Devonport hosts another thoroughbred meeting this Saturday with full Sky 1 coverage and another big 9 race card. A few smaller fields this week might make things easier for punters but the races still look to have plenty of depth to work with.
R1 Luxbet Club Xtra Benchmark 62 Handicap 1000m
Small field but looks plenty of pressure with I’m Wesley and the stablemates Nielson and Madame George all capable of going fast early to look for the lead. Teriki and Dharmini can be right behind them with My Paige Three likely to see them all.
1. Nielson: Has been very impressive at his past two starts at this track, winning them both in good style and beating some smart gallopers at his last win in particular. Drops back from 1150m but is loaded with speed and with 4kg apprentice Chris Graham aboard expect him to be ridden for the lead again. Has a touch of class about him and still getting better. Will take plenty of running down.
2. I’m Wesley: Resumes with a trial under his belt and has a good fresh record including a dominant win over 900m here on his debut. Has taken on the best 3yo sprinters this season and acquitted himself well, placing on numerous occasions. Has plenty of speed and an inside barrier to take advantage of it so expect him to be in the firing line for a long way.
3. Teriki: Also resuming and won a trial in impressive fashion earlier this month by four lengths in fast time. Both runs over this course at the start of her career were very good and she has also shown up in open 3yo company this season. Has plenty of weight even after Raquel Clark’s claim but can get a gun run from gate 1 and is a definite hope.
6. My Paige Three: A lightly raced mare who resumes after a long spell without a trial. Has shown a stack of ability at her four runs so far and when first-up last time in she ran a good 3rd when favourite behind Partenza, beating home Nielson. Hasn’t seen this track before which is an obvious query and will probably be giving them all a start but if the pressure goes on too early she can be charging home late.
4. Madame George: Very disappointing last time over 1350m but is much better suited here back to 1000m. Her best run this prep was a 2nd to Seven Falls over this course and she has continued to run solid races without winning. Has had four meetings with the other 3yos in this and been beaten on all four occasions so probably needs a personal best to be winning here.
Small but quality field here with as many as four appealing as strong winning chances. Sticking with the in-form Nielson who has the fitness edge.
BACK (WIN) Nielson for 6 units
R2 Magic Millions Maiden 1650m
A distinct lack of exposed speed on paper here. Rialto Jess and Tymoshenko look most likely to take up the running out to the mile while Sorturo and Prince Of Rivers may be able to race closer at the longer trip. Whoever lands near the lead looks to be advantaged.
6. Rialto Jess: Has found some good form at her past couple of starts, backing up a strong 2nd on heavy ground in Launceston with a solid here last time out behind Irish John over 1350m. Goes to a mile now which looks suitable now although her last run was in a very slow race which might provide a little query on her fitness. However, she should get a gun run on speed from gate 1 in a race of little pressure and she looks very well placed.
5. Prince Of Rivers: Ran a game third at his first run for Scott Brunton in Launceston and wasn’t far behind Rialto Jess so that form obviously ties in here. Has had a trial since to keep him up to the mark and being a one-paced type he looks suited going to the mile. Failed at his only run on this surface but to be fair he was failing at every run so it is inconclusive. A repeat of his last effort makes him one of the leading chances here.
10. Tymoshenko: Has put in two much better runs on this track and now gets to the mile, a distance over which she put in her best performance last prep with a 5th in Hobart. Should get a very comfortable run in or near the lead which could be a big advantage. Limited type but finds a pretty suitable race and has a genuine winning hope.
8. Sorturo: A little disappointing last time when rising in trip for the first time but she was forced to race wide there and had excuses. Up to the mile now and she has blinkers applied for the first time. May be able to race closer to the lead at this trip and from the M.S. Trinder stable there is no doubt she will be fit enough for it so improvement won’t shock.
9. Tilmosa: Went to 1350m for the first time last start and ran an improved race behind Irish John in slow time. Goes out to the mile now which may see further improvement and she has blinkers on for the first time. Coming off the slowly run race last time isn’t ideal but she finds a pretty weak race and with further improvement she has solid place claims at least.
