The Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival concludes this Wednesday at Launceston with the feature-packed Launceston Cup meeting. As well as the Betfair Exchange Launceston Cup we see the George Adams Plate and the 2yo grand final, the Steve’s Liquor Gold Sovereign. With good weather forecast until raceday we can expect to work with a firm racing surface, however with showers forecast on the day we may end up working with a deteriorating track so that is something to be aware of. The rail moves to the 3m position from the 1200m to the Winning Post after racing extremely well in the True position on Sunday, and back to the True position for the remainder.
Race 1 12:55pm UBET Class 1 Handicap (1400m)
Number of on-pacers here in the big field but no genuine leaders. Think Rougeau, Box Of Frogs, All Bar Madison and Leigh John are most likely to take up the running with Noblecourt, Slinky Malinky and Hello Gertie all capable of being right on the speed. Competition for spots probably results in a decent tempo.
Box Of Frogs: Was very good last time in C2 grade behind good filly Trot On Candy and the way he finished off there suggests 1400m should be ok. Promising type who draws nicely here and has the versatility to take up the lead or take the sit if something wants to attack him. First try at this track but should get the right run and has the form to say he’s one of the leading chances in a wide race.
Noblecourt: Another promising horse who was a little disappointing last time but gets an extra 200m here and the blinkers on for the first time. Inside draw is a bonus and McCoull can choose how close he wants to land to the speed. Won his maiden at this track two starts ago and while 1400m for the first time is a query he looks capable and should get the right run to see out the trip. Definite hope.
Rougeau: A most consistent type who missed a place for the first time in this state last time but was still only a length away from the winner Sphero. Had a good run from gate 1 there but gets the same draw again here and a steady tempo to take advantage of again. Somewhat concerning he hasn’t been able to win yet at 6 tries in this state but will be better for that run over 1400m and he looks very likely to be in the finish.
Slinky Malinky: Has run well at both starts in this state, including a narrow defeat over 1400m in a C2 last time in Hobart. Gets in light here with Boris Thornton’s claim and should be able to find a good position on the speed from her middle draw. First go at this track but should be cherry ripe for this 3rd up and is right in the mix.
Think they are the four major chances but a number of minor chances engaged in this. Demons Run was very good last time in this grade and drawn inside for Michelle Payne should suit her riding for luck from back in the field. Hello Gertie continues to race well and has the speed to overcome her wide barrier if the breaks go her way.Quirribilly Lodge was good when winning first-up last time and will appreciate the rise to 1400m, while Derek The Viking broke his maiden over this trip last time but has improvement to make here. Turtles Nest has been up a long time but is very capable in this grade while Beaufort Lad made up good ground last time and isn’t hopeless with Newitt booked.
Very competitive race with up to 10 possible chances. Lean to Box Of Frogs with the good run near the lead after finishing hard last time but the top 4 hopes all have strong chances.. Quirribilly Lodge looks most advantaged if we get rain prior to race time.
Race 2 1:30pm Venarchie Contracting BM62 Handicap (2100m)
Looks very little pressure at the front of the map here, with Immortal Fire most likely to take up the running after leading over 1400m last time. Electric Crimson can be on speed but the rest of the field likes to settle midfield or worse which could result in a very slow tempo, disadvantaging those back in the field.
Electric Crimson: Was very good last start over 2400m in Hobart in this grade when a close up 3rd behind Shlingas and Gwemrae, who subsequently ran well in the Night Cup on Wednesday. Did it tough on speed and kept going, and that racing pattern could well be a major advantage in this. Back to 2100m is fine and he ran a good 2nd to Aventador over this trip in tougher grade back in December. Does look especially well placed here and will be very hard to beat.
Windell: Ran very well at his two tries at this trip before a flat run last time over a mile, with the highlight being a close up 5th behind Hugo in BM82 grade. Will find this much easier and that form is dynamite for a race like this. Likely to get well back which may be a negative considering the likely tempo but with any favours in the run he should be right in the finish.
