Veteran pacer Cut For An Ace ended a losing sequence of 40 and a 39-month drought when Gary Hall jun. drove him to an all-the-way victory in a 2500m stand at Bunbury three Tuesdays ago.
And now Hall is upbeat about the Victorian-bred nine-year-old’s ability to maintain his winning form for Blythwood trainer Michael Brennan when he starts from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the Westral Outdoor Patio Blinds Handicap, a stand over 2503m at Gloucester Park mon Friday night.
“Cut For An Ace’s win at Bunbury was good and he went to the line with something in hand,” Hall said. “On form, and provided he gets away to a good start he’s the one to beat.”
Two of Cut For An Ace’s chief rivals, Major Rush and Assassinator, will start off the 10m mark. Major Rush, to be driven by Morgan Woodley for Myalup trainer Graham Gilbert, drops in class after his splendid effort last Friday night when he trailed the pacemaker Bronze Seeker and finished gamely to be second to that pacer over 2130m last Friday night. A week earlier, Major Rush finished strongly to win a 2503m stand from Twoandahalf Tigers and Another Ayjay.
Assassinator, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, impressed at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he came from tenth in the middle stages with a sustained three-wide burst to be a head second to Gaz Wannabet in a 2503m stand.
Hall is also full of confidence about the prospects of American Boy, who will start from the outside in a field of nine in the $23,000 Westral Vertical and Panel Blinds Pace.
“The 2536m is ideal for American Boy and he should win,” said Hall. American Boy, trained by Gary Hall sen., boasts an outstanding winning record of 64 per cent, with his 25 starts producing 16 wins and six seconds.
American Boy burst to an early lead and was untroubled to set the pace and win from Our Regal Ideal and Kimba Bay at a 1.57.2 rate last Friday night.
Hall will be reunited with New Zealand-bred nine-year-old Tommy Smith when he contests the Westral Timber Blinds Pace. He has driven the Brennan-trained gelding only once --- at Northam in May 2014 when he finished second to Lord Lexus.
Hall will replace Michael Grantham, who is serving a term of suspension. Grantham drove Tommy Smith at his most recent outing, when he made much of the running and won narrowly from Bettor Not Knowing in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra last Monday week.
Written by Ken Casellas