Next best Northern Command (well held first-up on heavy ground, big step up in trip makes it hard but better suited this distance range and may improve sharply).
Pretty low race with basic exposed form to work off. Rialto Jess (6) does seem to have found her right race and will take a power of beating, with Prince Of Rivers (5) and Tymoshenko (10) appealing as hardest to beat.
BACK (WIN) Rialto Jess for 4 units
R3 Race Replays @ Tasracing.com.au Maiden 1150m
Should be a genuine tempo here with Bushranger Boy, Life’s Quest and Global Princess all looking for the lead early ahead of Sunset Party. Not much pressure outside of those four however so if they find their positions quickly they should get every chance.
7. Mercury Queen: A nicely bred mare who ran a very good race fresh when a close 2nd behind Toorak Affair over this course. Looked like she would take great improvement from the run and gets in well here with Maskiell’s claim. Gate 1 doesn’t really suit her get back pattern nor does this track but with some speed on up front she may have too much ability anyway. Top pick.
1. Bushranger Boy: Failed fresh over this trip before running a much better race last time back to the 1000m. Back to 1150m here but has placed over 1200m so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Drawn inside which should help him get the right run near the lead and he did run a good 2nd behind Speedhump over this course last year. Wants everything to go his way but if it does he’ll be hard to beat.
5. Global Princess: Was fancied last start over this course but after showing speed she weakened behind Toorak Affair. Didn’t pick up after a big mid-race slowdown there and may be better suited running along on a more genuine tempo like when she ran a good 2nd behind Repeat Fire two starts ago.
6. Island Tiger: Has her first run for the Scott Brunton yard here and did trial well in preparation for her resumption here. Showed she had plenty of ability last prep with a number of solid runs in good 3yo company, highlighted by a close up finish in the Tasmanian Guineas and respectable efforts in the 1000 Guineas and Strutt Stakes. Ideally wants further but capable of sprinting well fresh and market can tell the story.
8. Sunset Party: Did a decent job on debut, sticking on well for 3rd behind Toorak Affair in what was probably the best effort of the on-pacers. No reason she won’t be improved by that and drawn to get a great run just behind the speed. Form ties in through Mercury Queen and only has to run up to that to be a chance here.
Next best Life’s Quest (can get good run with winkers on and can forgive last run).
Mercury Queen looks a mare with a future on her first-up effort and looks hard to beat here with natural improvement. Bushranger Boy (1) can give a sight in front while monitor betting with the filly Island Tiger (6).
BACK (WIN) Mercury Queen for 4 units
R4 Boags Draught Benchmark 72 Handicap 1150m
Small field but expecting a genuine tempo through Seven Falls and Maccy Fields. They can run along without much pressure with only Classic Outlaw and Aquila Reale looking to sit on their hammer.
1. Cuprona Road: Did a good job last time to run a close 3rd behind Vigilante after doing plenty of work mid-race in what was a fast race. Had the blinkers applied there which suggested he was getting close to the mark and he should be just about spot on now. Small field and inside barrier could prove tricky if he drifts back from the start again but he races very well over this course and looks hard to beat if he gets the right run.
5. Aquila Reale: A very promising mare resuming here after two trials so you can expect her to be ready to go. Hasn’t seen this surface which is an obvious concern. Races well fresh and is capable of taking up a forward position, especially with the minimum weight. Lightly raced mare unproven in this grade but reckon she is up to it and can show up here if she handles the track.
3. Classic Outlaw: Ran well first-up when well supported in betting before running better than his form reads last time when forced to cover extra ground in the run. Did a good job to stick on there and he is ready to show his best here at his third run this prep. Should get a much cushier run from the inside draw and has won four races at this track. If he gets clear running at the right time he is a genuine winning chance.
4. Maccy Fields: Has been quite good at all three runs since joining Marion Dalco and was better than her form reads last time when she did a lot of work near the lead. Comes back to 1150m and ran a strong 2nd behind Lord Farquaad over this course first-up. Has blinkers on and can get a good run on speed for Siggy Carr from the good gate so can’t discount.