Big Pegg: Has her first run for the Scott Brunton stable here after a good 4th behind Shlingas in the 2400m at Hobart a fortnight ago. Only run here at 2100m was quite solid when a close 3rd to Steven’s Wonder but this is a little harder. Another who would prefer a bit of speed in the race which may be against but has Newitt in the saddle and always runs on well so give her a solid winning chance.
Prominent Star: Stepped up sharply to 2400m last time in his first run past a mile and wasn’t disgraced when 5th behind Shlingas. Think 2100m will be much more suitable and he should do no work in the run with Darmanin on from gate 1. Form is good at this track but can get too far back on occasions so with the right ride he can charge home and win this.
Speckie: Racing well over the shorter trips and now tries 2100m for the first time. Racing in fast-run miles is vastly different to the slow tempo he’s likely to encounter here which can be a major negative, and there has to be a query on his ability at the distance until he proves himself. That said, his form is very good in harder races than this and if he runs the trip he’ll be hard to hold out.
Next best the likely leader Immortal Fire (much better last time, steps up sharply from 1400m to try this distance for the first time which is a tough ask) and So Much Fun (still yet to win a maiden which is a concern in this grade but does run the trip).
Think Electric Crimson is very well placed here and has won on soft ground if that eventuates. Windell may be worth a saver on his good 2100m form, while Immortal Fire has won on soft ground if the rain comes and can give a sight in front for longshot backers.
Race 3 2:05pm Toll Tasmania Class 2 Handicap (1200m)
Not a great deal of pressure in this allowing Red Sun Rising to carve across from the outside gate to find either the lead or a good spot on the speed. Looking at Seajamm, Zigold, Artie Edna or Before All to be on speed just behind the leaders.
Seajamm: Looked all over the winner 1st up after enjoying a good run just behind the speed but failed to run down the leader Red Sun Rising. Draws to get a very similar run again and she was a very impressive winner at her only try at this track. One of the hardest to beat in an open race.
Step The Pedal: Had been knocking on the door of late and finally broke through with an impressive C1 victory in Hobart. 2 runs at this track were both very good and 1200m looks her ideal go. Draws in for a cheap run but will need some room getting clear to let go with her big finish. If her latest win has boosted her confidence it would be no surprise to see her make it 2 in a row here.
Red Sun Rising: Was very well rated in front first up by Steven Arnold when he went all the way to defeat Seajamm and Step The Pedal. Could well get the right run in front here as he looks very likely to charge out and get across under his own steam. Sure to give a sight and right in the mix.
Nissky: A very talented 3yo who comes back in grade here but he still does a lot wrong in his races and often gets beaten further than he should be. Form in good 3yo company is consistent without ever really threatening but will appreciate the drop in grade. Likes this track and this distance and if the rain should hit he won a 2yo race here on a deteriorating track by 5 lengths. On his best form he would be a clear favourite in this but we haven’t seen his best for a while after having a few niggles prior to this prep. Can run on and looks the X-Factor in this field.
Luxembourg: Has been rather flat racing in this grade at his past few runs although wide gates haven’t done him any favours. From the inside draw expect to see Michelle Payne ride him for luck and if he gets the openings on the inside he can burst through late. Will need things to go his way but has a hope if they do.
Good race with top 4 chances standing out. Lean to the two mares Seajamm and Step The Pedal, but if it is hard to make ground Red Sun Rising will give a big sight in front again. Nissky will be very hard to beat if he produces his best and rates highly on a rain-affected track.
Race 4 2:40pm PFD Food Services 3yo Classic (1200m)
Should be plenty of speed here through Gee Gee Red Prince, Gee Gees Jet and I’m Wesley. Noble Herioine comes with King Island form but looks to have some early toe while Naadam and Teriki will be right behind the leaders keeping them honest. Every horse should get their chance in the 9 horse field.
Gee Gee Red Prince: A breathtaking win in Hobart in the Carbine Club over 1100m and don’t expect the 1200m to be any different for him here. The main queries are the rise to 59kgs after racing at set weights, and barrier 1 if a couple of those drawn wider out. Was so impressive last time that these might not be enough to pull him up and he rates very highly to win again.
