By Michael Guerin
The King of Gloucester Park has a plan to beat Kiwi champ Lazarus in Friday’s$1.1million Inter Dominon final in Perth.
And it involves going to sleep and then waking up mid-race.
That is what Gary Hall believes is his only real option in the hottest harness race of the year on a track he has ruled for the last decade.
Hall, who drives predominantly for his trainer father Gary senior, has already won three Inter Dominions driving I’m Themightyquinn but his domination of Gloucester Park’s major races extends to almost embarrassing levels.
He has driven the winner of the state’s premier race the WA Cup seven times and thinks nothing of bagging five winners at a metropolitan Friday night Gloucester Park meeting.
And beating the Kiwis is nothing new to Hall, he has won more Grand Circuit pacing races than any other driver, his 22 victories eclipsing Lazarus’s trainer-driver Mark Purdon’s 20 wins.
But for all his skills, Hall thinks they won’t be required for much of Friday’s (1am Saturday NZ time) great race after his charge Chicago Bull drew one on the second line behind likely leader Tiger Tara.
“It looks like I will be in the trail and I can just sit there and go to sleep for a couple of laps,” says Hall.
“There really won’t be many decisions to be made until they start to up the ante over the last 1200m and then I have to work out when I try and get off the marker pegs.
“If Tiger Tara stays in front and horses like Lazarus, Lennytheshark and Soho Tribeca all do some work around each other in those first two laps, then we have a great chance.”
But after thousands of spins around the tight Gloucester Park circuit, Hall admits to having one concern.
“I’m pretty sure Tiger Tara will stay in front but the last thing I want is a tame early section of the race and then horses like Tiger, Lazarus and Tribeca being three abreast starting the last lap with no gap for me because they are so tough they may not stop.
“So that last lap is going to be interesting but before that I’ll likely just be a spectator.”
Lazarus is the $2.10 favourite with New Zealand TAB who have Chicago Bull, who won two heats of the series, as the $3.80 second pick, with the second Kiwi in the race Have Faith In Me rated a $31 chance.
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
Driving The Future Of Harness Racing