Six-year-old Runaway Three returned to form and ended a losing sequence of 12 when he set the pace and beat Oneonthewood and Ideal Flipflop over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night and young reinsman Corey Peterson is confident that the Mach Three gelding can handle the rise in class when he contests the Rock N Roll World at Allwood Stud Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Runaway Three, prepared by Kristian Hawkins, will start from the No. 1 barrier and Peterson is anxious to take full advantage of the draw by setting the pace.
"The run on Tuesday night will do him the world of good," said Peterson. "It will sharpen him right up, and before discussing tactics with Kristian, the likely plan is to lead.
"His past few runs have been quite good (including a close second to Jaxon Fella after working hard without cover three starts ago) and I think he's on the way up again. On Tuesday night he went to the line with plenty left in the tank. When there's a horse right next to him, he will go all day. But if the horse in the breeze drops back, he'll switch off a little bit."
Runaway Three's previous win was when he started from barrier one, set the pace and beat Hasani and Mister Spot over 2100m at Bunbury in late February. He is sure to meet with plenty of opposition on Friday night, particularly from Ideal One, Carter Micheal, Walkinshaw, El Hombre and his stablemate The Trilogy.
Ideal One, trained by Gary Hall snr and to be driven by Maddison Brown, is favourably drawn at barrier two and looks very hard to beat. Ideal One started from barrier six in a 1730m sprint last Friday night and impressed in finishing with a resolute burst from sixth at the bell to be second to the pacemaker and stablemate Mad Robber, with a final quarter in 27.8sec.
Ideal One is a smart frontrunner, like he showed four starts ago when he set the pace over 2536m and won from Waimac Attack and Beltane.
The Nathan Turvey-trained Carter Micheal will be driven by Kyle Harper and the six-year-old is handily drawn at barrier three and looks set to fight out the finish. His past seven starts produced two wins, two seconds and three thirds.
Hawkins will handle The Trilogy, who will start from the inside of the back line and is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst. The Trilogy took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier last Friday night when he led and won in fine style from Bad Round and Rock Me Over.
Peterson will also drive the Hawkins-trained Call Me Ernie in the Melbourne Cup Luncheon at Gloucester Park Handicap, a stand over 2096m in which he will start from the inside of the front line.
Peterson has driven Call Me Ernie to victory in 2560m stands at Northam at two of his past three starts. He rises sharply in class and Peterson said that the gelding is a reliable beginner in stands who would be suited by the relatively short distance. "But a place looks his best possible chance," he said.
Kingslayer, a recent import from New Zealand and a newcomer to the Forrestdale stables of Greg and Skye Bond, will be a short-priced favourite at his Gloucester Park debut who should maintain his unbeaten record in Australia after commanding victories in stands at Pinjarra at his first three starts in Australia.
The Ross Olivieri-trained Space Junk (Chris Voak) will share the front line with Call Me Ernie, Kingslayer, Ideal Investment, Destined To Rule and Starlight Brigade and he is capable of a bold showing.