Veteran pacer Fanci A Dance has got the nod from star reinsman Chris Voak as his best winning prospect at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The WA-bred eight-year-old, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, has resumed after a let-up in splendid form, following an unlucky first-up eighth behind See Ya Write with a neck second to Miracle Moose (after racing without cover) and a last-start third behind My Prayer and Euphoria over 2130m last Saturday week.
At his latest appearance Fanci A Dance started from the inside of the back line and dashed forward, three wide, in the first lap before Voak restrained him back to the rear when he was unable to get the gelding into the breeze. Fanci A Dance then started another three-wide move 1100m from home and he raced in the breeze in the final lap to finish a gallant third behind My Prayer.
This week Fanci A Dance looks perfectly placed from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Fly Like An Eagle at the Allwood Stud Pace.
“It was a huge run at his last start, a massive performance when he wasn’t entitled to run in the top three,” said Voak. “He is strong, and I think he is a very strong winning chance. To lead or race in the breeze will be the plan.”
Voak is also expecting a strong effort from the Howlett-trained Star Of Diamonds in the 2130m Rock N Roll World Standing at Cobbitty Equine Pace for mares.
The four-year-old Star Of Diamonds is awkwardly drawn at barrier No. 7, and Voak said: “I’m not sure where we are going to get to from the draw. She has blistering gate speed, and I’ll see what Barry wants to do. She is a good each-way chance, regardless.”
Star Of Diamonds has caught the eye with splendid fighting efforts at her three appearances after resuming from a spell, working hard without cover for three second placings — behind Mini Mine Yet, Hit The Sky and Wainui Creek.
In what looks likely to develop into a terrific contest between some of the State’s best mares, Star Of Diamonds looks set to fight out the finish with Alta Louisa, Wainui Creek and Mandy Joan.
Alta Louisa, trained by Justin Prentice, will start from barrier five, giving her an early advantage over Star Of Diamonds (seven), Mandy Joan (eight) and Wainui Creek (nine). Alta Louisa notched her eighth win from 15 starts, and her fourth win from her past five outings, when she led from the No. 1 barrier, and after a slow lead time of 39.6sec. and slow opening quarters of 31.6sec. and 31.4sec. when she won by 2m from Born To Boogie last Friday night when the final 400m sections were covered in 29.3sec. and 27.4sec.
“This race will give us the chance to see where Alta Louisa is at,” said Hall. “She surprised me last week when she got a little bit too relaxed on me. I know that the other horse (Born To Boogie) is a fast horse, but it surprised me that she got that close.
“Alta Louisa held her the previous week when she sat on our back. This week Alta Louisa has drawn underneath all the stronger ones, and it will be interesting to see how she goes against Star Of Diamonds, Mandy Joan and Wainui Creek, who have been racing in Free For Alls. This week Alta Louisa should go forward and find the lead.”
Aiden de Campo trains and drives Mandy Joan, and he said that he expected the pace would be on, which would suit his mare. “I have been driving her quite cold of late, and she will probably go back at the start,” he said.