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Always An Angel always a winner

Hot favourite Always An Angel notched her fifth straight win for trainer Justin Prentice in an incident-packed $100,000 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park last night.

Heavily-backed Unconditional had to pass a pre-race vet check after striking a track fence and she finished last after breaking gait while leading on the home turn.

Always An Angel ($2.50) scored by more than 6m from Star For Me ($140), and Bettor Beach ($7) finished third.

Reinsman Gary Hall settled Always An Angel in 10th position before launching a three-wide move in the final lap.

Running second at the 350m, she swept clear when Unconditional faltered. Always An Angel’s only defeat in a six-start career was a third at her debut.

Connections had said options for Always An Angel included the $100,000 Golden Slipper Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park on July 10. But Prentice poured cold water on that idea.

“She pulled up well,” Prentice said. “But I’ll probably spell her rather than head to the Golden Slipper. The filly’s earned a rest.”

Always An Angel is delivering compensation to her syndicate of owners, who have been out of luck this season with their 2019 WA Pacing Cup winner Rocknroll Lincoln.

The six-year-old, also trained by Prentice, sustained a leg injury when resuming at Gloucester Park last December.

“He’s still recuperating and we don’t know when he’ll return to racing,” Prentice said. “We’re giving him plenty of time to recover.”

Co-trainers Greg and Skye Bond also face issues with Unconditional, who has been stood down by stewards and cannot race until she trials satisfactorily.

Starting at $4.10 last night, Unconditional hit the fence while being marshalled to race. She settled in second position and strode clear at the 300m, but then galloped.

Hall had earlier driven $1.60 favourite Chicago Bull when he scored by 1.5m from Ocean Ridge ($2.70) in the Lyle Lindau 90th Birthday Free-For-All.

Chicago Bull, who led for most for most of the race, has started 58 times at Gloucester Park for 42 wins and 14 places.

His overall career tally is 47 wins from 73 races and he has earned stakes of $1.8 million.

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