It’s a mixed bag of best bets from the members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Friday night’s action-packed meeting at Gloucester Park.
TABradio’s Matt Young believes the unfortunate scratching of pre-post favourite Lavra Joe has opened the door for Otis in the $100,000 Group 1 3YO Westbred Colts & Geldings Classic (2130m).
“Otis gains a significant advantage after the scratching of Lavra Joe,” Young said. “He has the good draw to push forward and control the race. His form has been first class and he looks very hard to beat.”
The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Follow The Music in race seven.
“Barrier one should be the key to success for the Ross Olivieri-trained Follow The Music, who won clearly at Gloucester Park when he last drew the pole,” Manning said. “He is a most experienced youngster, having started in nine races for two wins and two fourths in $50,000 feature events. The colt finished close behind placegetters after starting from gate five on June 1.”
TABradio’s Hayden King is keeping his powder dry until the last race on the 10-event card.
“If Caveman can step in the final race I expect that he will run to the front and win,” King said. “He’s proven he is adept from behind the tapes and he’s racing admirably. Two starts back he made up excellent headway in quick sections, before he was unable to get into the race last start over the short trip.”
Award-winning trotting journalist Ken Casellas fancies the Collie-trained Henwood Bay in race two.
“Henwood Bay is tough and thrives on constant racing, and his determination has encouraged me to make him my best bet this week when he starts from barrier five in the second on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He issued a spirited challenge to Rakasinc last week and was gallant in defeat behind that powerful pacer.”
Longshot guru Pat Harding has opted for Rakasinc as his star bet.
“Looks like another interesting night at GP,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three in Rakasinc. He had a great win last week after previously knocking on the door and from barrier three I think he has a great opportunity to make it two wins in a row.”
However, that’s not how Media Guild president sees the race panning out.
“I respect Pat’s opinion and believe Rakasinc could be hard to beat, but Alta Blues has more upside,” Currall said. “That’s the reason I’m making him my best bet. His last two wins have underlined his class and with a winning strike rate of almost 50 per cent I think this son of Alta Christiano is destined for greater glory.”
MATT: Chiaroscuro has a nice draw, he’s been freshened up between runs and there could be some tempo in the race. More of a place chance, but respect.
ERNIE: Triroyale Brigade has been beaten at his past six appearances, but will be suited by a switch back to standing-start conditions. A winner twice from stands, the Robbie Williams-trained gelding impressed when a close second in his mobile event last Friday night.
HAYDEN: Vespa is going to need some luck, but he’s a very dangerous sit-sprinter. He gets a soft-trailing draw and, if Gary Hall Jr can manoeuvre him into the clear, he will be sizzling over the top. He was basically last at the bell last week and ran home gamely to finish third.
KEN: For value, I suggest Seven No Trumps in race seven. A smart Byford trial win showed that he is capable of improving on sixth placings at his past two starts.
PAT: My value bet comes in race five with No. 5 Aussie Scooter. This Bond-trained horse is looking for two wins on the trot and I think Ryan Warwick can bring him home.
WAYNE: Northern Gaze is drawn to get a lovely run behind likely leader Follow The Music in race seven. Disregard the “duck egg” next to his name from his last run. That was in the Pearl Classic. He’ll find this assignment much easier and looks a sound each-way play.
Click here to view all of the media guild tips for this week.
by Wayne Currall