Hobart hosts an excellent 8 race twilight program on Friday with a firm track prepared but rain forecast later in the afternoon. The highlight is the Listed $100,000 Crown Lager Tasmanian Guineas where star 3yo Mister Songman tries to make it three wins in a row but has stiff opposition from the likes of Pennstock, Pateena Arena and Sydney galloper Chain Of Fools. The other feature is the $30,000 Wolf Blass Brighton Cup with two of the state’s most promising stayers in Eastender and Earl Da Vinci set to do battle.
Race 1 – 14:41 Schweppes 2YO Maiden (1100 METRES)
Gee Gee Pengala should find the front here ahead of the stablemate Gee Gees Doubleyou, with Gee Gee Mr Paul and Call Me Royal capable of taking up a handy position.
6. Call Me Royal: is a debutant from the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott stable who comes down here off two trials in Sydney. She ran well on both occasions, with her most recent effort being a strong 2nd behind Magic Millions contender Nomothaj. With a 1045m trial under her belt she will be fit enough for this and looks clearly hardest to beat.
2. Gee Gee Pengala: is the pick of those with exposed race form. Trialled well before starting an odds-on favourite on debut, where he hung around the home bend and went under narrowly to Triple Strip who got up along his inside. Has plenty of speed and the benefit of race fitness so expect him to race near the lead and be there for a long way.
7. Gee Gees Doubleyou: makes her debut for the Stuart Gandy stable and is impeccably bred from the family of Geegees Doublejay and Gee Gee Double Dee. Cruised home to win her most recent trial by a big margin and ran very respectable time in doing so. Gate 1 should be a bonus but she didn’t begin well in her latest trial. Big market watch and looks the danger to the favourite if fancied
3. Gee Gee Runaway: is the most experienced horse in the field with two runs under his belt. Debut 2nd was solid enough but was beaten a long way behind two smart 2yos last time. Extra 100m will suit but against a few with potential here and think place claims are best for him.
Next best 1. Gee Gee Mr Paul: (trials have been alright but will be better for the run, may sneak a place.).
Hard to go past the Sydneysider 6. Call Me Royal who has impressed in two Randwick trials.
BACK (WIN) – 8 units to win on 6. Call Me Royal
Race 2 – 15:16 trchobart.com.au Maiden (1100 METRES)
Miss Smith can cross and lead here if desired but they tried to ride with a sit last time. Levissi, Cascade City and potentially Ilfracombe look the other speed in the race but most of these have the pace to settle near the lead if they wish.
2. Cascade City: ran very well on debut and arguably should have beaten Bosporus with better luck in the straight. That horse subsequently won again and takes his place in the Guineas later in the day so that form reads well. Drawn ideally for the gun run again and will be very hard to beat if she goes on from her debut run.
7. The Decider: is a debutant from the Scott Brunton yard. Didn’t run any great time in his only trial but won stylishly without being fully extended and looks to have ability on that effort. Well drawn and should take plenty of beating if the money comes.
10. Ilfracombe: did a fair bit wrong on debut when finishing midfield behind Effortless Opera when well in the market. Extra 100m should suit here and the blinkers on could result in sharp improvement. Stays right down in the weights with Voorham’s claim and trialled well on the grass prior to her first start. Potential improver in with a chance.
11. Miss Smith: came back to 1200m last time and was ridden a little more conservatively when 2nd behind runaway winner Somerset. Comes back in trip again but has placed over this course earlier this prep. Assume they want to take a sit again but might not have that luxury from the wide draw with the lead up for grabs. Can be thereabouts with luck in running.
Next best 12. Trixie Dixie (not bad in two runs as a 2yo and drawn the inside) and 9. I’m A Lucky Girl (not too far away recently but needs to find a few lengths and hard to do so at this stage of her prep).
2. Cascade City was very good on debut and if she goes on here she should take plenty of beating. 7. The Decider is an obvious market watch, while 10. Ilfracombe appeals as the improver at longer odds.
BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on 2. Cascade City
BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on 10. Ilfracombe
Race 3 – 15:51 CUB Class 1 Hcp (1100 METRES)
Sidestreet Lad shouldn’t have much trouble finding the front here ahead of Modern Dane, Gee Gee Cats, Pompon and A Choice Scotch. Most of these can be thereabouts in the run with the exception of O’Loughlin.
1. Sidestreet Lad: started favourite here a month ago when resuming but after leading he failed to finish off and finished near the rear. Has been back to the trials since where he lead all the way but didn’t do anything special. Has the tongue tie off and is draw to lead again so should be in the right spot and any rain would be a bonus. Wary of short odds but could be worth another go.
9. Pompon: ran well over this course on debut before going to Launceston last start and breaking her maiden status. Comes back in trip but has been freshened up and Newitt sticks with her. Drawn out may be tricky and hard to win immediately in C1 grade but finds the right type of race to be able to do so. Definite chance.
5. A Choice Scotch: is a lightly raced mare who resumes from a spell with two good trials under her belt. Placed here fresh last time in over 1000m and also placed in C2 grade behind Tough Missile. Best form is on firm tracks but interesting to note Pires is on the stablemate. Can run well.
7. Gee Gee Cats: is another horse resuming from a spell but hasn’t trialled. Likes racing on this track and improved last prep when ridden a bit quieter. Stays down in the weights and think this trip is ideal so if he is fit enough he can be in the mix.
4. Odessa Lad: wasn’t too far away over this course fresh before jumping awkwardly last time and working home into a midfield finish. Not sure coming back in trip is what he wants but did beat a few of his rivals over this distance first-up. Rarely far away so can be thereabouts again.
Next best 6. Modern Dane (first run for Adrian Duggan, might be found out for speed over this shorter trip but trialled well enough to have place claims).
Tricky race with not much between the first four chances maybe. 7. Gee Gee Cats will be the value fresh over this trip.
BACK (WIN) -1 unit to win on 7. Gee Gee Cats
Race 4 – 16:26 Glenorchy Cricket Club Benchmark 72 Hcp (1100 METRES)
They will go like the clappers here with The Captain and Galeocerdo likely to declare it on. Jacques and Boart can work forward for the trail.
1. The Captain: is a very fast galloper who has found a new lease on life after being allowed to stride freely in front. Has given dashing displays at his past four runs, recording three wins and a 2nd including two wins here over 1200m. Not sure he is entirely suited to the shorter trip but strong when at his best and he should be there for a long way.
2. Galeocerdo: tried her luck at 1400m last time at Longford but after running along at a good clip she barely made the turn. Drops right back in trip which is perfect for her, having won four races over this course previously. Carr stays on and isn’t badly weighted. Go on her three wins in a row prior to last time and she is an obvious chance again.
5. Winston Wolfe: resumes from a spell with a soft trial under his belt. Races very well fresh and expect him to be ready to go with Pires in the saddle. If he can travel up behind the leaders he has a big finish but if he is pushed along to hold a position that can dent his sprint. Genuine chance if things pan out his way.
4. Jacques: was very good first-up in Launceston when he sat three-wide throughout and was too strong for subsequent winner Jo Anconi. Has placed at all three second-up runs and while this is harder he looks set to get a lovely trail. Don’t underestimate.
Next best 3. Red Spyder (first run for Gary White after racing for John Salanitri, hard to line up but has run a number of placings in decent midweek grade in Victoria).
Four good hopes here but happy to forgive 2. Galeocerdo for her 1400m failure and she can bounce back over the shorter trip.
BACK (WIN) 3 units to win on 2. Galeocerdo
Race 5 – 17:04 Hobart Cup Benchmark 68 Hcp (1400 METRES)
Lady Jane should set a good tempo in front with Gee Gee Lanett working forward with her. Tough Missile, Catalyst Fire and Little Elsa can be forward with the rest of these preferring to settle off the speed.
1. Gee Gee Lanett: is a very good filly who comes back to this grade after running game placings in the 3yo Cup and 3yo Trophy behind Mister Songman. Looked to have every chance in front last time over this trip but couldn’t match the winner. Has a bit against here – plenty of weight even after Ismadi’s claim, and the jury is still out whether she runs a strong 1400m. Deserves to be one of the top picks but wary she will go around too short in the market.
