There are two features at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The $30,000 Devoted Healthcare Rotary Club of Fremantle FFA (1730m) and the $30,000 Harry Capararo Westbred 4 & 5YO Mares Pace (2130m).
Both races have drawn competitive fields and members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have looked elsewhere for their best bets.
The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has settled on the in-form Middlepage as his star bet for the night.
“Middlepage looks well placed to bring up a hat-trick of victories this week,” Havercroft said. “He is a great frontrunner, but has showed versatility in his last couple of starts, winning from the breeze before a stunning performance last week when three wide at the bell before pulling away to win by seven metres.”
Longshot guru Pat Harding has landed on Finvarra in race three as his best bet.
“Quite a few favourites to keep an eye on this Friday at GP,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three with No. 5 Finvarra. On what could be a good night for the Hall stable, this runner has been most consistent and should make it two wins in a row.”
But Media Guild president Wayne Currall sees a different scenario unfolding in the third.
“Finvarra will most likely be the punters’ elect and could go around in the red,” Currall said. “But Ima Rockabilly Rebel is racing in career-best form and will take no end of beating. His last-start second behind Eldaytona after sitting in the breeze for the last lap was a ‘get on me next start’ run. They scorched home the last 800m in 55.8.”
TABradio’s Matt Young is keen on To Fast To Serious in race six.
“To Fast To Serious has the lovely drop in grade,” Young said. “It looks his race to lose.”
The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and TABradio’s Hayden King are both thinking Socrates will be a wise investment.
“New Zealand import Socrates is in line to score his sixth straight win when tackling a standing-start event for co-trainers Greg and Skye Bond,” Manning said. “He was having his first start for about two months when winning from a stand at Pinjarra on May 25. The Christchurch winner, brought to WA last summer, has an overall standing-start record of two victories and two places in four appearances. His tally in a 13-start career is seven wins and five places.”
And King agrees.
“Since he arrived, I have adopted the philosophy that Socrates is a FFA-class horse,” King said. “Socrates (the philosopher, not the horse) once said, ‘human wisdom begins with the recognition of one's own ignorance’, and it would be highly ignorant to completely discredit him from Cups calculations.”
Veteran journalist Ken Casellas, fresh and raring to go after a two-week sojourn at Coral Bay, has left his best until the last race on the program.
“Even though there are only five runners in the final event at Gloucester Park on Friday night, it is sure to prove an intriguing affair with five-year-olds Beat City, Typhoon Banner and Ideal Agent popular with punters after racing in wonderful form in recent weeks,” Casellas said. “The Victorian-bred Beat City does not have the high profile of the New Zealand-bred stars Typhoon Banner and Ideal Agent, but I’m making him my best bet following his outstanding effort last week when he worked hard in the breeze before fighting on tigerishly to finish a head second to the frontrunning Jack Farthing, with a final quarter of 27.6sec.”
RYAN: Pierre Whitby is a capable type and will lob near enough to the speed to be a player from his favourable draw.
PAT: My double comes up in race eight with No. 5 The Code Breaker. He has been knocking on the door in a number of starts and I think Chris Voak can guide him to a much-needed win.
WAYNE: I’m hoping for a hectic pace in race eight, which would allow Talks Up A Storm to come with a late burst from his awkward draw in gate nine. If those conditions prevail, he can win at big odds.
MATT: Beyond The Sea could push her way to the top and looks an outstanding frontrunner.
ERNIE: Veteran gelding Mattjestic Star has won only once in his past 48 races, but barrier one brings him into calculations. Unplaced in his last seven appearances, the 11-year-old is expected to settle prominently and fight on tenaciously at his 212th start.
HAYDEN: Batavia On Fire relies on luck from an awkward barrier, but he is flying below radar detection and a win at long odds would not shock.
KEN: For value, I suggest Star Of The Class from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the Group 3 Westbred feature event for mares. She has managed one placing, a distant third behind Give Us A Wave at Kellerberrin three starts ago, from eight appearances this season. She has won 15 races and certainly has the class to make a bold bid for victory.
Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week.