2. Seven Falls: Ran a solid race last time when a close-up 4th behind Vigilante over this course when he had every chance controlling the speed. May get a similar run this time and his previous run over this course was a handy 4th behind Le Bel Opera. That said, he has had 5 tries over this course and only finished in the placings once, which was a well beaten 3rd in BM62 grade. Gets the right run near the lead for Maskiell but probably needs a career best run to be winning.
Tricky little race here. Maybe the value will lie with Classic Outlaw (3) on the quick back-up from the inside draw but wary of strong market support for Aquila Reale (5).
BACK (WIN) Classic Outlaw for 2 units
R5 Tasracing Off The Track Series Maiden/Class 1 1880m
No genuine leader in the small field here but a few on-pacers which may result in a decent tempo. Sir Marmaduke is capable of running along, while Quaternion Eagle and Lomasu have been racing close to the lead recently. Poacher’s Son may race closer now he is in a new stable. No surprise to see an on-pacer pinch this if left alone.
7. Quaternion Eagle: Has been steadily improving since joining the Gary White stable and was honest again last week when a length 2nd behind Dalehill. Ability to race near the lead is a bonus here and can’t knock his past three efforts all over this course. Main query is that he may be looking for a little further now but if he races to the level of his recent couple of efforts he rates as the one to beat.
4. Sir Marmaduke: Was very good two starts back when racing forward on a very strong tempo but was ridden off the speed last time and was only fair. Without a genuine leader there exists an opportunity to take up the lead and run them along at a tempo to suit him. Form ties in well enough with Quaternion Eagle so he has a winning hope but should he take up the running he will take a lot of running down.
2. Poacher’s Son: Hasn’t done much in three runs this prep but showed a bit more last time when out to the mile in Launceston and has since joined the Scott Brunton yard. Trialled very well since with Aquila Reale and would be no surprise to see him run a much improved race here. This surface is no issue and while the trip is a query being his first attempt, he does look like he’ll get it. Watch the market and suggest he is a real live chance if fancied.
3. Polizei: Was very good two starts back on heavy ground in Launceston but couldn’t get into the race last time on this track behind Robbo The Bold. His best form measures up in this grade as he has run some good races in better company but his two runs past a mile have been quite plain so he remains a bit of a query at this trip. His racing pattern isn’t well suited around this track so he has his work cut out for him but he’s in the mix if he can produce his best.
5. Lomasu: Found some trouble on the turn last week behind Dalehill after box seating in the run and should have finished a bit closer. Has the ability to settle close to the lead which may be an advantage here but needs to find a bit more at the finish. Has place claims.
Next best Dropaclanger (suited by rise in trip and races well this course, maybe needs one more?).
Think the top three picks stand out here. With Quarternion Eagle likely to be very short in betting, happy to work with Sir Marmaduke who may enjoy a good run near the lead. Also looking to save on Poacher’s Son, especially if the market says he’s going to run a big race.
BACK (WIN) Sir Marmaduke for 3 units
BACK (WIN) Poacher’s Son for 2 units
R6 Simons Design Centre Benchmark 62 Handicap 1880m
Look for Kool Kash to take up the running here with Dalehill while the Victorian Robbo The Bold can get a nice run just behind them. Welcome Invader might race a bit closer out to this trip but the remainder look best suited ridden back. Without much pressure likely, those near the lead look to get their chance.
4. Robbo The Bold: Landed some good bets last time out in his first run in this state with a strong victory here over the mile in Maiden/C1 grade. Dalehill was 3rd there and came out and won last week and also looks a leading hope here so he looks to measure up despite the rise in grade. In well with Maher’s claim and looks like getting a great run with the leading bunch. Extra trip seems fine on his Victorian form and no reason he can’t win again.
8. Dalehill: Backs up after a strong win last Sunday over this course in easier company. Pires sticks with her here and she can be better for that run being her first over this trip. Close up behind Robbo The Bold before then which ties in well here. Can get a good run near the lead and looks one of the better hopes here.
