The big one has arrived – the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) – and what a race it promises to be.
Good luck picking the winner! It’s one of the most open Pacing Cups we’ve seen in a long time.
Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have, wisely, landed elsewhere when selecting a special for the stellar 10-event card at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Award-winning journalist Ken Casellas has made Babyface Adda his best for the night.
“Babyface Adda is a solid stayer and he gets the nod as my best bet on Friday night after his excellent third behind Captured Delight and Beat City in the 2560m Northam Cup last Saturday night,” Casellas said. “He started off the 30m mark at Northam and was ninth with 450m to travel before surging home out wide on the track. I expect him to lead for trainer-reinsman Cody Wallrodt in the third race on Friday night and hold out likely strong challenges from Beat City, Sangue Reale, Gambit and Mirragon.”
However, that’s not the way TABtouch’s Matt Young or longshot guru Pat Harding see the race unfolding.
“Gambit is a tough staying type and should be driven in that capacity this week,” Young said. “This looks a really good race for him.”
And Harding agrees.
“On the face of it, this Friday night could be a good night for Gary Hall Jr,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three with No. 4 Gambit. Ran a good second last week but I think he can go one better this week.”
The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on Vultan Tin in race four.
“Vultan Tin was the winner of the most recent WA Pacing Cup but two wins (at Pinjarra and Narrogin) since weren’t enough to guarantee his place in this year’s edition,” Havercroft said. “I think connections will be looking to make a statement in the Parliamentarians Cup and barrier two is the closest he has drawn to the pegs in a long time. Unplaced at his last 11 efforts, but I’d expect him to figure here.”
TABtouch’s Hayden King has left his best bet until the last race.
“The Notorious One is infamously intractable, hence why he no doubt has been extradited to Callan Suvaljko’s care,” King said. “However, from the pole, he can muster up to lead and make mockery of his roguish reputation to show his true ability – which he certainly does have.”
The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has opted for Ragazzo Mach as his star bet.
“New Zealand import Ragazzo Mach gets the chance to open his Gloucester Park winning account after arriving in Perth with a big reputation,” Manning said. “He won seven Kiwi races and broke a track record, justifying his high price tag last year. The four-year-old showed his ability in Pinjarra wins at his first two WA starts, then ran creditable seconds at headquarters. Barrier nine put him out of calculations when he finished unplaced in the Nights Of Thunder Final, but he now appears to have factors in his favour.”
Media Guild president Wayne Currall has made Swingband his best for the night.
“Anyone who saw Swingband’s last run would have to be impressed,” Currall said. “Worked hard in the breeze outside eventual winner Tricky Miki in a slick 55.5 last 800m to finish a close third. I’m hoping Mickey G sends him to the top from his inside draw. From there he’s always going to be the horse to beat.”
KEN: For value, I suggest Purest Silk in race seven. She is the lone runner on the back line and looks set to enjoy a perfect trip behind the likely pacemaker Suing You. She has wonderful potential and will pay to follow.
MATT: Miracle Moose is drawn to get an amazing run. This horse is a potent sit/sprinter and if he gets an ounce of luck at the business end, he can win the Pacing Cup.
PAT: My value comes up in the main race, the WA Pacing Cup with No. 11 Chicago Bull. He performs well in big races and I think he can add to his more than $2.3million in prize money.
RYAN: Swingband’s two runs since resuming have both been meritorious and he should still be reaching peak fitness.
HAYDEN: Chicago Bull is bordering each-way odds in the feature. Pressure may come liberally early; Hampton Banner has sizzling gate speed but can’t survive attacks if he finds the front. Therefore, Mighty Conqueror, Balcatherine and possibly even Magnificent Storm will be pressing early. Chicago Bull can let the dust settle before finessing his way to the breeze and controlling the race. At this stage of his career, the distance can only help him.
ERNIE: Rock Me Over has not won in his past 23 starts, but the gelding is capable of overcoming a wide draw. A winner of 16 Gloucester Park races, he impressed when last Tuesday finishing second to break a sequence of seven unplaced runs.
WAYNE: Patronus Star was the eye-catching run in the Fremantle Cup when he charged home from last in the early stages and seven deep at the turn to just miss catching stablemate Minstrel. The back-line draw, plenty of pace in the race and the longer trip are all positives and he should be thundering home at the business end.
Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week