Naadam: Racing in super fashion and does look well placed here with only 55kgs. Two starts ago he ran a magnificent 2nd to Silver Bolt in red hot time and then last time he was pulling a stack of ground of Gee Gee Red Prince late and would have grabbed him in another couple of strides. Drawn ideally to sit just off the speed, he should be right in the finish of this.
Jazzy’s Choice: A good filly who ran a good 2nd in the Magic Millions last week after racing wide throughout. Ran home for a very good 3rd in the Carbine Club two starts ago so her form ties in well here and she gets in on the minimum. Not sure she can turn the tables on the top two but she’s one of a number of chances on the next line.
Gee Gees Jet: Got caught in the Carbine Club speed battle from his wide gate last time and that pressure told on him late, weakening to run 4th. Don’t think he’ll strike such pressure here and could well find himself rolling outside the leader as he likes to do. Races well here at 1200m having won 3 times and he looks at least a strong place chance in this.
I’m Wesley: Resumes here after a good prep where he ran 4th in the 3yo Cup before winning his C1 at this track. Darmanin may have a tricky ask from gate 7 with plenty of pace drawn inside him but he does have a stack of speed to help him find a position. 3yo Cup form is ideal for a race like this and he’s another of the second level chances here.
Next best is the Magic Millions winner Blaze Forth (probably right spot last time, will appreciate pressure up front and should be running on) and Teriki (big weight drop, not sure where she gets to from gate 9 but has plenty of talent).
Weights are against Gee Gee Red Prince but think his last win was outstanding and want to be with him again. Naadam the obvious danger, while Jazzy’s Choice appeals as the knockout chance.
Race 5 3:15pm Steve’s Liquor Gold Sovereign (1200m)
Expecting Gee Gee Spitfire and Gee Gee Double Dee to take up the running here but there are a number who may take up a position near the speed, namely Life On The Wire, Hussy’s Glow, Miss Two Pairs, Bailee’s Moshe and Hot Dipped. That said, a couple of those are on debut and Hussy’s Glow did drift back in her Adelaide start so the pressure may turn out less than expected.
Hot Dipped: Turned it on last week in the Magic Millions with a devastating 8 length victory in fast time to announce herself as the horse to beat in this. She has the racing pattern to handle a high pressure contest but also the early speed to be within striking distance if the leaders get a good time of it in front. She has a number of horses looking for a similar spot drawn inside her which could prove tricky but with any luck in running she appeals as the one to beat.
Gee Gee Double Dee: Has been the pin up girl all season but now gets her chance to show what she is made of. Tough effort to win the Elwick Stakes when attacked in front and that win was better than the margin reflected. She gets the blinkers on for the first time and won very easily at her only start at this track. Having her 5th start here means she has been up for most of the season – was her last run a sign she has had enough? She looks like getting a pretty comfortable run in the first couple so expect she’ll give the favourite something to chase and she is capable of keeping her unbeaten record alive.
Mariah’s Magic: Turned heads last time out in the Elwick Stakes when she rapidly cut down the margin late behind Gee Gee Double Dee and will be suited further at the 1200m here. Wasn’t that far from Hot Dipped on debut after having to weave through the field so she has the form against the two favourites to suggest she can make them earn it. Likely to get back and be the one with the last crack at them so if those up front get a bit carried away she can find them out late.
Hussy’s Glow: Ran well at her only start in Adelaide when a close up 4th after racing wide throughout. Hard to line that form up but knowing she handled soft ground there would hold her in good stead if forecast rain arrives on the day. Should get a cheap run from gate 2 and she should be thereabouts but whether she quite has the star ability of the first couple is up for debate.
Gee Gee Spitfire: Was an impressive winner on debut in Hobart and looks like getting a good run either in front or third the fence in this. Has blinkers on first time and looked a strong type suited at 1200m. Hard to suggest he can beat the fillies on what he showed but he’s in the mix to fill the minor placings.
