Ken Casellas Reviews Gloucester Park's Meeting Friday 8 May

11 May 2020 | Ken Casellas
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Big plans for Arma Indie

Astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed notched his third victory in the group 2 WASBA Breeders Stakes when brilliant four-year-old Arma Indie gave a bold frontrunning display to beat Delightfulreaction and Balcatherine in the 2130m feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

And Reed and owners Jim and Wilma Giumelli are now setting their sights on the Mares Classic next summer, a $125,000 event in which Arma Indie finished a sound third behind Gotta Go Gabbana and Our Alfie Romeo early last December.

Reed’s previous successes in the Breeders Stakes were with Libertybelle Midfrew in 2015 and Maczaffair in 2018.

Arma Indie, favourite at $2.70 and driven by Shannon Suvaljko, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and after fending off an early spirited challenge from outsider Just Rockon Bye, was untroubled to bowl along in front before sprinting strongly over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.7sec. to win by one and a half lengths from Delightfulreaction, who trailed the pacemaker throughout.

Balcatherine, second fancy at $3.70, raced three back on the pegs in fifth position and was hopelessly blocked for a run until the final stages when she ran home solidly.

Arma Indie, who was having her second run after a spell, has had 24 starts for nine wins, seven placings and $143,841.

She was bred and owned in New Zealand by Davinia Harrison and Johnny Mathers, who accepted a “sizeable offer” from Mr and Mrs Giumelli after stylish victories over 200m at Otago and 2200m at Invercargill in January 2019. They were the filly’s first two appearances as a three-year-old after she had had eight starts as a two-year-old without a win and for a second and two thirds.

Her final run as a two-year-old was a strong indication of her undoubted ability when she finished second to Princess Tiffany in the $150,000 group 1 Diamond Classic at Cambridge.

No trouble for Chicago Bull

Champion pacer Chicago Bull returned to his best form with a vengeance at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he overcame a wide draw at barrier eight and surged home from the rear to win the 2536m Vale Gavin Lang Free-For-All.

Favourite at $1.50, Chicago Bull was driven patiently by Gary Hall jnr, who was content to settled the seven-year-old in last position in the field of ten as noted frontrunner Talktomeumattjesty set the pace with Im Soxy next on the pegs and followed along the inside by Im Full of Excuses and Dreamy Night, leaving El Jacko racing without cover in fifth place.

Chicago Bull moved to eighth with a lap to travel before surging forward, four wide at the 400m and hitting the front 150m later. With final quarters of 28.3sec. and 28.4sec., Chicago Bull won by just under a length from Im Full of Excuses, with Vultan Tin rattling home from last at the bell to finish third.

Chicago Bull, who rated 1.56.5, now has won 45 races and been placed 19 times from 70 starts for earnings of $1,773,632.

Mighty Ronaldo has Pearl in his sights

Stylish colt Mighty Ronaldo enhanced his prospects of winning the rich Pearl Classic on June 12 when he set the pace and romped home an easy winner over the talented Lavra Joe in the 2130m Vision Produce Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The win completed a treble for star reinsman Gary Hall jnr who had been successful earlier on the program with Chicago Bull and Semiramide.

Mighty Ronaldo, prepared at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, started from the prized No. 1 barrier and justified his favouritism at $1.60 with his effortless triumph. Purchased for $22,000 at the APG yearling sale in WA, the Alta Christiano colt has now earned $25,399 from two wins and a second placing from four starts.

He is the third foal and the first winner out of Bettor’s Delight mare Millwoods Delight, who raced 47 times for six wins, nine placings and $49,648 in stakes. Four of her wins were in WA.

Mighty Ronaldo set a dawdling early pace with a slow lead time of 40.1sec. and an opening quarter in 31.4sec. He showed his class by sprinting over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 28sec.

Lavra Joe, who started from the outside barrier in the field of seven, lost few admirers. Chris Lewis sent him forward, three wide, in the early stages and he raced in the breeze before fighting on doggedly to just hold out the fast-finishing Robbie Rocket, who flashed home along the inside after racing three back on the pegs and being blocked for a clear passage until the final stages.

Barriers make a big difference

Art Tutor started a rank outsider at $126 and at $51 when unplaced at his two runs leading into Friday night’s Budget Stockfeeds Pace at Gloucester Park when he was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier.

And the five-year-old Victorian-bred stallion did not let his supporters down when, as the $2.70 favourite (and at $3.10 on the fixed odds market), he set the pace and held on to win by a half-length from Roll With Me, who trailed the pacemaker before battling on doggedly.

