Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Banjup trainer Dylan Egerton-Green has taken over the training of classy filly Zephyra, and he declared: “I think she will be in the mix in Friday night’s race.”
Zephyra is awkwardly drawn at barrier six in the opening event, the 2130m Noah George Race Night Pace, and Egerton-Green is likely to rely on her excellent sit-sprint ability.
“This is a nice field, and Zephyra is a good sit-sprinter, a trait of her mother Tricky Styx,” said Egerton-Green, who has driven the filly at her three starts, for a debut third at Northam, followed by fast-finishing victories at Gloucester Park at her next two starts.
Egerton-Green said that owner-trainer Jesse Moore had offered him the opportunity to train Zephyra because he had a problem with not having horses to work with the filly at Northam. “She needed to be able to work with other horses to assist with her education,” said Egerton-Green.
“I have had her for two weeks, and she is learning every time she goes around. Sometimes she doesn’t know exactly what her job is.”
The Mike Reed-trained Cabsav should appreciate the No. 1 barrier and Shannon Suvaljko is sure to be keen to take full advantage of the prized draw. Cabsav raced in the breeze for much of the way when a fighting second to Wanea on Tuesday of last week.
Wanea, reappearing after a four-month absence and at her first start for her new trainer Chris Voak, began speedily from barrier five and did well to hold out Cabsav at the finish. She faces a stern test this week from barrier No. 9.
Gnangara trainer Luke Edwards is hoping for strong efforts from his two runners, Lucienne (barrier two) and August Moon (three). Lucienne will be driven by Emily Suvaljko, and Gary Hall Jnr will handle August Moon.
Lucienne finished strongly to win at Pinjarra on January 24 before having a break She resumed at Gloucester Park last week when she raced at the rear and finished fourth in the field of five behind Wanea. August Moon shows good promise, and she is overdue for a change of fortune after finishing second at her past four starts.
“August Moon will turn her four seconds into a win one day, when she gets to the front,” said Edwards. “She hasn’t been able to lead in a race yet, but she is learning and earning and getting closer to a win.”
August Moon warmed up for Friday’s race with a strong run in a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning. She settled in last place in the field of five, dashed forward to the breeze at the bell and took the lead at the 600m before finishing second to Velocipede.
Lucienne began speedily and set a modest pace before sprinting over the final 400m in 28.8sec. when she scored an easy win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning.
Edwards also has two runners — Leap Of Faith (Kyle Harper) and Texas Tara (Gary Hall Jnr) in the Michael Young Pacing Pace over 2130m. But they are awkwardly drawn at barriers six and seven, respectively, and are sure to meet with stiff opposition from the five horses drawn to their inside.
The Barry Howlett-trained nine-year-old Fanci A Dance has a losing sequence of 12, but he is racing with admirable heart and his placings at his past two starts, behind Valbonne and Alta Rhett, are pointers to a strong performance.
Blissfullabbey (barrier one), Pocket The Cash (two) and Rupert Of Lincoln (four) will also have many admirers. Blissfullabbey caught the eye last Friday night when she finished solidly from fifth on the pegs at the bell to be third behind smart mares Savvy Bromac and Angel In White.
Rupert Of Lincoln, prepared by Ross Olivieri, also is getting close to a win, following his good third behind Heez Our Perseus and Shadow Roll last week after working hard in the breeze.