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McInerney Ford 4YO Classic preview

Western Australia is the place to be for great racing this weekend - Friday night at Gloucester Park (the trotting venue you always see across the road from the WACA during cricket telecasts) and across to Ascot for Super Saturday for the gallops.

Jumping into the sulky for a crack at the 4YO Classic is harness guru Trent Orwin.


McInerney Ford 4YO Classic
Gloucester Park 2536m
R7 Friday, 20:45 Perth time
(2345 Melbourne 1245 London)

Preview by Trent Orwin
Twitter: @themightytrent3
Website: BettingPro

Group 1 racing heats up at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the running of the McInerney Ford 4YO Classic (2536m) with the winner of the $125,000 feature exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 Golden Nugget (2536m) at Gloucester Park on December 5.

Although leading trainer Gary Hall Snr does not have his best two four-year-old pacers in the form of Machtu and Elegant Christian (Machtu has a virus and Elegant Christian is injured), the stable should dominate the event and look a legitimate $1.10 chance of winning the race.

The barrier draw has been favourable for the stable also with their two leading chances in Soho Lennon and Waylade drawing barriers one and two respectively. Another runner in A Boy Named Rosie has drawn barrier eight and will enjoy a soft run on the pegline.

When the green light goes on there is two likely scenarios that could occur. The first, and most likely, is that Soho Lennon will hand up to his stablemate Waylade who is aiming at a hatrick of victories after taking out the Group 2 4YO Championship (2130m) in emphatic fashion last start after sitting in the breeze and scoring by 3.1m ahead of VC Manoeuvre and Bettor Offer.

A Boy Named Rosie would then be three back along the pegline with the Greg & Skye Bond-trained stablemates Jumbo Jet (barrier four) and Bettor Offer (five) pushing forward from their draws with the latter likely to face the breeze and the former sitting in the one-out-one-back position. Hugh Victor (three) is likely to look for the cheapest possible run and will likely ease back and look to find the markers as soon as possible. Mista Rush (six) and WA Derby winner Three Blind Mice (seven) are two runners that will likely restrain in a bid to get into the running line towards the tail of the field.

Ohoka Cooper (nine) has a decision as to whether he will head behind A Boy Named Rosie or follow Waylade through and potentially land just better of midfield in the moving line. Ultimate Major (10), Classic American (11) and VC Manoeuvre (12) will settle towards the tail also with the latter potentially searching for the pegline just as Nathan Turvey did last week when getting off the pegs and flying down the outside of the straight to grab second.

The second scenario is that Soho Lennon holds the lead which will force Waylade to either hold the breeze which should ensure early pace in the race and may force Soho Lennon to hand up when either Jumbo Jet or Bettor Offer comes searching for the breeze.

Waylade is my top selection in the race based on the fact he should be leading and his victory in a 1:57.1 mile rate last week was very good and he also won the start prior over this distance in a leisurely 1:59.6 mile rate for this calibre of a field. He will certainly go faster than that in this event from the lead and it is hard seeing him being beaten. With that said, he is far from a moral and the $1.80 with most bookmakers looks about right. Bet365 initially offered $2.40, the sharper minds got hold of that quickly and now he has been slashed into a more accurate $1.70.

Soho Lennon is the next best chance in the race and with the potential to either lead or trail Waylade, he will have every opportunity to run past the favourite if he sees daylight in the home straight. He won in a 1:58.4 mile rate back in July when forced to race three wide without cover in a last half of 58.4 and is capable of quicker with an easier run. $4.80 was his best price with Bet365 and could be entertained at that price, but with the flood of money for the favourite, he's out to $6.50 and even more appealing.

Bettor Offer looks to be the third best chance in the race and this gelding has some toughness about him. He was three wide without cover last start in a 57.0 half and was only beaten 5.4m by Waylade. He is racing in terrific form and has chased home the likes of Elegant Christian when beaten 5.5m when sitting outside of him and did defeat Waylade by 7.1m as a $1.40 favourite two starts back. Now out to a best price of $6.50, he still looks under the odds as he will either be breezing throughout the staying trip or could get shuffled back if they decide to make any moves from the back of the field.

A Boy Named Rosie has been good in his past two behind Waylade and will appreciate the soft run on the pegline here. He is also a winner of three of his five starts over the distance range and the $21 to win and $4.50 to place with Ladbrokes looks excellent each-way value, in particular the place.

The draw really hurts the chances of both Classic American and VC Manoeuvre but they will likely come with one run in the final circuit and have plenty of ability.

VC Manoeuvre has very similar ability to Waylade and Soho Lennon and from their draw he would be a major player in this. If they go hard throughout, then either he or Classic American can fly late. Both are around $31 to win and $7 to place with Sportsbet and look the best of the knockout hopes.

Mista Rush is in excellent form but the draw hurts as he would like to find the breeze himself but Bettor Offer may not oblige and he could be forced to restrain anyway. Has won eight of 16 starts and could be the x-factor in the event at around $26 but I couldn’t be on him either way. Third or fourth placing appears best for him.

Three Blind Mice loves to lead as he did when winning the WA Derby but he won’t be afforded that luxury in this and will have to make a searching run late. His form is also below par and while you have to respect his ability, this looks too hard but for those looking for an absolute blowout then $81 to win and $17 to place with Sportsbet may appeal.

Hugh Victor will be looking for a cheap run and he is outclassed in this event. Most bookmakers are betting $26 for him and they could be missing a zero as he looks almost no hope of winning the event. Could sneak into fourth for first four players.

Ohoka Cooper led last start and got a stitch late to finish 14.9m away in ninth place. From a worse barrier, four pegs or the moving line means he is playing for third or fourth place at best and it is hard to entertain him despite having won two of four over the distance in weaker company.

Ultimate Major will be hard pressed from the draw and is hard to entertain even at an each-way price with at least six runners in the race appearing to have him covered talent wise.

Jumbo Jet opened $8 with one bookmaker but is now out to $31 with most of them and this still looks unders to me. He won last start in slow time and hasn’t shown enough at this stage of his career to suggest he is ready to beat the big players in this event. Maybe include in wider exotics due to the likelihood of being in the top four or six in-running.

1 – Waylade
2 – Soho Lennon
3 – Bettor Offer
4 – A Boy Named Rosie
Best Roughie – VC Manoeuvre


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