Art Tutor also appreciated a drop in class after he had started from barrier nine a fortnight earlier and finished tenth behind Papinik and then, from the No. 5 barrier the previous Friday night, he finished fourth behind The Buckeye Bullet.

His frontrunning display on Friday night was virtually a carbon copy of his effort as a $2.10 favourite four starts earlier, at his first appearance for trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi, when he began from the No. 1 barrier and was untroubled to set the pace and win easily from Smart Fortune.  

On Friday night Art Tutor was beaten out by Cavalry Call (from barrier three), but that pacer was unable to cross to the front as Cortopassi kicked through on the inside to assume control. Art Tutor, who dashed over the final 800m in 57sec., has raced 80 times for nine wins, 24 placings and $81,415, won once from 15 starts in Victoria (at Shepparton as a three-year-old in September 2017) before arriving in Western Australia.

He is the seventh and last foal out of Atomic Fusion, who also produced handy performers in Giggling Girl (15 wins and $136,219), Ay Tee Em (13 wins and $117,865) and The Fat Man (13 wins and $80,845).

Johnson scores with Bletchley Park

Young reinsman Mark Johnson celebrated his first drive behind smart Victorian-bred four-year-old Bletchley Park by landing the stallion a decisive winner of the 2130m Larkhill Vets Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Bletchley Park, third favourite at $4, impressed in finishing powerfully from eighth at the bell to burst to the front 100m from the post and score by just over a length from Valbonne, rating 1.56.9.

Valbonne ($12) ran home powerfully from tenth at the bell to give prominent owner Albert Walmsley a quinella result. It also gave Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed the first of two winners from two starters on Friday night. He was also successful with the promising Walmsley-owned Lord Roscoe, who was driven by Aimee-Lee Wood to a dashing all-the-way victory at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park.

Bletchley Park has had 29 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $197,345. By American Ideal, Bletchley Park is out of the Caprock mare Alldatglittersisgold, a dam of eight winners of 119 races, including star performers Baby Bling and Bling It On.

Baby Bling raced 55 times for 21 wins, ten placings and $854,490 in stakes. Her major group 1 successes were in a Mares Classic at Gloucester Park, the 2011 Australian Oaks at Melton and the 2013 Miracle Mile at Menangle.

Bling It On amassed $1,833,597 in prizemoney from 48 wins and 20 placings from 95 starts.

Marquisard, an easy all-the-way winner of 2130m the previous week, was favourite at $1.95 from the No. 1 barrier. After a modest lead time of 38sec., Marquisard set a solid pace before wilting in the home straight to finish third. Another last-start winner in Pradas Ideal Dahling was second favourite at $3.90, but he disappointed in fading to last after racing without cover throughout.

Saleahs Comand makes a flying start

Maddison Brown stole a march on her ten rivals in the 1730m Insure With PSC Bloodstock Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she got $29.90 outsider Saleahs Comand away to a flying start.

Most punters considered that the polemarker Ideal Investment ($2.80) would set the pace and prove hard to beat, with Soho Thunderstruck ($1.85) expected to fight out the finish.

However, Brown urged Saleahs Comand forward from the outside barrier (No. 9) and the experienced seven-year-old gelding revealed dazzling early speed to burst past Ideal Investment and into the lead after about 75m.

Saleahs Comand relished his pacemaking role, with ideal Investment enjoying a perfect trail behind the frontrunner and Soho Thunderstruck forced to work in the breeze.

Saleahs Comand, trained and part-owned by Sue Wiscombe, dashed over the final 400m sections in 28.5sec. and 28.7sec. and won by 2m from Dominate The Dojo ($21), who ran on after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Ideal Investment was a head Away in third place, with Bettor Be Oscar (a winner at his three previous outings) catching the eye with a fast-finishing burst, out four wide, to be fourth after racing in ninth position.

Saleahs Comand, who had led from barrier one and scrambled to a half-head victory over 2130m two starts earlier, now has raced 82 times for 13 wins and 23 placings for earnings of $118,144.

A successful combination

Up-and-coming star reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green has formed a wonderful and successful association with six-year-old Our Perkins and he chalked up his eighth win behind the WA-bred gelding when he guided him to an all-the-way victory in the 2130m Ramsays Horse Transport Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of nine.    

Our Perkins, favourite at $1.70 and trained at Byford by part-owner Karen Thompson, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he was rated perfectly by Egerton-Green on his way to scoring by just over a length from Attack On Command, who enjoyed an ideal passage behind the leader. A Boy Named Rosie, unplaced at his previous eight starts, finished solidly from tenth at the bell to be third, just ahead of Destined To Rule.

