Thoroughbred racing on Sunday is in Hobart with an 8 race program kicking off at 12:10pm. The rail returns to the True position for the first time in quite a while and with no rain forecast the track looks likely to be produced as a Good 4, which is a rarity for this time of year.
Race 1 – 12:10 Wolf Blass Maiden (1100 METRES)
Bloomin’ Late looks the leader here in a small field without great pressure. Rubinic can go forward from wider out to be near the lead while La Superba may be close from an inside draw. Fearless Filou, Shackley’s Hill and The Greatness may also land near the speed with a good beginning.
9. Rubinic: A 2yo resuming here and has trialled well in preparation for this, winning by a big margin in fair time. Only run was reasonable behind Dothraki Princess and Gee Gees Queenie when she did a bit wrong. Looks a speedy filly who may have come on over her break but somewhat wary she has to take her trial form to 1100m here. Looks hardest to beat.
4. Fearless Filou: Also resuming but hasn’t trialled, although considering she hasn’t raced over less than 1400m in her nine career starts that is probably a plus. Form over long trips last prep was very consistent, with both her runs at 1400m solid enough in tougher maidens. Wide draw may be tricky but if she can get across she should be strong late and may be hard to hold out fresh.
2. Shackley’s Hill: Made his debut a fortnight ago in Devonport when he was quite green but continued to find the line from back in the field behind Overplay. Should take benefit from that run and could end up in a gun spot with McCoull on from an inside draw. Could argue this is slightly easier than last time so can be in the finish with natural improvement.
3. Bloomin’ Late: A speedy mare who has failed to finish off at her two Tasmanian runs. Gets a cross over noseband for the first time and gets down in the weights with Punch’s claim. Looks like finding the lead again and should appreciate the slight drop back in trip. Needs to improve but will be there giving a sight.
8. The Greatness: A 2yo debutant by Swinging Bachelor who comes here off 4 recent trials. Finished a well beaten 2nd behind Rubinic two trials ago before producing his best trial so far last time when narrowly beaten in only fair time. The services of Pires puts him on the radar so watch the market as he may show up with positive market support.
Next best La Superba (5) (former NSW mare having her first run here with two trials under her belt, watch market but prefer to see her first).
Rubinic (9) looks hard to beat on her recent trial but may be overbet due to the margin of her win. Fearless FIlou (4) is the one with proven form and may show up fresh.
BACK (WIN) Fearless Filou (4).1 unit
Race 2 – 12:45 Schweppes Maiden (1400 METRES)
Doesn’t look to be much pressure up front here with Mighty Hoffa or the newcomer Telfi Hero most likely to take up the running. Manilenya won’t be too far away while Blushing Pink may go forward despite the big drop in trip. The on-pacers look advantaged if anything.
9. Manilenya: Hasn’t done much wrong at her two career starts so far, running 2nd on both occasions. On the quick back-up here after a narrow defeat last week in Launceston over this trip on wet ground. Strikes firm going for the first time but does look spot on to peak third-up here. Pires goes on from a good draw so looks to get every possible chance and will be very hard to beat.
2. Dragonbite: Has been OK at his past couple and found the line pretty well late last time when finishing a couple of lengths behind Manilenya. Has the right form line through that horse but needs to improve to turn the tables and maybe doesn’t have the same scope at his 20th career start. Outside draw is awkward and may have to go back to get in but has been capable of leading earlier in his career. Looks one of the dangers.
10. Miss Che Che: Has had two goes over this course recently and finished just behind the placegetters on both occasions in arguably slightly stronger races. Carr sticks with her here and she should appreciate better ground. Can finish off hard when she is in the mood and gets the right run and rates as a danger on that basis.
8. Fancy Danz: Has been freshened since failing over the mile here last month. Can mix her form but ran a very good 2nd over this course at big odds behind Striking Prospect two starts ago, finishing ahead of subsequent winner Hirvonen in the process. May prefer a bit of softness in the track and hard to catch but clearly capable of showing up on her best form.
