Grantham bullish about Boudica
Dual-code horseman Michael Grantham is confident Miss Boudica can land her second Group success in Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 TABradio APG Series 30 4YO Consolation Final (1730m) at Gloucester Park.
Trained by Michael Brennan, the Mach Three mare won last year’s three-year-old edition of the same race and hit the line strongly to run second to Newsletter on May 13 before being held up for clear running behind Vivere Damore last time out.
Grantham is expecting a change of fortune jumping from barrier two on Friday night.
“She’s been going really well of late,” he said.
“The draw is perfect as well, so we’ll be all guns blazing at the start and hopefully they’ll be chasing me.
“I think I’ll be able to cross and Lady Jadore might sit on us as well, but it depends on how forward their horse is.
“If not, I think my horse is good enough to sit outside of it.”
Grantham feels Colin Brown’s American Ideal mare American Arma, a winner at her past two starts, looks the toughest to beat.
“She’s going really well,” he said.
“She’s obviously going to get the camp on us – I don’t think Browny will send her forward.
“Whatever we use early is what it’ll have up its sleeve late.”
Grantham looks set for a good night with his other drives – Jack Farthing, Valbonne and Loucid Dreams – also rating highly.
The Justin Prentice-trained Jack Farthing will jump from barrier one for the first time in eight starts when he contests The Sports Daily On TABradio Pace (2536m).
“I reckon he’ll lead and win,” Grantham said.
“I think he’ll benefit from his last run and they would’ve put a bit more work into him.
“I reckon he won’t have to do much early and he should be able to jog around.
“I don’t think anything will run over the top of him in that race.”
Lisa Walton’s Valbonne, an ultra-consistent son of Mach Three, has again drawn awkwardly when coming up with gate seven in The Aftermath On TABradio Pace (2130m).
The six-year-old gelding has finished in the first four placings at 12 of his past 13 starts and Grantham feels he’s knocking on the door for a deserved win.
“He’s ready to pounce but the draw doesn’t suit,” he said.
“The horse is flying and as soon as he draws he’ll be hard to beat.
“Lisa gave him a freshen up and brought him back into work hoping he’d draw well, but he hasn’t.”
Grantham will also take his first drive behind Loucid Dreams in The Tim Walker 3YO Pace (2536m).
The Colin Brown-trained gelding has finished in the money at six of his eight career starts to date and has drawn the pole position for the first time.
“He’s come up with the prize draw and has been going well,” Grantham said.
“He’s been coming out of Swingband’s races so with a soft run I think he’ll be a top-three player.
“Jack Farthing will probably be short so if you take him out of the equation, I think Miss Boudica is my best of the night.”
Meanwhile, trainer Annie Belton is expecting sharp improvement from Lady Jadore at her second run back from a spell in the Group 2 TABRadio APG Series 30 4YO Consolation Final.
The Tintin In America mare will jump from barrier one in the feature event after finishing fifth to Nevermindthechaos in an APG Gold Bullion Series heat on April 5 and being tuned up with a trial at Byford on May 15.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the draw,” Belton said.
“She’s a good front runner and she’s a lot better than what she was first-up.
“I think she wasn’t quite ready but I’m very happy with her going into this race and even more so with the draw.
“She’s up against very nice horses, no doubt, but I think if she gets to the front she’ll be hard to beat.”
Euphoria set to break through
Despite being beaten as a $1.36 favourite from barrier one four starts ago, Gary Hall Snr is expecting Euphoria to take full advantage of the same draw at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The American Ideal five-year-old wilted to run fifth on April 29 and has been plagued by bad draws in his three starts since but his Hall of Fame trainer feels he’s found an ideal assignment in the Vale Josh Dunn Pace (2130m).
“He drew one a few weeks ago and led and was a bit disappointing, but he got pressure,” Hall Snr said.
“I think he’s fitter now.
“I think he’ll be a winning chance leading, for sure.”
Hall Snr only has two other runners on the night – Willirocknroll and Texas Tiger – both of whom have to overcome barriers six and seven respectively.
Willirocknroll will contest The Sports Daily On TABRadio Pace (2536m) after scoring a well-deserved win last Friday night, whilst Texas Tiger faces a small but strong seven-horse field in The Trots WA Twitter FFA Pace (2130m).
“Willirocknroll’s drawn his normal barrier now, so he’ll probably run fourth or fifth from out there,” Hall Snr said.
“He’d had something like 11 starts outside of six so I was happy to see him go good last week.
“I tried to get Texas Tiger back in the draw and he’s still drawn the outside, but I still think he’s a winning chance.
“I want him to get back and slot in somewhere, I don’t want to go forward with him.
“He’s got gate speed but he’ll end up doing too much work if he does that.
“I think we can just slot in somewhere I’ll be happy and if he gets a reasonable run I think he’ll be a chance.”
Hall Snr prepared three winners at last Friday’s Gloucester Park meeting, including exciting types Jumpingjackmac and Finvarra.
The stablemates have recorded a combined 20 wins from their 35 career starts and their champion trainer feels they are the real deal.
“Last week was good and I didn’t want to front them up again,” he said.
“I’m not sure where they’re going next, but they’ve come back good so I’m really happy with them.
“At home Finvarra might have Jumpingjackmac’s measure for speed, but there’s not much between them.
“I wouldn’t separate them, really.
“I think whoever gets the better run will win every time.
“They’re both class horses and they’re up with the best horses we have here, I think.”
Meanwhile, trainer Ross Olivieri is confident Born To Boogie can return to the winners’ list in The Trots WA Twitter FFA Pace (2130m).
The Rock N Roll Heaven mare lead throughout three starts ago before placing in the Group 2 WASBA Breeders Stakes and then finishing third in last Friday’s Free-For-All event for fillies and mares.
“It’s a good field but we’ve got the number one draw which is great,” Olivieri said.
“I think she’s the horse to beat in the race.
“She’s got good gate speed so I think she can hold up.
“We don’t leave to lead to win but you may as well try take advantage of it.
“She’s held up before without too many problems.”
Having been disadvantaged by bad draws at her past three starts, Olivieri was is pleased to see the seven-year-old jump from gate one on Friday night.
“She’s had a lot of bad luck with draws,” he said.
“The worst thing is she’s had bad luck with the draws in the decent races that we wanted to target against mares which conceivably should be a lot easier than the Free-For-All company.
“She should be hard to beat on Friday.”