The Group 1 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) shapes to be a great race and here is my preview of Friday night’s feature at Gloucester Park.
Early speed will come from Major Reality from barrier one and Bettors Fire from barrier five. Both horses will be keen to lead and I give the mare, Major Reality, the slight advantage to hold up from the inside gate.
Beaudiene Boaz and Our Jimmy Johnstone are two horses drawn wider that can make early moves for the breeze but the map has a number of different scenarios.
If Bettors Fire is able to find the front then I expect Beaudiene Boaz to look for cover on Our Jimmy Johnstone. If Bettors Fire is forced to breeze early, he will be keen to gain cover and should get it from Beaudiene Boaz or Our Jimmy Johnstone. There is also some chance that Beaudiene Boaz says no to Our Jimmy Johnstone and doesn’t relinquish the spot outside of the leader.
John Of Arc trails Major Reality and Our Jericho, in turn, will train John of Arc. That part of the map looks to be locked in. Soho Tribeca and Chicago Bull should both be worse than midfield and looking to make their runs late. If there’s no tempo, they may look to make a mid-race move while a hot tempo will see them sitting back and waiting to swoop in the final circuit.
Enough with the map, let’s get into the race.
Chicago Bull is a four-year-old from the impressive Gary Hall Snr camp. He has won the WA Pacing Cup 10 times with champion horses such as The Falcon Strike and Im Themightyquinn. It’s an early call but Chicago Bull looks like he could reach similar heights – he will need to progress from where he is but he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.
He won the Group 1 Fremantle Cup (2536m) last start in impressive fashion. After landing the breeze, Chicago Bull got cover on Beaudiene Boaz and then found a gap down the back straight as he shot to the front and held off Soho Tribeca.
Prior to that he was second behind Beaudiene Boaz when taking ground off him in a 54.9 last half which is smashing the clock around Gloucester Park.
He was also the run of the race in the Group 1 Golden Nugget (2536m) won by Soho Tribeca, a race restricted to four-year-old pacers, when coming three-wide with cover in a 55.2 final half.
Like his stablemate My Hard Copy, a dual WA Pacing Cup winner, the longer the trip, the better suited he looks and I have no concern over Chicago Bull’s staying prowess.
This horse looks the future of WA pacing and I’m happy to be backing him at $4 or better in the race.
Soho Tribeca poses a danger in the race and he has beaten Chicago Bull in a couple of races while the Bull has exacted revenge on his rival also.
He has some versatility because he doesn’t have to sit back in order to win and can make a move if they drop anchor at some stage. He looks another that will lap up the 2936m journey and should go close.
Major Reality is the only mare in the race and she has very good gate speed. She should almost certainly be leading or racing on the leader’s back and her form is excellent. She had no luck in the Fremantle Cup so don’t look at that run when considering her chances and look at her efforts in the Group 1 Mares Classic (2536m) and the open-class event on December 23.
Beaudiene Boaz is still one of WA’s topliners and his run in the Fremantle Cup was pretty good. Running ninth and beaten 21m may look poor, but he was three-wide for the first 800m and suffered a flat tyre in the run while racing in the breeze. Looks one of the leading hopes.
Bettors Fire has opened favourite and I am taking him on because he isn’t assured of leading and the 2936m is some concern for him if he fires up. He races best on the fresh side and he has done a lot of racing over the past few months. He definitely can win, but I don’t have him one of the leading hopes in this.
The Bucket List has each-way claims along with Our Jimmy Johnstone and John Of Arc while Our Jericho can place at big odds if the race is run to suit.
1. Major Reality - $7
2. The Bucket List - $13
3. Delightful Offer - $81
4. Cyamach - $301
5. Bettors Fire - $10
6. Beaudiene Boaz - $7
7. Our Jimmy Johnstone - $26
8. Chicago Bull - $4
9. Mynameskenny - $501
10. John Of Arc - $13
11. Our Jericho - $61
12. Soho Tribeca - $6.50
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