Glenledi Chief overcomes adversity
Cancer is an insidious disease which claims approximately ten million lives a year. Yet it is a comparatively rare affliction among horses.
Star reinsman Ryan Warwick was glowing with admiration for Glenledi Chief after driving him to victory in the Hamilton Content Creators Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night as he revealed the gelding was laid low by cancer and was on death’s door 12 months ago.
“He was going good, but he was skinny and just couldn’t hold his weight,” said Warwick, the stable foreman for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond.
“So, we sent him to the vet who discovered he had a cancer the size of a football in his groin. The cancer growth was cut out and the horse underwent radiation treatment. It was crazy and the recovery took a while because no one could go near him because of the radiation.
“I had never heard of a horse suffering from cancer, and now he has made a full recovery.”
Glenledi Chief, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old gelding by American sire Well Said, had won three times from 22 New Zealand starts before arriving in Western Australia in December 2020.
He won at his Australian debut, at Narrogin, and followed that with three wins from three starts at Pinjarra before finishing third behind Leap Of Faith in the 2902m Easter Cup at Gloucester Park.
It was then that it was discovered that he was suffering from cancer, and he was out of action for six months before he resumed with a first-up fourth behind stablemate Ideal Agent in a mobile event at Gloucester Park last October. Since then, he has raced eight times, all in stands, for five wins and three close second placings.
Glenledi Chief is a standing-start specialist, with 13 of his 14 WA appearances being in stands for nine wins and four seconds. In New Zealand his three wins were in mobiles, while he raced five times in stands for two thirds and three unplaced efforts.
On Friday night Glenledi Chief began off the 20m mark and was the $2.40 favourite. He was eighth after a lap while noted frontrunner Gee Smith ($7.50) was setting a solid pace. Warwick sent Glenledi Chief forward with a three-wide burst 850m from home and the gelding took the lead with 270m to travel and won by a half-length from the fast-finishing $51 outsider American Bullitt.
This was Glenledi Chief’s second run after a spell, and it followed his runaway victory, by almost five lengths eleven days earlier when he started off the back mark of 50m in a 2631m event at Pinjarra.
“I was surprised that he won by so far at Pinjarra because his work at home is never good,” said Warwick. “You always go into a prep wondering where you are at, but the longer the prep gets, the better he goes. Tonight, he felt comfortable all the way.”
Gleledi Chief has inherited some of the ability of his dam, the New Zealand-bred Its Forever Now, who earned $119,170 from seven wins and 18 placings from 41 starts, with her most notable victory being in the Gold Tiara final at Bathurst in April 2004.
Spell for Savvy Bromac
Brilliant mare Savvy Bromac made the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night a one-act affair when Emily Suvaljko drove her to an effortless all-the-way victory in the 2130m feature event.
“She is now going for a spell, and she will have a little break before coming back and having a couple of starts and then assessing her future,” said trainer Nathan Turvey.
“Once she drew barrier one, we were pretty happy. She has been racing well but without a lot of luck, including in the Pinjarra Cup and the Bunbury Cup.”
Savvy Bromac, the $1.30 favourite, began speedily and kept $81 chance Fifty Five Reborn at bay with a slick lead time of 36.2sec. Then, after comfortable opening quarters of the final mile in 31sec. and 29.9sec. Savvy Bromac dashed over the final 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 28.1sec. to win by two and a half lengths from $6 chance Booraa, who enjoyed the perfect sit behind the pacemaker.
Born To Boogie ($10) settled down in ninth position after starting out wide at barrier six, and she impressed in sustaining a spirited three-wide burst to finish third.
Savvy Bromac, owned by Karl Deiley, ended a losing sequence of seven and improved her record to 40 starts for 14 wins, ten seconds and five thirds for stakes of $288,415.
Her victory gave 21-year-old Suvaljko her fourth success in a group 2 event. She also has won one group 1 race and four at group 3 level.
Beat City survives protest
Five-year-old Beat City continued his march towards Free-For-All company when he survived a close photo finish and then a protest before winning the 2130m Ramsays Horse Transport Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Veteran trainer Mike Reed lodged a protest after Gary Hall jnr had driven Beat City, the $1.50 favourite, to victory by a half-head over the $4.80 second fancy Ragazzo Mach, claiming that Hall had affected Ragazzo Mach’s winning prospects by half-carting in the back straight in the second lap.
