Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Galactic Star is poised for his 31st win after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2536m In Appreciation of Bill Crabb Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The evergreen eight-year-old, who will be driven by ace reinsman Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is an excellent frontrunner who has set the pace at seven of his Gloucester Park victories.
He has been unplaced from poor draws at his past three runs since he led from barrier four and won from Vultan Tin and Bletchley Park over 2536m when he dashed over the final 800m in 55.5sec.
Galactic Star began out wide from barrier seven when he worked hard in the breeze for most of the 2130m journey before wilting to finish sixth behind his talented stablemate Mighty Conqueror, who led from barrier one and defeated Diego and Runaway Three last Friday week.
Mighty Conqueror faces a sterner test this week when he will start from the outside barrier in a field of nine. He will be handled by Dylan Egerton-Green.
Adding interest to the race will be the return to action of six-year-old Jack Farthing, a New Zealand-bred pacer in the stables of Justin Prentice. Jack Farthing won at his WA debut when he ran on to beat Braeview Bondi over 2536m last October. Then, after finishing third behind Chicago Bull and Shockwave at his next start, he was unplaced in top company at his following three starts before being sent for a spell.
Jack Farthing warmed up for his return to racing in fine style with a most encouraging win in a seven-horse trial over 2185m at Pinjarra last Wednesday week. He raced in last position before Aiden de Campo eased him off the pegs and sent him forward with a lap to travel.
Jack Farthing finished strongly to gain a last-stride victory over Aliman and Jack Mac in a three-way photo finish. The final 400m sections were covered in 27.9sec. and 27.5sec. and the winner rated 1.56.6.
Jack Farthing will start from barrier four and Prentice is confident of a good first-up performance. “The trial was good, and Aiden was happy with him,” said Prentice. “He settled really well which is obviously the main thing.
“He is up to the class, but first-up over 2536m we will be on the cautious side, and, hopefully, he’ll hit the line strongly.”
Phil Costello’s nine-year-old Vultan Tin is in excellent form and should make a bold bid for victory. He will start out wide at barrier eight and Emily Suvaljko is likely to send him forward to race in the breeze.
Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is happy with Im Full Of Excuses draw at barrier two, and said that after working strongly this week, the nine-year-old was capable of a bold showing.