Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi is driving in wonderful form and looks set for a winning double at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Roman Aviator in race three and Shadow Roll in the seventh event.
He trains Roman Aviator, who is sure to relish a perfect draw at barrier one on the front line in a 1730m sprint event.
The five-year-old Roman Aviator has been plagued by unfavourable barriers in recent months but has performed creditably with third placings at three of his past five starts from barriers five, nine and eight.
His most recent success was eight starts ago when he began from the No. 6 barrier as an 82/1 outsider. After racing wide in the early stages, Roman Aviator was restrained to the rear before moving forward in the middle stages to the one-out, one-back position. He then unleashed a powerful burst to hit the front in the final 50m and won from the fast-finishing Bettor Party at a 1.56.7 rate over 2130m.
Roman Aviator is an excellent frontrunner and Cortopassi is sure to use this quality in a bid for an all-the-way success in a race in which he will clash with smart eight-year-old As Happy As Larry, who will be resuming after a six-month absence.
As Happy As Larry, trained and driven by Robbie Williams, will start from barrier six and is capable of a bold first-up showing. Early this year he impressed with placings behind pacers of the calibre of Mighty Conqueror, Im Soxy and Warfare. His latest success was six starts ago when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to beat Lady De La Renta at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m early last April.
Shadow Roll, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is a promising four-year-old who has had 14 starts for six wins and eight placings. He is ideally drawn at barrier two in the 1730m Westral Vertical And Panel Blinds Pace.
Shadow Roll has resumed after a spell in fine style with a first-up Pinjarra victory followed by a close third behind Flying Mister Ideal over 2185m at Pinjarra and a wonderful second to Its Rock And Roll over 1684m on the same track.
He was most impressive on Monday afternoon when he was eighth at the bell before finishing with a powerful burst to beat all but the stylish frontrunner Its Rock And Roll. The final quarters were run in 28.5sec. and 27.6sec.