Next best looks the newcomer Life On The Wire, who is a nice type of filly and trialled nicely in Hobart last week but this is a very tough ask to win on debut.
Terrific race. Hot Dipped appeals as the strongest type here and think she can win again. Gee Gee Double Dee will give her something to catch, and Mariah’s Magic can pick them off if the two favourites get carried away and think it’s a match race. Respect for Hussy’s Glow if the rain comes as proven on soft ground.
Race 6 3:50pm Launceston City Council Open Handicap (1200m)
Very good speed here with Concrete Johnny and Geegees Doublejay likely to burn along early with Gee Gees Style, Meconsul, Silver Bolt and Our Casanova capable of being right on the speed. Every horse gets their chance here if good enough.
Geegees Doublejay: A winner who is one of the top 3 sprinters in the state and a proven weight carrier. Missed the start when beaten by Admiral last time at WFA (which of course is no disgrace for a race like this) and won three in a row prior carrying 60kgs or more on every occasion. First time Steph Thornton takes the ride on him here but her claim brings him in with a very reasonable 59.5kgs. Loaded with speed and will probably come across with Concrete Johnny to find a good spot on speed. Likes the wet if the rain comes so he looks pretty well placed to win again.
Silver Bolt: Is absolutely flying, having won 5 in a row and looks ideally placed to have his crack at open class now. Was very competitive with Geegees Doublejay as a 3yo without beating him. Expect he could follow Geegees Doublejay across and find the one-one position and be well placed to try and run him down. With the pull in the weights and the fast times he has been producing lately he looks a genuine danger to the favourite.
Meconsul: Ran a good 3rd at WFA here over 1200m two starts back before failing at the longer trip in the Thomas Lyons last time. Think he is better suited back in this with a big weight drop back to the minimum weight. Draws perfectly in gate 2 and no surprise if he is able to find the spot behind the leader. Still on the up and he looks one of the better place chances here at the very least.
Minute Repeater: A quality horse, especially fresh like he is here, having won 3 of his 5 first up runs. Last time first up he charged home to finish within 3 lengths of the winner in 6th in the 2014 Newmarket. Has had a year off but trialled in very fast time in Hobart last week so he looks in good shape. Having drawn the outside he will probably have to go right back but he has a big finish and he can run into the mix if they overdo the tempo in front.
Concrete Johnny: Tough speedster who will appreciate a big weight drop down to 52kgs with Raquel Clark’s claim. Has found Silver Bolt too good at his past couple of runs but gets a nice weight turnaround on him in this. Best form is a level below this grade but he will be in front for a long way and is one of the main place hopes.
Next best are a couple of up and comers, Savoire Step (very good last time behind Silver Bolt, likes this track and a good tempo, can be running on late) and Geegees Soprano (ran home quite well in the Thomas Lyons, likes this track and distance and will get a cheap run drawn 1).
Think one of the top two will win here. Geegees Doublejay has the form on the board but Silver Bolt is improving all the time and running the time to be a genuine hope. If the track is rain-affected that plays into Geegees Doublejay’s hands and think he’ll be too good. Think Minute Repeater is the knock out chance.
Race 7 4:30pm Betfair Exchange Launceston Cup (2400m)
Doesn’t look to be much more pace than the Hobart Cup so expect we’ll see just a steady tempo again. Expect Oerter to go forward looking for the lead while Ollie’s Gold can also take up the running. Geegees Goldengirl and Mister Moneypenny can be close to the speed again, while the Victorian Schockemohle can take up a position and Hugo may race closer to the speed with the winkers on and the good draw.
Geegees Goldengirl: Such a consistent mare who comes here after runner-up efforts behind Up Cups in both the Hobart and Summer Cups, which followed her dominant Devonport Cup victory. Drawn beautifully in gate 4 and should get the run of the race for Siggy Carr and showed last time the 2400m holds no fears. Races well at this track and any rain is probably a bonus. Looks like getting every chance to land a big Cup and she rates as a leading chance.
