New Zealand-bred six-year-old Nota Bene Denario looks a good bet at his Australian debut when he starts from barrier No. 1 in the Allwood Stud Farm Pace, a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The son of American stallion Well Said, Nota Bene Denario excelled in standing-start events in New Zealand where four of his six wins from 49 starts were in stands, three over 2400m and one over 2700m.
He gave a sample of his ability when he won a 2150m mobile trial at Byford on Sunday morning for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr.
Driven by Gary Hall Jnr, Nota Bene Denario was not bustled at the start from the outside (No. 6) barrier and the gelding settled down in fourth position, five lengths behind the leader. He then enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before being switched three wide 650m from home and then taking the lead 100m later on his way to victory over Bettor My Dream, rating 1.59.9 after final quarters of 29.8sec. and 29.4sec.
Nota Bene Denario meets moderate opposition and should be capable of winning, with his chief rival likely to be veteran pacer Budd Sidewinder, who ended a losing sequence of 36 when he raced without cover in the middle stages before scoring an easy win in the 2590m Wagin Cup on Thursday of last week.
“Nota Bene Denario’s trial was good, and he should go close on Friday night,” said Hall Snr.
The Hall camp also has bright winning prospects with Diego in the 2130m Westral Pace in which the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line.
Diego, a winner at nine of his 32 starts, drops appreciably in class after seconds behind Mighty Conqueror and Miracle Moose at his past two appearance. Diego impressed last Friday when he ran home powerfully from fifth at the bell to be second to Miracle Moose over 2130m, with the final 800m being run in 55.5sec.