journey.”

The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Soho Broadway in the last.

“Former Victorian winner Soho Broadway impressed in a front-running victory at Pinjarra last Monday and looks set to open her WA city winning account,” Manning said. “The Gary Hall-trained filly recently arrived from Melbourne after winning at Melton, Maryborough, Shepparton and Kilmore. She was unplaced in her first Gloucester Park appearance, but quickly bounced back at Pinjarra and delivered a glimpse of her quality.”

 

VALUE BETS

WAYNE: I’m thinking Al Guerrero can find the top in race four and from there he will give likely favourite Gambit a run for his money. He’s each-way all day for mine.

MATT: Bee Seventeen is racing really well without being able to hit the scoreboard. He will need some luck from this draw but it’s a suitable race.

KEN: For value, I suggest Mandy Joan from the inside of the back line in race two. Aiden de Campo should give her a soft trip before asking her to unwind a strong finishing burst.

RYAN: Bracken Sky has the trailing draw behind Wildwest to give him the opportunity of filling a place at a healthy quote.

HAYDEN: Three Rumours was crossed and beaten by Sahara Storm last time. This time, they’ll be fully cognisant of that threat and the varied start point gives Three Rumours an advantage. She won’t be a huge price, but she may be slightly overlooked and therefore value.

PAT: My value bet comes up in race four with No. 6 Walsh. A bit unlucky at its last start but with Emily Suvaljko aboard I think he can bounce back and record a good win.

ERNIE: Leap Of Faith has won once in her past 22 starts and a second is the sole placing from the mare’s last nine appearances. But the Luke Edwards-trained five-year-old has flagged a return to form which enabled her to win the Easter Cup at Gloucester Park last April. She looked close to her best when a Gloucester Park runner-up two weeks ago.

Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week.

Good punting.