1. Acheeva Dream: Wasn’t hopeless when first-up a fortnight ago behind Overplay and looks better suited by the longer trip here. Debut run on turf was fair in a weak maiden but was immediately spelled. May need a bit more time but only lightly raced so expecting improvement and may run home into a place.
Next best Blushing Pink (7) (backs up from a 2130m run last Sunday, hasn’t placed in 27 starts but can go forward and may stick on in the money somewhere).
Just about impossible to go past Manilenya (9) and Pires looks the man to get her over the line.
BACK (WIN) Manilenya 6 units
Race 3 – 13:25 Luxbet 3YO Maiden (1200 METRES)
Small field with a few newcomers so hard to have much confidence in the map. King Of Saigon may push on from wide out to lead while Jewels has shown speed in Victoria. Mansplaining may land thereabouts while Hot Chisel and Houndstooth may also try to be handy.
4. Mansplaining: Has his first run for Scott Brunton after racing in Victoria with Patrick Payne and Price Bloodstock. Has placed on three of five occasions in provincial Victoria, all over the 1400m trip. Finds a weak race to kick off in and his mainland form seems easily strong enough for this. Market will be worth watching but suggest he is going to take a lot of beating.
3. King Of Saigon: Also a newcomer to the state, joining Cameron Thompson after racing in NSW. Looks to have early speed and has placed a couple of times. Good spot to kick off but doesn’t appear to have the same strength of form as the top pick. Watch betting but potentially looks the main danger.
5. Candlepins: Second-up after being a well beaten fifth behind runaway winner Cousin White Foot last time. Last prep was beaten between five and six lengths quite consistently but without knowing the strength of the former mainlanders this does look easier than what she had been contesting. Has a nasty habit of missing the start which won’t help but she can run home into a place.
2. Houndstooth: Has had three runs this prep with the latest fourth behind Cousin White Foot where he finished alongside Candlepins. Draws well here so may be able to sit just behind the speed for Carr in his first look at firmer ground on the turf. Goes in with place claims but probably needs to improve to beat the top picks.
Next best Hot Chisel (1) (another newcomer to Brunton stable, been beaten a long way at all three starts and trial didn’t impress, keep an eye on market just in case).
Pretty low race so expect the former mainlanders Mansplaining (4) and King Of Saigon (3) to fight the race out. Lean to Mansplaining with that man Pires on.
BACK (WIN) Mansplaining (4).6 units
Race 4 – 14:00 Tasmanian Horse Transport Benchmark 72 Hcp (2100 METRES)
Small field and little obvious tempo. Centafloral may roll forward again while Appmat should work across to be near the lead at his first try over the trip. Maybe Geegees Lillybet can also go forward with the lack of pace. Could result in a tricky race of tactics.
2. King Manu: Had been racing in good form this prep before getting to 2400m last time in the St Leger and finding it too far. Drop in trip suits as he hasn’t missed a place in five tries over this course and now gets the services of Pires. Form on firm ground last prep was solid but the 58.5kg is a little query as he has raced better when down in the weights. Consistent type who looks one of the better chances in a tricky race.
1. Accounted Four: Has looked a good stayer in the making but hasn’t really come up this prep, being well beaten on all three occasions in harder company. Has won 3 of 4 over this course, including one on firm ground, so he is clearly the class runner of this field. Blinkers come off and a tongue tie goes on to try and rediscover his best form. If he does he will take plenty of beating in this.
5. Appmat: A fresh horse on the scene, getting to the 2100m for the first time and coming out of easier races. Racing in good form with his recent second behind Welcome Invader very solid and horses that finished around him have come out and run well since. Shapes like he wants this trip and may be suited going forward with no weight. On the up and looks the challenger to the proven ones in this.
6. Geegees Lillybet: Ran well over 1620m last week in Launceston when 4th and now gets back up to this trip on the quick back-up. Beat home both King Manu and Accounted Four in the St Leger and meets them both 4.5kg here. Generally prefers softer ground but recent runs on firmer have been OK. Has only won twice from 32 starts but expect her to be somewhere in the finish again.