Half-carting is the term used to describe a horse not racing in the true one-wide position.
After hearing submissions from Reed, Ragazzo Mach’s driver Shannon Suvaljko and Hall, the chief harness steward Brad Lewis dismissed the protest, saying that the stewards determined that Hall’s tactics had not disadvantaged Ragazzo Mach.
Beat City, from barrier three, was beaten for early speed by $51 outsider Mattjestic Star (barrier two) and after Hall’s efforts to take the lead were unsuccessful, he angled the gelding across to the pegs to take the trail behind Mattjestic Star, leaving Ragazzo Mach in the breeze, about three lengths farther back.
Beat City came off the pegs after a lap before moving back behind the pacemaker a few hundred metres later. Beat City as sent forward by Hall 450m from home and the five-year-old hit the front 200m later and went on score narrowly from the strong-finishing Ragazzo Mach. The final 400m was covered in 28.7sec. and Beat City rated 1.56.3.
Beat City’s trainer Michael Young was impressed with the gelding’s performance and said: “I thought we were in a bit of trouble once Mattjestic Star wanted to hold up. But Junior (Hall) drove really well and the horse went the best he has ever gone, and that got him over the line.
“I feel that Beat City will make it through to Free-For-All company where he should be more of an opportunist rather than a luck-maker, himself.”
Beat City, a winner of eight races in Victoria, has raced 19 times in WA for seven wins and nine placings. His win was some slight compensation for Young, who was forced to scratch talented mare Nevermindthechaos from the group 2 WASBA Breeders Stakes on Friday night.
“A scan revealed damage to her nearside front tendon, and you probably won’t see her for another ten to 12 months,” said Young. “I’d take her being sound over Beat City winning.
“She damaged the same tendon as an early two-year-old, and they said she would never race. But she has had 19 starts for seven wins (and $62,887 in prizemoney). We have caught this one really early, so we’re confident she will be able to come back.”
Middlepage pays his way
Middlepage, a $20,000 purchase at the 2018 APG Perth yearling sale, boosted his earnings to $61,884 when he scored a smart victory in the 2130m Fly With Fly Like An Eagle Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The win completed a double for experienced reinsman Lindsay Harper, who had been successful earlier in the evening with crack four-year-old Eldaytona in the Larkhill Vets pace.
Middlepage, the fourth favourite at $9.90, caused a minor upset when he beat the last-start winner and $2.15 favourite Adda Something by 5m to boost his record to nine wins and 13 placings from 50 starts.
The field of eight raced in Indian file, with Adda Something leading from Spy Major ($3.80) and Middlepage. Harper made a bold move when he switched Middlepage off the pegs with 1000m to travel, and the five-year-old got on terms with Adda Something at the 400m before surging away to win easily, rating 1.58.9 after the final 800m was covered in 56.4sec.
Middlepage is by Tintin In America and is out of the New Zealand-bred mare That’s The Spirit, who earned $134,334 from 22 wins and 30 placings from 105 starts. She won eleven times in Victoria, ten times in Queensland and once in New South Wales. Middlepage is a half-brother to Patrickthepiranha, who has earned $352,853 from 15 wins and 16 placings from 54 starts. Patrickthepiranha won at 13 of his 43 WA starts and now has won twice from eleven starts in America.
Eldaytona, part-owned and trained by Sue Wiscombe, maintained his wonderful form when he was the $1.10 favourite and was untroubled to lead all the way and beat the strong-finishing The Code Breaker ($10) by just under a length at a 1.57 rate over 2130m.
Eldaytona has now raced 26 times for ten wins, 11 seconds and stakes of $86,121.
Arma Einstein relishes tough program
Ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown’s decision to increase Arma Einstein’s workload by racing him more frequently is paying dividends.
The WA-bred four-year-old, the youngest runner in the 2130m Budget Stockfeeds In Oakford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, was lining up for his third start in the space of 12 days --- and he proved too brilliant for his ten rivals.