Up Cups: An impressive winner in the Hobart Cup and appeals as an obvious chance again on that effort. Comes up with a wide barrier here which is a query after enjoying a gun run throughout in Hobart. Any rain won’t be an issue for him and may suit him if the inside chops out from his wide gate. May need another pearler from Pires but he has found a way to win his past 3 runs against this competition so he could well just find a way again and take the double.
Player One: Rattled home in the Hobart Cup for a close up 4th but again got a long way back and had too much left to do to win. Craig Newitt takes the ride in a bid to change his run of luck and he may be able to settle a bit closer from the inside draw. Wet ground shouldn’t worry him and he would be suited by a tough slogging go if that eventuates. Has been costly of late and no one would be shocked if he got too far back again but he has been running on too well to not be a genuine winning chance.
Arianne: A really well bred mare by Zabeel out of former top class galloper She’s Justa Tad and she looks an improving type suited by the 2400m. Finished close up two starts back in good 2000m event at Flemington before a close up 5th over this trip when she didn’t have much luck in the straight as favourite. Needs to continue improving coming out of restricted class events but don’t think this is too much harder and she has the scope to do so. Think she’s the top pick of the mainland invaders.
Schockemohle: Comes off a couple of metropolitan placings in Victoria in restricted staying events, including a 3rd behind Wales who ran as one of the fancies in the Hobart Cup. Should get a gun run from gate 2 for in-form rider Luke Currie and although he is unproven at the mile and a half he should be ready for this trip after a couple of 2000m runs. Any sting out of the track would be a bonus and probably his best chance of winning but he looks a strong type who should be around the mark.
Think they look to be the 5 major winning chances in the race but there are many in with minor hopes. Aggregator was quite good last time when 2nd in the race Arianne ran an unlucky 5th in and while he hasn’t won for 2 years he does have genuine 2400m form and Mick Kent has won this race previously.
Hugo: Ran a very good 6th in the Hobart Cup and with winkers on and a good gate again he can be around the mark if that is the formline that comes to the fore, and that formline also provides tough on pacer Oerter who was a game 5th in the Cup after taking up the running mid-race and a similar effort will have him in the front end again.
Smoke ‘N’ Whisky: Will be improved on his first try at this trip in the Hobart Cup and won the Night Cup impressively leading into this so expecting a forward showing. Gladstone was very game in the Night Cup and is fresh on the scene looking for the 2400m trip, and the same can be said for Ollie’s Gold who can roll forward on the steady tempo.
Very competitive race. With the mainland raiders all restricted class gallopers, it may be best to work with the Hobart Cup as the key formline here so Up Cups, Geegees Goldengirl and Player One all appeal as major chances. Lean to the mare Geegees Goldengirl to turn the tables after the barrier draw. Hard to line up the mainlanders but think Arianne and Schockemohle are the best chances from Aggregator. There look to be five local hopes on the next level – Hugo, Smoke ‘N’ Whisky, Gladstone, Oerter and Ollie’s Gold, and all have some place claims with the right run. If the track is rain-affected, Geegees Goldengirl and Up Cups are proven on genuinely soft ground as are the mainlanders Schockemohle and Arianne.
Race 8 5:10pm George Adams Plate (1600m)
Miss It And A Bit looks the likely leader here and she likes to bowl along which should ensure a genuine tempo. Dream Roller can also go forward, with Admiral looking to take up a position close to the speed also. Rose Of Innocence may push forward to find a spot while fresh with the rest happier to settle midfield or worse.
Admiral: Has almost had the perfect preparation, winning every start except for his unlucky first-up run in the Newmarket. Gets back to the mile here at Launceston where he has won Listed WFA events at both tries, including an impressive win last year in this event as a 3yo beating The Cleaner. Won the Thomas Lyons last start in fast time but having nothing left in Tasmania after this suggests he’s ready to explode here. Should get a lovely run from gate 2 just behind the speed and getting clear running looks to be his main obstacle. Expect him to top off a great campaign with another win.