8. Speedonova: is a promising mare who tuned up at the trials on Tuesday after a strong win in Launceston over this trip last month. This is a big jump in grade off a C1 win but has plenty of scope and should be suited this track. Needs luck from back in the field but looks a good chance in a tough race.
7. Il Regalo: comes through the same 3yo formlines as Gee Gee Lanett but has been comfortably held by that filly on both occasions. Looks better suited in a strong 1400m and should get a soft run back in the field from her inside draw. Still has to prove herself in tougher races such as this but Newitt jumps on and she should get her chance.
6. Tough Missile: comes through a couple of very strong races with a pair of 5ths behind Galeocerdo and Gee Gee Double Dee over shorter trips. Yet to win over this trip but racing like she wants it these days and has run 2nd in easier grade in two attempts last preparation. Gets a cheap run from an inside draw and the drop in grade gives her genuine claims.
Next best 3. Lady Jane (gave a dashing display in front two starts ago then not disgraced in good grade last time, will give plenty of cheek) and 2. Catalyst Fire (promising mare off a break with a good record this trip and can win if ready).
Even race with six genuine chances. Happy to try and take on 1. Gee Gees Lanett at the short price with weight and distance risks but not sure who with. Maybe 6. Tough Missile is the value runner off two good runs in better grade this prep.
BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on 6. Tough Missile
Race 6 – 17:44 Wolf Blass Brighton Cup (2100 METRES)
Weekend Whisky should take up the front again ahead of Earl Da Vinci, with Up Cups, Flash Missile and Datuk Zadragon looking for forward positions.
3. Eastender: is an extremely promising stayer who comes here after flashing home for 2nd in the Sheffield Cup last time. Much better suited back up to the 2100m on a bigger track and his only run here was a very good 4th first-up over 1600m behind Box Of Frogs. Unbeaten in three runs at this trip and above and is ready for this grade. Looks the one to beat.
8. Earl Da Vinci: has been a bit costly for punters at his past couple but now he gets up to his right trip. Despite being beaten his last couple of runs have been solid enough and he should appreciate the big drop in weight. Should get a lovely run near the lead and appeals as the obvious danger.
2. Hugo: gets the big drop in grade here, coming back from the WFA Tasmanian Stakes where he was outpaced behind Gee Gees Top Notch. Hasn’t raced over the longer trips all that often but hasn’t missed a top two finish in his three runs over this distance. Well weighted on the minimum and races well here. Has each way claims.
7. Weekend Whisky: has been a drifter in betting at his past couple but has denied his rivals from the front, including a dashing display last time to hold off Earl Da Vinci here over the mile. Goes to this trip for the first time and it looks a tough race to attempt it but may be able to roll along in front again. Obvious distance query but if he runs it out he will give some cheek.
9. Wyuna: appreciated getting to this trip for the first time this prep to break through for an overdue win in Maiden/C1 grade. Obviously a major step up in grade here and horribly weighted but her other run over this course was a 2nd to Hot Dipped in last year’s Strutt Stakes. Promising stayer who probably gets here a bit early but she has scope and can be thereabouts.
Next best 10. Barjeel (not hopeless in the Longford Cup and previous run over this trip was good, can run into a place).
3. Eastender is a very good stayer who will relish getting back to his right trip. 8. Earl Da Vinci is the obvious danger getting to his ideal distance also.
BACK (WIN) – 8 units to win on 3. Eastender
BACK (WIN) 2 units to win on 8. Earl Da Vinci
Race 7 – 18:22 Crown Lager Tasmanian Guineas (1600 METRES)
Look for Chain Of Fools and Bosporus to contest the front ahead of Mister Songman, with Thewordsout and Clean Acheeva potentially working across from their wide draws and Pennstock capable of going forward if he begins well.