The $2.50 favourite Distinguished Taste set the pace from the No. 1 barrier, with Brown content to slot Arma Einstein, the fourth fancy at $5.60, in sixth position, one-out and two-back.
Valentines Brook ($4.40) charged forward from last in the early stages to race in the breeze, thus giving $3.90 chance Will I Rocknroll an ideal trip, one-out and one-back.
Jocelyn Young sent Valentines Brook to the front 230m from home before she was swamped in the home straight by Arma Einstein, who burst to the front in the final 30m and beat that pacer by a half-length, rating 1.57.7, with the final 800m being covered in 56.5sec.
Arma Einstein, stronger and fitter under his new menu of increased racing, has had 52 starts for 11 wins, 22 placings and stakes of $127,879.
Ideal Agent rises to the occasion
“We keep raising the bar, and Ideal Agent keeps leaping it,” said a satisfied Ryan Warwick after driving the talented New Zealand-bred pacer to victory in the 2130m Insure With PSC Bloodstock Services Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Ideal Agent, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond, was equal favourite at $1.90 with the heavily-supported last-start winner Typhoon Banner, and the race, as expected, developed into a fierce duel between the two smart five-year-olds.
Typhoon Banner was smartest to begin from barrier two and after a slow lead time of 38.1sec. and moderate opening quarter of 30.3sec. Dylan Egerton-Green upped the tempo in a determined bid to make life difficult for Ideal Agent, who had begun from the outside in the field of six and was racing without cover.
Ideal Agent was up to the task and after a second quarter of the final mile in 28.7sec. he drew level with Typhoon Banner 1000m from home. The third 400m section whizzed by in 27.8sec. and Warwick had to drive Ideal Agent hard approaching the home bend.
Ideal Agent knuckled down and got to the front in the final 50m to beat Typhoon Banner by a neck, rating 1.56.4.
“It felt like a fair way out that Ideal Agent had him (Typhoon Banner) and coming into the bell it felt like he wanted to get up and boogie, but then he just lost the bit a bit and got a little flat,” said Warwick. “But he’s a good pacer, a fighter and a tradie --- three assets that see him stepping up all the time.”
Ideal Agent, a winner at four of his 30 starts in New Zealand, has blossomed in WA where his 14 runs have produced nine wins and four placings.
Wallrodt’s smart change of mind
Boyanup trainer-reinsman Cody Wallrodt planned to send Babyface Adda out for a well-deserved spell last Monday. But after studying the nominations for the $30,000 Free-For-All to be run at Gloucester Park on Friday night he changed his mind.
He saw that several of the State’s top-line pacers had not been nominated, so he decided to enter Babyface Adda for the 2536m Australian Premium Feeds Free-For-All.
And when Babyface Adda drew favourably at barrier No. 2 in the six-horse field his confidence grew considerably. “It was then an easy choice to sit behind the No. 1 horse Vultan Tin,” he said.
“I was confident that Babyface Adda could beat Vultan Tin because Babyface Adda had been racing very well without luck, and I thought his sectionals last week (when a close-up eighth from barrier seven behind Double Up) put him in with a really good chance as long as he got a crack at them.”
Vultan Tin, the $1.75 favourite, set a slow early pace, and after the tempo lifted with a third quarter of the final mile in 28.1sec. Wallrodt’s problem was whether he would get the opportunity to get off the pegs to issue a challenge to the leader.
Wallrodt was able to ease Babyface Adda off the inside with 300m to travel, and with the talented To Fast To Serious ($4.60) also getting off the inside and on to the back of Babyface Adda, Wallrodt realised that he needed to keep that pacer bottled up, without the prospect of getting into the clear.
But he also knew that he could not restrain his horse for too long in a bid to keep To Fast To Serious under lock and key because that would diminish Babyface Adda’s task of overhauling Vultan Tin.
So, Wallrodt urged Babyface Adda forward after rounding the home turn and the gelding got up to snatch victory by a head from Vultan Tin, with the final 400m being covered in a fast 27.7sec. To Fast To Serious was an unlucky third, a half-head behind Babyface Adda.
To Fast To Serious was hampered in the straight when his off side sulky wheel locked with the near side wheel of Double Up’s sulky. Despite that, To Fast To Serious flew home, out four wide to figure in a three-way photo finish.
