By Adam Hamilton
SUPERSTAR Chicago Bull is on the quick-back for the $50,000 RWWA Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park on Friday.
Trainer Gary Hall was so thrilled with how Chicago Bull came through last week’s stunning Group 1 Fremantle Cup win, he’s opted to run him this week as a “sandwich” race before the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup a week later.
“He couldn’t better and he did that so easily last week. He’s thriving on the racing,” Hall Sr said.
Chicago Bull is a $1.15 favourite despite the back row (gate 11) and some handy rivals, including WA’s two most exciting open-class newcomers in Perfect Major (gate one) and To Fast To Serious (10).
With Shockwave sidelined following his three-month ban for bleeding after the Fremantle Cup, Chicago Bull looks to have this race and the WA Cup at his mercy.
Hall Sr is growing in eagerness to take Chicago Bull to Melbourne in the New Year for a Hunter Cup tilt.
“I’d say it’s likely, but not definite. He’s got nothing to prove to me, but maybe he does to those in the eastern states who never quite seem to give him the credit he deserves,” he said.
“The Hunter Cup is a real chance, but I don’t know about the Miracle Mile. The same connections race King Of Swing so they’d sort of be racing against themselves.”
Hall Sr also has a key player in Gloucester Park’s other feature this week, the $125,000 Group 1 Westral Mares’ Classic (2536m).
Balcatherine has won two of her three runs this campaign and is $2.90 second elect despite a back row draw (gate 12) where likely leader Typhoon Tiff (gate four) is the $2.10 favourite.
X X X
FORMER budding Kiwi superstar Turn It Up headlines the opening meeting of the Queensland Summer Carnival at Albion Park on Saturday night.
The former All Stars’ Auckland Cup winner hasn’t raced since blasting to the front and brilliantly winning just his second run for new trainer Vicki Rasmussen at Albion Park on October 24.
Turn It Up’s gate speed was stunning that night and he looks the leader again from gate two, especially with stablemate and fellow former Kiwi pacer One Change drawn the pole.
Turn It Up has been backed from $2 into $1.85, while One Change is second elect at $3 from the pole.
Queensland’s pin-up pacer Colt Thirty One is the other key player, but he’s drawn awkwardly compared to his main dangers from gate five and is a $4 shot.
X X X
THE much-travelled Tough Monarch steps out for the first time since he fantastic third in the Group 1 Dominion Trot at Addington when he tackles Group 1 company at Melton on Saturday night.
And the punters have stepped-in, backing him from $12 into $5 on the Aussie TAB despite a 10m handicap in the $50,000 Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championship (2760m).
Emerging star Majestuoso, who is rising in grade but has the advantage of barrier seven off the front row, heads the betting at $2.10.
The other well-backed runner has been NSW raider Drop The Hammer ($12 into $5) from barrier five for trainer Darren Hancock and driver John Caldow.