Four-year-old grey Smokey The Bandit emerged as a future major cups prospect when he finished powerfully to win the $50,000 The West Australian Nights Of Thunder Final (1730m) at Gloucester Park last night.
Smokey The Bandit ($3.40), settled third on the pegs and skilfully extricated at the home turn by reinsman Ashleigh Markham, beat pacemaker Silent Prowl ($2.30 favourite) by 1 1/2m.
Another 1 1/2m back in third place was Rowchester ($7.70).
Bunbury-based Markham has driven Smokey The Bandit in all of his 40 races, for 10 wins.
"A great drive by Ash," said an excited Busselton trainer Michael Callegari.
"I never give him driving instructions. He knows the horse so well."
Callegari, shaping for a top carnival, has entered Dredlock Rockstar in the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup (2936m) on January 17.
He trains a five-horse team, mainly on beach work.
Trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop's long-term plans paid handsome dividends when The Beau Brummell recorded an all-the-way win in the $30,000 The West Australian Trotters' Cup (2503m) last night.
Mellsop said he set the gelding specifically for last night's event and had him at peak form in his fifth race of a campaign.
The Beau Brummell ($3.60 favourite) beat Hot Holiday ($3.90), who faced the breeze, by 1 1/2m and Prince Eddie ($4.30) finished another 5 1/2m back in third place.
Prince Eddie raced three-wide from the 1000m.
Substantial bets were landed when Aristocratic Glow won the The West Australian Mares Pace (2130m) after being backed from $12.70 to $8.60.
The Barry Warwick-trained Aristocratic Glow, driven by Chris Lewis, went three-wide at the bell and charged home to score by 3 1/2m.
Tatum Franco ($62.10) ran second and pacemaker Indomitable ($9.40) finished a close third.
Arma Xpress ($1.30 favourite) faced the breeze and ran last of 12, more than 100m behind Aristocratic Glow.
Tuxedo ($9.80) was presented with victory in thewest.com.au Pace (1730m) when pacemaker Major Nick ($1.90 favourite) galloped at the bell and dropped out.
Reinsman Kyle Harper, who had been facing the breeze with Tuxedo, dashed him clear and went on to win by 1 1/2m from Knight Crusader ($47.20). Veitchy ($6.20) was 2 1/2m back in third place.
Tuxedo firmed from $11 in the final minutes of betting.
Pacific Warrior ($3.60 favourite), having his first start in four months when winning The Weekend West Pace (2130m), shapes as a feature events hope for trainer Ray Williams.
Lewis brought Pacific Warrior from third at the bell to hit the front 300m out and he scored by 9 1/2m from Elsu Sheila ($53.50). Maggies Mystery ($18.50) was 2 1/2m back in third place.
Six-year-old Pacific Warrior has won at 17 of 50 starts.
This Time Dylan, having his first start with the Michael Brennan stable after being claimed for $20,000 last week, won The Form Pace (2536m) by a head.
A $13,650 stake was earned by This Time Dylan, who started $6.30 and beat Leda McNally ($5.40) by a head. Dasher VC ($3.20 favourite) was 10m back in third place, after taking a narrow lead at the 300m.
This Time Dylan won at five of his last eight starts for trainer Gary Hall.
The Ross Olivieri-trained Red Salute ($4.80) won last night's Tabform Pace (2130m) after steaming past front running stable mate Sensational Gabby ($2 favourite) near the home turn.
Red Salute, who had coasted in fourth postion for reinman Chris Voak, fought on to score by a neck from Our Major Mark ($22.40) and Danieljohn ($11) was a close third. Former top juvenile Sensational Gabby, who had pulled hard, faded sharply.