16 May 2019
by Ken Casellas
Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis is enjoying a golden run of successes which should continue when speedy four-year-old The War Nurse contests the www.gloucesterpark.com.au over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Saturday night.
In the past 12 weeks Lewis has prepared 24 winners with The War Nurse winning at four of her six starts, and Luis Alberto (six wins), The Watch Maker (four), Carte Blanche (four), Vrai Amour (two), Lot Twenty One (two) and Pierre Whitby (two) all racing in with great enthusiasm.
The War Nurse, to be handled by the trainer’s husband Chris, will start from the No. 5 barrier on Saturday night and the mare possesses such sparkling gate speed that she should be able to cross to the front and then dictate the terms of the 2130m event.
Last Friday night, The War Nurse began very fast from barrier three and set the pace in the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Pace in which she fought on grandly to finish third behind Our Alfie Romeo and Rosies Ideal. She led from barrier five and won at a 1.55.8 rate from Ona Happy Note and The Trilogy a week earlier and scoring effortless victories at Pinjarra at her three previous outings.
The War Nurse, who managed five thirds from 15 starts as a three-year-old, has really blossomed this season, with six wins, four thirds and three fourths from 13 starts.
She is likely to be tested by smart mares in Beaudiene Beach Babe, Kitura and Purest Silk, but should emerge triumphant.
Beaudiene Beach Babe, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for trainer Justin Prentice, is favourably drawn at barrier three and should fight out the finish. She dashed to the lead after 400m in the standing-start Race For Roses last Friday week before relinquishing the front and being shuffled back to fifth, three back on the pegs, and then running home with great determination to finish a head second to Miss Sangrial.
Kitura, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, was unlucky at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when she trailed the pacemaker Breach The Beach and was badly blocked for a clear run in the closing stages when third to that pacer over 1730m. She will have many admirers this week from the prized No. 1 barrier.
Purest Silk, trained by Barry Howlett, will start from the inside of the back line and should be prominent. She notched her eighth win from 25 starts when she finished powerfully to win from Crystal Sparkles and the pacemaker Cut Above at a 1.57./6 rate on Tuesday night.
The Lewis stable will also have a strong following in other events on Saturday night, with Pierre Whitby (race two), Lot Twenty One (race six), Soho Leviathan (race seven) and Luis Alberto (race ten).
Luis Alberto, a New Zealand-bred gelding, has been a revelation in the past few months, with his 13 starts for Lewis producing six wins and three placings. He is handily drawn at barrier three in the final event on Saturday night, the 1730m The Bridge Bar Pace, and should fight out the finish for Jocelyn Young, who has formed a strong association with the five-year-old.
Considerable interest in this event surrounds the first appearance in Western Australia of Victorian performer Mad Robber, an eight-year-old stallion who has hade 43 starts for 11 wins, ten seconds and four thirds.
Mad Robber, prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr, will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and reinsman Gary Hall jnr is sure to make full use of the horse’s good gate speed over the sprint trip.
Mad Robber, driven by Maddison Brown, impressed in winning a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when the horse began fast from barrier one, set the pace and sprinted the final 400m in 27.5sec. in beating Galante by one and a half lengths at a 1.57.3 rate. He will be having his first start on Saturday night since he raced in the breeze and wilted to fifth behind Rackemup Tigerpie over 1710m at Ballarat on December 26 last year.