Talented mare My Sweet Deal is fit and ready to resume racing after she confused her driver Kyle Harper when she was at the rear 600m from home and stumbled for no apparent reason and fell in a race at Gloucester Park eight weeks ago.
“She has performed well in winning two trials at Pinjarra since then,” said Harper, who is happy that she has drawn the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Tammy, Tara and Dorina Giving Back Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
My Sweet Deal, owned and trained at Collie by David Hunter, ran home strongly to easily win a six-horse 2185m trial from Howard Hughes at Pinjarra on June 23, with final quarters of 29.8sec. and 27.9sec. Then on Wednesday of last week she trailed the pacemaker Mileys Desire in a three-horse trial before bursting to the front with 400m to travel and winning, untouched by two metres, from Superfecta. She ran the final quarters in 29.6sec. and 27.7sec.
The New Zealand-bred My Sweet Deal has had 35 starts for 11 wins, nine seconds and one third for stakes of $78,238. Harper said that My Sweet Deal was ready to run a strong race, but conceded she was sure to meet with stiff opposition from Alice Kay and Alta Intrigue.
Alice Kay, prepared by Katja Warwick, will start out wide at barrier No. 7 with Shannon Suvaljko in the sulky. This will be the four-year-old’s fourth appearance after a spell, and she looks set to improve on her third behind Fifty Five Reborn last Friday week and her close second to Mini Mine Yet last Friday night.
“Alice Kay is ready to win,” said Suvaljko.
Champion trainer Gary Hall snr said that he expected seven-year-old Alta Intrigue (to be driven by Callan Suvaljko from barrier six) to prove hard to beat. “His run last week (when a strong-finishing second to See Ya Write in the Higgins Memorial) was good and he can win.
“Alta Intrigue has had too many injury problems over the years and is not the horse he was. But there is not a lot of depth in Friday night’s field.”
Emily Suvaljko will be driving seven-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Heza Head Honcho from the No. 2 barrier for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett.
“Heza Head Honcho will be leading,” said Suvaljko. “He is one of the quickest horses I’ve sat behind. He meets the likes of Alta Intrigue and Alice Kay, and I will be trying to get away with what we can.”
Suvaljko said that she gave all her eight drives an each-way chance. She said she was confident that the Nathan Turvey-trained Miracle Moose would fight out the finish of the Delta Print Pace over 2130m. Miracle Moose resumed after a spell in fine style last Friday night when he finished strongly from fourth at the bell to be second, two lengths behind the brilliant Magnificent Storm.
“It was a really good effort,” she said. “Nathan thought he was a bit underdone and he should be improved by the run. He is definitely the class horse of this week’s race in which there is a bit of speed inside and outside of us. But we know the horse is very versatile and we can drive him tough or as a sprinter.”
Chris Voak has refused to concede victory to Miracle Moose. He will drive Space Junk from the prized No. 1 barrier for Hopeland trainer Giles Inwood.
Space Junk returned to his best form with a smart all-the-way victory over Free To Air and The Watch Maker last Friday night, and Voak aims to set the pace, saying: “His run was very good. He showed really good gate speed and he should be able to repeat the dose this week.
“He led comfortably, and we will try to lead and roll along like last week. Hardest to beat will be Miracle Moose.”
Voak is also looking forward to driving Star Of Diamonds in the 2130m Northern Rivers Equine Stallions Pace for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett. The four-year-old mare who has won at eight of her 34 starts will begin out wide at barrier eight and will clash with other talented mares Mandy Joan and Mini Mine Yet.
“If she was at her best, I would expect her to win comfortably,” said Voak. “Barry said that she is working well at home. We will get a better guide after the race.”
Emily Suvaljko will drive the Nathan Turvey-trained Mini Mine Yet, who will start from the No. 5 barrier. Mini Mine Yet impressed last Friday night when she raced in eighth position before charging home over the final 450m with a three and four-wide burst to win by a half-length from Alice Kay.
“I think Mini Mine Yet is in peak form and therefore I expect her to run a good race,” said Suvaljko. “Ideally, we would like to stay in front of the two class mares (Mandy Joan and Alice Kay). Mandy Joan is sure to have improved with last week’s run. But we beat her quite comfortably.”
Shannon Suvaljko said he was preparing to make life very tough for outstanding four-year-old Minstrel, the backmarker off 40 metres in the 2503m Jandakot Training Centre Handicap in which he will drive up-and-coming four-year-old Awaitinginstructions from the pole position on the front line.
Awaitinginstructions, trained at Serpentine by Matt Scott, set a bold pace when a wonderful second to Minstrel in the 2503m BOTRA Cup last Friday week. That followed country wins at his five previous outings.
“He gave Minstrel a bit of curry last start,” said Suvaljko. “From No. 1 I will be able to roll to the front and keep rolling, and make it hard for Minstrel, who is a quality horse.”