Suvalkjo for Salacious Gossip

17 April 2019 | Ken Casellas

Shannon Suvaljko, last season's leading West Australian driver, will handle the promising Art Major mare Salacious Gossip for the first time when the five-year-old starts from barrier five in the 2130m Happy Easter From Gloucester Park Pace at pacing headquarters on Thursday night.

Suvaljko, who has driven 83 winners this season, will replace outstanding young reinsman Bailey McDonough, who has handled Salacious Gossip at her past 16 starts for his grandfather, Bunbury trainer Frank Bonnett.

Salacious Gossip has been in fine form this season, with four wins and four seconds from 13 starts. She was rated perfectly by McDonough when she set the pace and won convincingly from Jilliby Tango and The War Nurse at a 1.58.4 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week.

McDonough has opted to take drives in seven events at the meeting at Wagin on Thursday night. Salacious Gossip, who has won twice at Gloucester Park, Bunbury and Pinjarra, will be seriously tested by the brilliant four-year-old Cott Beach, who has returned to racing after a nine-month absence in excellent form, with an impressive last-start victory over Mister Bushido at Gloucester Park after a second to Liam Neil and a third behind Warfare and Vincenzo Peruggia.

Vincenzo Peruggia will have a big following when he starts from barrier two in the Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace over 2130m on Thursday night. The Tony Svilicich-trained five-year-old will be driven by Lindsay Harper and will clash with in-form pacers Luis Alberto, Our Alfie Romeo, The Art Form and Kimani.

Vincenzo Peruggia maintained his consistent form at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he finished determinedly from fourth at the bell to be a close second to The Midas Touch over 1730m. He has had 22 starts for Svilicich for six wins, seven seconds and two thirds.

Luis Alberto, another five-year-old who is racing with wonderful heart, is sure to prove hard to beat from the No. 1 barrier. Luis Alberto has been finishing powerfully in recent starts from unfavourable barriers for Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis, who has given the Bettors Delight gelding nine starts for five wins, one second, one third and two fourth placings.

Luis Alberto possesses good gate speed and Jocelyn Young is sure to seriously contemplate taking full advantage of this from the inside draw.