“It’s always good when a horse goes out (for a spell) on a good note,” said Wallrodt. “That’s something Justin (Prentice) taught me. I wanted to spell him before he started to go downhill. The main aim now is to have him ready to run in the big Cups in the summer.
“I thought that we might have snuck in last summer, but he went downhill just before the big races. Hopefully, I can make up for that and have him ready for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups this summer.”
Babyface Adda, a six-year-old by Rich And Spoilt, is raced on lease by Wallrodt. He has had 80 starts for 17 wins, 19 placings and $237,003 in prizemoney.
A winning combination
Jocelyn Young and six-year-old gelding Pierre Whitby continued their wonderful association when they combined to win the opening event, the 2130m Milne Feeds Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Pierre Whitby, the $1.60 favourite from the prized No. 1 barrier, was having his 116TH start, and his thrilling win by a nose over $10 chance Bettor Be Lively was his 16TH and took his earnings to $165,510.
It marked the 14TH time that the 28-year-old Young had driven him to victory. After a slow lead time of 38sec. and an ambling opening quarter of 31.2sec. Pierre Whitby was joined by Bettor Be Lively, who was driven by Aiden de Campo and vacated the favourable one-out, one-back position to move to the breeze and put pressure on the pacemaker 900m after the start.
This pressure saw Pierre Whitby increase the tempo and the final 400m sections were run in 28.6sec. and 28.2sec. Bettor Be Lively finished with great determination and failed by the narrowest of margins.
For much of his career Pierre Whitby was driven as a sit-sprinter, but recently he has revealed abundant gate speed and has enjoyed a frontrunning role.
“Generally, he was taken back at the start and then came home with one run,” said Young. “He frequently drew badly, so this worked out, particularly over the longer trips. Now we’ve been using him off the gate when he draws well.”
Pierre Whitby is by Mach Three and is out of former star mare Party Date.
Sentiment is a worthwhile virtue
Byford trainer Katja Warwick went to the 2021 APG Perth yearling sale with one main objective, and that was to buy a colt by New Zealand sire Foreclosure and the first of the progeny of the Auckland Reactor mare Cap In Hand.
Sentiment was the overriding reason. Warwick was a part-owner and trainer of Cap In Hand, who raced six times as a two-year-old in 2018 for three wins and $19,428 before suffering a career-ending injury.
“After winning three races Cap In Hand fractured a pedal bone and was unable to race again,” said Warwick. “So, I went to last year’s sale intent on buying Cap In Hand’s first foal. And I was able to purchase him for $16,000 and I race him in partnership with my mother (Doris Schreyvogel).”
The colt (now a gelding) is named All Is Well, and he impressed when he unwound a sizzling late burst to get up and beat the pacemaker Lucapelo in the $20,250 Rock n Roll World Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
This was his second win for the week, following his all-the-way success at Pinjarra four days earlier. He now has earned $20,703 from his two wins and a second placing from six starts.
All Is Well, an $8.80 chance, raced on the pegs in fifth position before Emily Suvaljko eased him into the clear 300m from home and took him four wide on the turn when he was four lengths behind Lucapelo.
All Is Well simply exploded to fly home and snatch victory from Lucapelo, the second favourite at $2.80. The final 400m was covered in 28.3sec. (off the front) and the winner rated 2.0.1.
“He is still very green and is learning how to race,” said Warwick, who was disappointed that her other runner in Friday night’s event, the $1.65 favourite Juggernaut broke into a gallop when he was three-quarters of a length in front of Lucapelo and challenging him hard for the lead 250m after the start. Juggernaut dropped back to the rear and finished fourth in the field of six.
All Is Well is bred to succeed. Cap In Hand is a half-sister to promising young pacers Robbie Rocket (36 starts for seven wins, 14 placings and $72,501), Sonic Suzy (eight starts for three wins, two placings and $25,474) and Major Overs (seven starts for two wins, two placings and $22,340).
Cap In Hand’s dam Elite Angel earned $128,702 from 12 wins and 14 placings from 62 starts. Elite Angel is out of Elite Dynasty, the dam of seven winners, including Son Of Fergie (153 starts for 27 wins, 34 placings and $376,765).