Gardys Legacy Poised to Set the Pace

14 May 2020 | Ken Casellas

Ace Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has Gardys Legacy racing in top form and the West Australian-bred gelding is poised to set the pace and win the $50,000 Perth Plasterboard Centre Pearl Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Prentice is hoping that Gardys Legacy will repeat his easy victory in a heat of the Pearl when he led from barrier one and defeated Sukhovey Windman and Aristocratic Star on Tuesday of last week. His level of confidence rose sharply when Gardys Legacy again drew the prized No. 1 barrier.

Awkward barriers certainly did not help Prentice in the first two editions of the Pearl when Our Corelli was a $47.10 chance from out wide at barrier No. 8 and finished tenth in the inaugural running of the Group 2 classic in 2018. And last year Back In Twenty was a $10 chance from the back line and finished tenth behind Theo Aviator.

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr again will be in the sulky behind Gardys Legacy, a Bettor’s Delight gelding who has shown excellent promise in a brief career of 13 starts for six wins and two seconds.

Gardys Legacy’s two runs before his last-start victory were full of merit. He raced four back on the pegs before finishing strongly to be fourth behind Patronus Star in the 2536m WA Derby on April 3, and then, two weeks later, he trailed the pacemaker Double Expresso when a fighting second to that star filly who dashed over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and rated 1.56.2 over the 2130m journey.

Prentice has an excellent second-string runner in this week’s event in Aristocratic Star, a winner of five races and an eye-catching last-start third behind Gardys Legacy on Tuesday of last week when he charged home from ninth at the bell. However, Aristocratic Star, who will be handled by Stuart McDonald, faces a stern test from the outside barrier (No. 9).

Successful Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who won the inaugural Pearl Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings two years ago with the brilliant Jack Mac (as well preparing the third placegetter Robshaw), has three runners in the field of ten Shoot Through (barrier six), Tux And Tails (seven) and Classic Choice (solitary runner on the back line). All three will need a good slice of luck to score un upset victory over Gardys Legacy.

Chris Lewis, who drove Jack Mac to victory in the Pearl two years ago, will handle Tux And Tails, Dylan Egerton-Green will drive Shoot Through and Chris Voak will be behind Classic Choice.       

Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed will be pinning his faith on Valentines Brook and The Code Breaker. Valentines Brook (Shannon Suvaljko) has shown plenty of promise with six wins and six placings from 19 starts. He is badly drawn out wide at barrier eight.

The Code Breaker, who is better drawn at barrier four, recorded successive wins, at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park, before racing three back on the pegs and finishing a fair fourth behind Gardys Legacy at his latest appearance. He will be driven by Michael Grantham.

Sukhovey Windman, to be driven by Kim Prentice for Byford trainer Brendan Abbott, will start from the No. 5 barrier and is capable of a forward showing. He followed an all-the-way win at Bunbury with a head second to Intheskyrocket at Pinjarra and a sound second to Gardys Legacy, after trailing the pacemaker throughout.