2. Kool Kash: Backs up from a good enough effort last Sunday over 1350m in much better company and will be better suited back to the 1880m trip. Ran a good 3rd two starts back over this course behind Western Front when given little peace in front. Consistent type who is rock hard fit now and will be hard to run down given a good run in front.
3. Golden Kiss: Is racing in excellent form and has won her past two starts on this track over the mile in impressive fashion. Three starts back was a good last-stride winner over Dehughes before a reasonable effort on heavy ground behind Beaufort Lad in Launceston. Last time he won a strong BM72 at this track when she had the last crack at them, again over the mile, and this looks a decent drop in grade. While it looks suitable, this is her first run at 1880m so it is a small query, and she is at the mercy of the front-runners with her get-back racing pattern. If the pressure goes on she can finish over the top of them again.
1. Ashalar: Was very good two starts back when winning in BM72 company with no weight before failing back to this grade last time behind Western Front. Had top weight there and gets it again although he gets in alright with Ulucinar’s claim. Likely to get back which may be a disadvantage if the leading few get the comfortable runs they look like they might but no doubt his best is good enough and with the right run he’ll be hard to hold out.
Next best Western Front (beat many of these last time when got all favours in run, can do so again) and Mediano (last couple good over his course and right in the mix again).
Very even race with as many as 7 of these having genuine winning chances. Looking for an angle to attack the race so going with the on-pacers and hoping they get the right runs to get their chance.
BACK (WIN) Robbo The Bold for 3 units
BACK (WIN) Dalehill for 2 units
BACK (WIN) Kool Kash for 2 units
R7 Birdcage Tavern & Function Centre Benchmark 82 Handicap 1350m
Clan Mcleod can come across and take up the running here ahead of Vigilante and Aslanyon. Eternal Speed and Don Reggio are capable of kicking up if the speed isn’t on early while Holy Cat can be there if he begins better. Doesn’t look to be much pressure so those who can land in a good spot near the lead look suited.
1. Vigilante: Landed some good bets when he won last time out in this grade here over 1150m in what was a good return to form third-up. Has won 4 from 6 tries at this track including both starts over this distance, the most recent of which he broke the track record in doing so. Looks like getting the right run just behind the lead again and looks a top chance to make it two in a row.
2. Eternal Speed: Was very good last time over this course when beating a handy field in this grade. Previous run behind Tshahitsi and Jerilderie Letter was also solid and is obviously great form for this. Gate 1 may be a little tricky if he gets off the speed again in a race with little tempo but has Maskiell on top to negotiate that and is another who loves racing at this track. Going to be very hard to hold out again if he gets the right run.
4. Clan Mcleod: Returned to form nicely last start with a close 2nd behind Eternal Speed over this course when she was able to run along in front and Pires sticks with her here. Stays down in the weights and looks like getting a good run in front again. Hasn’t won for a long time but a repeat of her last effort has her right in the mix.
5. Don Reggio: Has had a freshen up since racing well over longer trips but showed earlier in his prep he isn’t hopeless over this shorter distance. Races well at this track having won twice and finished close up on a number of occasions. Gets in with no weight and capable of racing on speed which will help but unproven in this grade and may find a couple of these a bit sharp.
3. Holy Cat: Bombed the start badly first-up when beaten under four lengths behind Eternal Speed and Clan Mcleod, which is the right form for this. Has won three races at this track but all over a longer trip than this. If he begins better he can get a nice run from barrier 2 and doesn’t have to improve much second-up to be at least a genuine place chance but like to see him show a bit more before entertaining as a winning hope in a race of this quality.
Next best Aslanyon (hasn’t won on this track in 28 goes but with a good run on speed and 6 placings over this course he has place claims).
Think one of the top two picks will win here. Going to back in Kyle Maskiell to give Eternal Speed (2) the right run to win again, although have strong respect for Vigilante (1).
BACK (WIN) Eternal Speed for 4 units
R8 Hairmaids Salon Launceston Class 1 Handicap 1350m
Irish John led all the way last time and will probably try to do the same here. The Desperate, Willby Rules and Time Commands can all be right on the speed but the rest of the field likes to find their feet early. Of the emergencies Bonify can go forward if she gets a run as can the newcomer to the state Pardon The Spun with the blinkers back on.
