An impressive 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning by High Price showed that the Alta Christiano two-year-old should prove hard to beat at his debut when he starts from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Rock N Roll World Pedigree Perfection Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The gelding, trained by Gary Hall snr, began speedily from barrier four in the six-horse trial and sped to the front after 90m before setting the pace and sprinting over the final 400m in 28.4sec. when second, beaten a short half-head by Free Wheeling, who trailed him throughout.
Free Wheeling took a narrow lead 250m from the finish and the two youngsters were locked together all the way down the home straight. High Price was not extended by Gary Hall jnr.
Hall jnr has given punters a good lead by choosing to drive the inexperienced High Price in preference to the Justin Prentice-trained Rambo Rabbit, who has been handled by Hall in his four starts for a first-up fourth behind Sunpatra at Pinjarra, followed by successive wins at Pinjarra and a last-start second to Swingband at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Rambo Rabbit will be driven by Cody Wallrodt from barrier six.
“I’ll drive High Price just because of the draw,” said Hall jnr. “He does everything all right, and he flew out in the trial. So, I expect him to lead, and he does go pretty good.
“It is a really good race and High Price has been thrown in at the deep end, or even more likely he’s been thrown in into Mariana’s Trench.”
Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell has the Alta Christiano gelding Swingband racing in wonderful style, with three wins from his four starts, including his excellent last-to-first victory over Rambo Rabbit and See The World last Friday night.
Swingband will start from the outside barrier in the field of eight on Friday night, with reinsman Aiden de Campo saying: “It will be harder this week. He has the ability on his side, but it looks hard from the outside gate.”
Emily Suvaljko said that she expected a strong effort from the Craig Hynam-trained Path Of Gold, who will start from barrier three.
“Path Of Gold hit the line really well last week when fourth behind Swingband,” she said. “He is extremely consistent, and I’d say that he will race three back on the pegs.”