Our Perkins has been a handy performer and now has earned $79,224 from ten wins and 14 placings from 58 starts. By American stallion Rocknroll Hanover, Our Perkins is the second foal out of the unraced Grinfromeartoear mare Foxy Cleo.

Foxy Cleo’s dam Shes Our Angel won four times from 28 starts in Victoria in the early 1990s before being sent to the stud where she has produced ten winners, including Sky Tower, who had 234 starts for 36 wins (34 in Tasmania and two in South Australia) and 74 placings, and Nightn Georgie, who won 11 times from 27 starts in Victoria before her final four runs were unplaced efforts in WA in 2002.

Runaway Three’s claim to fame

New Zealand-bred gelding Runaway Three has been a handy performer whose main aim to fame is that he is closely related to former start American pacer Beach Towel.

Runaway Three is by the Canadian-bred super sire Mach Three and is out of American broodmare No Paba, whose dam Sunburn also produced Beach Towel, who shone in America in the early 1990s when  he amassed $2,570,357 from 29 wins and five placings from just 36 starts.

Runaway Three, trained and driven by Corey Peterson, is also a half-brother to Nearea Franco, a smart mare who had 34 starts for 11 wins, 11 placings and $440,875 in stakes.

At Gloucester Park on Friday night Runaway Three was favourite at $3.10 from the No. 4 barrier in the 2130m Milne Feeds Made For WA Pace, in which the polemarker McArdles Gem was second fancy at $3.20.

McArdles Gem led for the first 220m and then Brett Smith was content to take the sit behind Runaway Three. After a slow lead time of 38.6sec. and a dawdling first quarter of the final mile in 32.6sec. Gary Hall jnr sent Our Rhythm N Blues forward to assume the position in the breeze.

Our Rhythm N Blues got on terms with Runaway Three approaching the home turn, but Runaway Three carried too many guns and forged clear in the home straight to beat Our Rhythm N Blues by just under a length, rating a modest 1.58.5. Walsh, who started from the inside of the back line, raced three back on the pegs before moving into the one-wide line at the bell. He finished solidly into third place.

Runaway Three has raced 75 times for 16 wins, 16 placings and stakes of $137,481.

Brown’s Dream Double

Maddison Brown left Gloucester Park on Friday night with a perfect record --- two drives for two wins. After winning race seven with outsider Saleahs Comand, she was successful with $2.30 favourite Advance Your Dream in race nine, the Double Your Dollars With A Star Allwood Stud Stallion Pace.

Advance Your Dream, a promising three-year-old filly, completed a double for champion trainer Gary Hall snr, who was successful earlier in the night with Chicago Bull.

Brown got Advance Your Dream away speedily from the No. 4 barrier and the filly was always in complete control, dictating terms in front and coasting to a 7m victory over $41 outsider Our Star Carly, with Blue Chip Adda ($3.30) a well-beaten third.

Advance Your Dream dawdled through the lead time in 40.2sec. and followed with very comfortable opening quarters of 33.3sec. and 31.1sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 27.9sec. and 27.8sec.

The winner is by Advance Attack and is a half-sister to the hardy nine-year-old Tanaka Eagle, a veteran of 281 starts for 24 wins, 47 placings and $259,713 in prizemoney. Tanaka Eagle ended a losing sequence of 71 when he was successful at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening.

Advance Your Dream has had 20 starts for three wins, seven placings and $39,962.

It’s Semiramide again

Five-year-old mare Semiramide, who ended a 12-month drought and broke a losing sequence of 23 with an all-the-way victory in the Race For Roses last Friday week, repeated the dose with another frontrunning victory in the 2096m Fresh Express Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

This gave the New Zealand-bred pacer a perfect record in stands --- two appearances in the space of eight days for two wins.

Semiramide, trained by Giles Inwood and driven by Gary Hall jnr, was second favourite at $3.80 from the inside of the front line. She jumped straight into the lead but had to withstand a spirited challenge for the lead over the first 300m from $61 outsider Allwood Peacemaker.

Punters groaned when $2.50 favourite The Bird Dance galloped from the back mark of 20m and settled down several lengths behind Semiramide. Newcomer Divinia Bellezza, a stablemate of The Bird Dance, galloped badly and lost about six lengths.

Dylan Egerton-Green sent Divinia Bellezza forward and into the breeze after a lap. The mare was fighting on doggedly in fourth position on the home turn when she was checked and broke. The Bird Dance started a three-wide move from the rear approaching the bell and put in an outstanding performance to finish a close-up fourth.  

Semiramide now has had 57 starts for eight wins, 16 placings and $72,870 in prizemoney.