6. Time Commands: Has run well at both runs in the state including a narrow last start 2nd over this trip behind Crystal Flame. Should be cherry ripe for this now and has the early speed to overcome the wide draw. In well with Clark’s claim and looks one of the leading chances.
9. Willby Rules: A promising 2yo getting out to this trip for the first time. Appreciated getting out to 1150m for the first time last start when he raced away for a dominant win despite sitting wide outside the leaders throughout. Stays down in the weights with Maskiell’s claim and can get a gun run on speed. Last win signalled bigger things to come and no surprise if he goes right on with it here despite the rise in grade.
7. Treat Me Right: A newcomer to the Wells stable after racing in Victoria for Mitchell Freedman. Looks a promising stayer on her mainland form but has pretty good form over this distance range at the start of her preps. Team Wells has been having quite a bit of success with their new acquisitions in recent times and this looks to have better form than most so huge market watch on this one.
2. The Desperate: Backs up after a solid 4th over this course last week when he was the best of the on-pacers in a swoopers’ race. Likely to enjoy a more comfortable run in this from the inside draw without great pressure among the leading few which will allow him to produce his best. Both runs on this surface have been satisfactory and expect him to be thereabouts.
1. Special Shot: Got a long way back again second-up when only fair over this course last week behind Farnor West in a race that suited the backmarkers. Blinkers go on here and worth noting he won his maiden third-up last time in when the blinkers were applied over this course. The blinkers and booking of Siggy Carr may get him to settle a bit closer in the run to give him his chance and improvement won’t shock.
Next best Shakespeare (going OK but needs to find a length or two to be a genuine winning hope) and beware the emergency Bonify (absolutely flying and suited up to this trip) if she gets a run.
Willby Rules stamped himself as a horse with a future last time and he can make it two in a row here. Time Commands looks hardest to beat while can’t let the emergency Bonify go around without anything on her should she get a run.
BACK (WIN) Willby Rules for 5 units
BACK (WIN) Bonify for 3 units
R9 StrideMASTER @ Tasracing.com.au Class 3 Handicap 1650m
Dehughes should take up his customary role in the lead without too much trouble. The rest of the field will all be looking for spots just behind him with all 6 of them capable of racing on the speed. That should result in enough pressure to give all their chance.
1. Valdez: Has continued to improve this prep and did a good job last start when 2nd behind Golden Kiss. In well with Maskiell’s claim and should get a gun run from the inside draw. Obviously has form in top class at this trip and beyond so looks very well placed here and while he doesn’t win often, he appeals as top pick here.
2. Just Run: A promising galloper racing in good form at this track, with a win and a narrow 2nd at his past two runs over 1350m. Ready for the mile now and Darmanin can give him a gun run from 3. Up to this grade and has beaten most of his rivals in previous meetings. Looks the main danger.
3. Dhanraj: Was a bit disappointing out to the 1880m last time in BM62 grade and will probably appreciate the drop back to the mile here. Previous win here was most impressive and appears to respond well to Pires’ riding. This is harder than he has been contesting but worth noting he ran a good 4th in BM82 grade a few runs back so he is capable of competing with the better horses. Drop in weight looks a positive and he’s in with a hope here.
5. Dehughes: Rises in grade off a narrow 2nd in BM62 company last time behind Golden Kiss but that horse has since come out and knocked off Valdez so the form ties in ok. Looks to get his own way in front which brings out his best form and Siggy Carr looks a good booking to capitalise on that. Feels like he needs a career best to get the prize here but should get every chance to do so and he’s in the mix.
6. Alilad: Ticking over OK and looks ready for the mile, which is a distance which brought out the best in him in his last preparation. Gets in very light with Ulucinar’s claim and his run two starts ago behind Le Bel Opera showed he was capable of a good prep. Improvement won’t shock and he looks the blowout chance.
Even race to finish but Valdez does look ready to win. Happy to throw a saver on Dehughes in case he steals the race from the front again.
BACK (WIN) Valdez for 5 units
BACK (WIN) Dehughes for 1 unit