1. Mister Songman: comes to his long term goal of the Tasmanian Guineas off dominant wins in the 3yo Cup and 3yo Trophy. He has shown an electrifying turn of foot throughout his career so far but now tries to stretch to the mile like his half-brother Mister John, a former winner of this race. Can settle near the front or take a sit and any rain won’t be an issue. A strong tempo at this trip might bring him undone but he deserves to run a clear favourite.
2. Pennstock: comes off a different path to most of these, with three 1400m runs and a 1600m run under his belt this prep when most of his rivals come off limited runs at 1400m at best. Beat the older horses comfortably last time over this trip and has shown he can settle forward or back as required. Gets his chance to prove himself in this grade and he looks an obvious danger.
9. Pateena Arena: is last season’s champion 2yo on her way through to the Tasmanian Oaks. Has been a run behind her rivals at her two runs back and has run home in good time but never really threatened Mister Songman on either occasion. Should be suited at the mile and suggest she starts to get fair dinkum now, but her trial on Tuesday appeared a bit flat. The jury is out a little but she has loads of talent and has the scope to win.
10. Chain Of Fools: is the mainland invader from the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott stable and has shown herself to be a strong on-pacer in her short career thus far. Probably found the 1900m a bit far last time but won both runs over the mile and would be advantaged by any rain. Makes her own luck on speed and while she has found a very strong edition of this race she looks to have genuine each way claims.
5. Overplay: went around in the 3yo Trophy at big odds and caught the eye running home from the back to finish 4th, only a tick over three lengths behind Mister Songman. Out of an Oaks winner so the rise to the mile looks very suitable and he ran well enough at his only try this track. May not have the class of the top picks in this but can run home into a place.
Next best 3. Bosporus (has scored two solid wins this prep and has always raced like a mile will suit, can give a sight on speed).
1. Mister Songman deserves favouritism here but 2. Pennstock is proven at the trip and looks bombproof each way 10. Chain Of Fools will give a big sight if the rain has arrived.
BACK (WIN) – 3 units each way on 2. Pennstock
Race 8 – 18:53 Schweppes Tasmanian Derby Day Feb 9 Benchmark 62 Hcp (1600 METRES)
Century Arrow will look to control the race from the front again with the only potential competition coming from Paterangi, Sentry Duty and Turtles Nest.
5. Century Arrow hasn’t missed a top two finish in his seven career runs so far and comes here after making it two wins in a row last time in Devonport. Can improve again with the mile run under his belt but this is clearly a considerable rise in class. Should get a great run on speed again and Newitt sticks with him so looks top pick but wary of taking short odds.
3. Sentry Duty is a very consistent gelding but put in his worst performance this prep last time out when finishing down the track behind Weekend Whisky. Settled much further back than usual there but expect him to roll forward in his usual manner this time with Carr in the saddle. Has plenty of weight but has won with 59kg in the past and beat Our Shanakee over this course three starts back. Expect him to bounce back and looks one of the better chances.
6. Mulley’s Idol is steadily improving this prep and did enough at Longford when 2nd behind Minute Repeater over 1400m. Ready for the mile now and has won both tries at this trip on grass tracks. Will need luck from the outside gate but if the tempo and/or tempo is suitable he is capable of finishing over the top of them.
11. Manilenya ran very well first-up when beaten a nose over 1100m before producing a flat run second-up. Gets to the mile for the first time but by High Chaparral and races like she wants it. This is harder than the C1 races she has been contesting but on the up and has a hope.
1. Player One is the class runner of the field with the weight to show for it. Loves this course and ran well enough last time here behind Weekend Whisky in tougher grade. Well drawn for a soft run which he will need with the weight. Hard to catch these days but capable at his best.
Next best 4. Trusted Warrior (form reads plainly but this is easier than last time, in alright with claim and any rain would be a big plus so knockout hope).
5. Century Arrow will be hard to beat again but is up in grade at a short quote. 3. Sentry Duty and 6. Mulley’s Idol are proven in this grade and look genuine dangers.
BACK (WIN) 3 units to win on 3. Sentry Duty
BACK (WIN) 3 units to win on 6. Mulley’s Idol