Gilt Bromac and Grant Campbell in action.
While a Friday afternoon free for all at Mildura may not be the ideal preparation for a $20,000 mares’ feature at Tabcorp Park, for gun Great Western horseman Grant Campbell and his electric six-year-old Gilt Bromac it may be just what the doctor ordered.
In need of a serious hit-out to prepare her for this Friday night’s $20,000 HBV Jane Ellen at Victorian harness headquarters, Gilt Bromac was sent to the Sunraysia where she duly peeled off an exhilarating final 400 metres to claim her first win since Victoria Cup night last December.
And with her numerical formline now somewhat more synchronised with what Campbell believes is her real form, the electric daughter of Courage Under Fire returns to face some of the finest female pacers in the land with her confidence sky high.
“Her (Gilt Bromac’s) figure form had slipped a bit before we headed up to Mildura even though I knew she was travelling really, really well,” Campbell revealed.
“She just hadn’t had much luck. She went from running Broadways Best to a head to her form looking pretty ordinary on paper, so I just wanted to give her an easier run and she really pleased me with the way she won up there.
“But she’d never really dropped her form. The week before we went up to Mildura she clocked the second fastest last half (mile) on the programme.
“She went 54.8 and Pacific Playgirl went a touch quicker and that was the week before that mare went on to win the free for all over Decorated Jasper, so we knew she was still going very well.”
That Pacific Playgirl (barrier 6), Make Mine Cullen (7) and Talaspring (5) will all line up in this Friday’s 2240-metre co-feature is indicative of the incredible strength and depth of what is a golden era for mares in Victoria.
But with no single pacer dominating the female pacing scene and Broadways Best taking a sabbatical before her attack on the Grand Circuit next season, Campbell feels confident Gilt Bromac is as well placed as any to secure her second straight success this weekend.
“This group of mares are all extremely talented and they’re all extremely even,” the fiancée of iconic horsewoman Kerryn Manning said.
“But the draw (9) suits us this weekend. She (Gilt Bromac) can’t do any work and when she draws wide on the front line and has to go back to last it makes it pretty tough.
“From this gate we might be able to settle midfield where she can unleash her brilliant late burst. I haven’t driven one as quick as her for a very long time but she just needs to be held up until the 300 metre mark to do her best.
“But when she does, she really finishes her races like a train. Fingers crossed we get that run this Friday night.”