Powercharged: Took the step up to WFA company last time in impressive style with a fast-finishing second behind Admiral and returns to his favourite track here. This is his first go at the mile so it remains a query but he’s had 6 runs this prep to be rock hard fit for it and he races like it won’t be an issue. Going to have to chase Admiral home here again and suggest it will be a similar result but he stands out as the main danger.
Streetwise Savoire: Returns from a failed staying program to a more suitable distance here, one where he ran 5th in this season’s Tasmanian Stakes behind Admiral. Ran 3rd in this race last year and should get a very quiet run in behind them from gate 1. Likes this track and did beat Admiral in last year’s Thomas Lyons. Looks one of the better place hopes being one proven at the trip.
Erin’s Element: Unlikely to run after running a good 4th in the Vamos on Sunday but will rate among the place chances if they do decide to run. Had nothing to take her into the race in the Vamos but rattled home down the outside to run into 4th without ever threatening the placegetters. On trial at the mile in this and think it is a major query but if she can get cover and a cart into the race she can run into money here.
Perplexing: Was very good last time when 3rd in the Thomas Lyons and expecting a similar run here. Has a great record at 1600m having never missed a place in 5 tries which will hold her in good stead for this. Expect her to do no work in the run and come with a run late to try and run into the money and she has some place hope.
Sticking with Admiral – he’s a winner and this will be his grand final. Powercharged is the obvious danger. If we get a really rain-affected track that will throw things open a bit and Perplexing would be best placed to take advantage of it.
Race 9 5:50pm Coates Hire BM72 Handicap (1400m)
Looks a very genuine tempo in the last of the day with Blood Orange, Extended Warranty and possibly Secrets She Has likely to take up the lead. Plenty of on-pacers looking for a position behind them – Into The Wind, Just Call Me Fred, Partenza, Van Diemens Fire and Treasury Bond can all take up a spot handy to the speed if desired which should ensure a solid speed which gives the backmarkers their chance, especially if the better ground is out wide late in the day.
Magnacash: A very promising mare who ran a nice race when midfield in the Bow Mistress when racing well out of her grade. Two runs at this track and distance have resulted in a win and a narrow 2nd in easier grade and she has never missed a place in 5 goes at this track. Drawn wide shouldn’t be an issue as she is likely to go back and she will appreciate a strong tempo. In on the minimum weight, this looks pretty suitable and she will be hard to beat.
Hyperbole: Racing in great form, having won 3 of her last 4 starts, and comes here off an excellent win at 1400m in good time at Hobart on Cup day. Draws well to get a good run in behind the speed and has won 3 of 6 at the trip. Should also be suited by a good tempo and expect to see her running home into the finish with luck in running. Right in the mix.
Partenza: Stablemate of Hyperbole attempting 1400m for the first time. Has a great record at Launceston but should rain hit through the day that will dampen her chances considerably. Another who enjoys a strong tempo but whether she can produce the same big finish at 1400m is unknown. Expect her to run well but have to emphasise the fact that she won’t want any rain.
Treasury Bond: Another promising type in a nice race. Hasn’t been at his best at his past 3 runs over a mile and think the drop back to 1400m may be suitable for him at this stage of his career. Draws an awkward barrier which is a concern but can go forward and if the speed goes on the field may string out to allow him to slot in. Gets in on the minimum with Maskiell’s claim and has always promised plenty so no surprise if he runs a really nice race.
Just Call Me Fred: A tough horse well proven in this grade and very consistent. Clark’s claim is very beneficial to bring him in with 58.5kgs which is about as much as he wants, but he comes here off a 5 week break at 1400m which is about as far as he wants. Definitely one of the best horses in the race and he is always around the mark but think the gap between runs might just find him out late.
Next best Into The Wind who can improve after being in the wrong spot last Wednesday night, and O’Reillys Geegee with the blinkers back on and Carr taking the reins, while Extended Warranty and Secrets She Has are both handy mares who should be in the thick of things also.
Pretty keen on Magnacash to send us home a winner, especially if the track is enabling the run-on horses late in the day. If the track is rain-affected, look to Van Diemens Fire and Into The Wind to be big improvers.