Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park is highlighted by the two Group 1s – the Allwood Stud Farm 2YO Colts & Geldings Westbred Classic (2130m) and the Allwood Stud Farm 2YO Westbred Fillies Classic (2130m) – with the “babies” racing for $100,000 in prize money in both events.
Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have delivered over recent weeks with their best bets, so let’s hope the trend continues this week.
Award-winning trotting journalist Ken Casellas has made his best bet Tricky Miki, who goes around in the boys’ division of the Westbred.
“A quality field of colts and geldings will contest the Westbred Classic on Friday night and I’m banking on the wonderful potential of the least experienced runner, Tricky Miki, to overcome an awkward barrier at No. 5 to deliver the goods,” Casellas said. “Therefore, I’m happy to name the Justin Prentice-trained gelding as my best bet. He had a tough run in the breeze all the way when second to Paul Edward at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. That followed his splendid debut on the same track two weeks earlier when he charged home from the rear to score a decisive victory in fast time.”
The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on the chances of Vespa in race eight.
“Vespa was smothered up until the closing stages when an eye-catching third behind Blue Blazer last week,” Havercroft said. “Recent form has been consistent and looks close to another win after placing at four of his last six starts.”
TABradio’s Matt Young believes Fanci A Dance can improve on his last-start second.
“Fanci A Dance is a talented type and has been consistent this preparation,” Young said. “This looks his race for the taking on Friday night.”
The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is a big fan of the promising To Fast To Serious.
“Cups class five-year-old To Fast To Serious has quickly returned to his best after a spell and could not have been more impressive when rating 1:54.5 to win from Lavra Joe a fortnight ago,” Manning said. “The Ray Williams-trained To Fast To Serious emerged as a quality performer by winning at eight of 10 starts as he headed to the last Perth summer carnival. He returned to racing last month and has won twice since a first-up sixth. The gelding looks primed to complete a winning hat-trick.”
But hold your horses, longshot guru Pat Harding has his best bet in the same race and it’s not To Fast To Serious.
“Looks like another fascinating night at GP,” Harding said. “Got a feeling a few outsiders might bob up. My best bet comes up in race seven with No. 1 Valbonne. He had a nice win two starts back and with only a small field and at a good price I think Michael Grantham can steer him home.”
TABradio’s Hayden King and Guild president Wayne Currall are firmly in the camp of Shockwave, who made an impressive return to the racetrack last week.
“Shockwave made them look ordinary last week, and they were anything but,” King said. “He proved a class apart and reeled off thrilling sectionals, even while first-up. The incredible thing is he is still learning and achieving what he is achieving while displaying some lurks. He is the best horse in WA.”
And Currall agrees.
“Shockwave was scintillating in his return to the track after a seven-month spell,” Currall said. “Stand-in reinsman Michael Grantham must have been giggling to himself during the run as the horse appeared to be cruising in the lead. Shockwave is reunited with his regular driver Aiden De Campo on Friday night and will take a power of beating, despite the presence of the classy Bond pair of Patronus Star and Mighty Conqueror.”
KEN: For value, I suggest Pierre Whitby from the back line in the final event. He has a losing sequence of 17, which includes just three placings, the latest of which was an eye-catching second to Regal Cheval on Tuesday evening when he finished boldly, out wide, from eighth and last in the middle stages and sixth at the bell.
RYAN: At an indicative price of $51, Shanway is worth an each-way ticket in an eight-horse field. I’ll forgive a last-start eighth after facing the breeze.
MATT: Champagne Everyone has a good turn of foot and will get a soft run. Will be at a stupid price and has a chance at big odds.
ERNIE: Veteran gelding Qtown Rip Roaring has not won in his past 20 starts, but is showing glimpses of being ready for a victory. He was prominent at Gloucester Park in three recent appearances and last Friday night finished fourth after being blocked for a run.
PAT: My best double comes up in race six with No. 10 Taking The Miki. She has been so consistent and should hug the fence and allow Chris Voak to get a late sprint home.
HAYDEN: I think they’ll take the initiative to lead this week on Thereugo. He could open up at a mildly attractive price and he’s been racing well. I don’t think they’ll be able to catch him.
WAYNE: With the scratching of Finvarra in the opening event, Sugar Street appeals as the one to beat. There should be plenty of early speed in this race, which will enable leading reinsman Chris Voak to get his charge into the running line.
Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week.
by Wayne Currall