El Padrino gets his chance against moderate opposition
06 September 2012
by Ken Casellas
El Padrino arrived in Western Australia two years ago with a record of 15 wins and 16 placings from 44 starts and as a potential WA Pacing Cup candidate. But he has been plagued by injury and has managed only nine starts for two minor placings in WA for leading trainer Gary Hall sen.
The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old will resume after an absence of just over five months when he contests the Playstation Pace over 1700m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
He will start from the outside (barrier two) on the back, line against moderate opposition and his class should carry him to a first-up victory, despite Hall’s pessimism.
“He’s had a lot of problems, including a bowed tendon,” Hall said. “I couldn’t back him with counterfeit money, but he’s working quite well and it is not a strong field. He’s a chance and he can win.
El Padrino has a losing sequence of ten and under the recently instituted rules he has been reclassified from an M2-class pacer down to an M1 classification, thus enabling him to contest Friday night’s event which is restricted to M0 and M1-class performers.
El Padrino is a versatile pacer, who has led and won races as well as winning after producing powerful finishing bursts from well back in the field.
Hall is also lacking his usual confidence about the prospects of The Best Chance, another injury-plagued pacer who will reappear after a spell in the Cybershot Pace over 2100m.
The Best Chance, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old who has raced only 17 times for seven wins and one placing, is handily drawn at the No. 3 barrier on the front line and will clash with smart last-start winner Son of Fergie and in-form performers Bakerandthefatman, Artesian Boy, The Forger and Elite Angel.
“The Best Chance has drawn a little bit awkwardly, but he’s good enough to win, though I reckon he will probably need the run,” Hall said. “Whatever he does he will improve on. He has run some serious times, including rating 1.56.4 when he won over 2100m at Gloucester Park last October.
Bet The Max, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old, a winner at Addington two years ago and a winner of five races at Globe Derby Park, will have his first start for Hall in the 2100m Xperia Pathway Pace.
Bet The Max will be fancied at his WA debut after drawing barrier one on the front line. “He’s won races when leading and I think that’s what we’ll try to do,” Hall said.