Hard race to line up with a couple of class runners with question marks against at the top of the weights. Lean to Accounted Four (1) to find his best form but think any of the four chances mentioned can win.
BACK (WIN) 1 unit to win on Accounted Four (1).
Race 5 – 14:36 Crown Lager Class 3 Hcp (1100 METRES)
Mel Loves Vodka looks the leader in a race of little pressure. Boart probably goes forward while Time Commands may settle closer this time. These on-pacers should get every chance with the others generally happy to sit just behind them.
2. Winston Wolfe: Resumed from a short break with a very good second behind Nielson in Launceston on heavy ground. Kept fresh after that and returns to his home track where he has won both starts, albeit over 1400m. Pires sticks with him of the three Brunton runners and firmer ground is no issue. Getting back off a potentially steady tempo may be hard to overcome but he has a big sprint which helps if he is within striking distance on turning. Looks hard to beat.
1. Love Magic: Comes off a break here after a great start to his Tasmanian career where he won twice and finished second at his two other runs. Won his fresh run at this track on firm ground so these conditions are suitable. Potentially awkwardly drawn if the field is bunched but does give him the option to move into the race if the tempo has been plain. Some concern Pires has gone with the stablemate but still expecting a good showing.
4. Time Commands: Has been alright at two runs back this prep on wet ground and her 4th last week was respectable given the run she had. Goes up in grade here but that means she gets right down in the weights with Graham’s claim and she should appreciate firmer ground. Ran an excellent 4th in the Bow Mistress here last prep and looks like getting a good run on speed. Reckon she is ready to run a race here and has a definite hope.
3. You Didn’t: Also resumes here for the Brunton stable for his first run since February. Won here first-up last prep beating Boart and rarely runs a bad race fresh. Firm ground isn’t an issue and is capable of pushing forward with Carr on. Yet to prove himself in this grade but have to respect his fresh form and he can show up in this.
5. Boart: Backs up from the same race Time Commands raced in last week and beat that horse home by a couple of lengths after being well backed with Pires on. Punch goes on here and his claim brings him in under the minimum. Has raced consistently in this grade all season but only has the one win to show for it. Expecting much of the same again and can win with the right run but prefer on a place basis.
Next best Qui Samer (8) (racing in good form but firmer ground doesn’t suit and this isn’t easy).
A number of chances here but with on-pacers advantaged think Time Commands (4) is ready to run a race and appeals on an each-way basis.
BACK (E/W) Time Commands for 2 units
Race 6 – 15:11 Carlton Draught Class 5 Hcp (1400 METRES)
Expect True Lady’s Man to come across from wide out to lead here with Count Montagu and Caffeine Hit on speed. Hugo may roll forward from wide out with the run under his belt. Those on speed should get every chance.
3. Count Montagu: Comes back to 1400m after running a distant second over the mile last time behind Secrets She Has, who has won again since. Better suited at this trip and has finished in the first couple at both starts over this course. Will appreciate the firmer ground, should get a nice run just behind the speed and looks nicely weighted. Ticks a lot of boxes with the main query being he has been up a long time but he looks a leading chance in this.
2. Caffeine Hit: Resumed for a spell last week in Launceston when 3rd behind Merrick’s Beauty. Didn’t have the clearest of runs there but surprisingly backs up at 1400m second-up when she hasn’t raced over this trip yet in this state. Gets a tongue tie for the first time and should get a gun run near the lead with Pires on. Not as well suited by the firmer ground but appeals as one of the top hopes.
1. Hugo: The class runner of the field who should be much fitter for the first-up run on wet ground here three weeks ago. That was the first time he has missed a place over this course in 6 tries and worth noting he has won 4 races on firm ground. Generally improves second-up and always races well here on his home track. Expecting a better showing here and he has each-way claims.
4. Hirvonen: Comes here off a pair of wins over 1600m here in Maiden and C1 company. Will find this much harder but gets a big drop in the weight to compensate, getting in under the minimum with Punch’s claim. Tempo is probably against and gets onto firmer ground but racing well and should be respected.
5. Col’s Hero: Will appreciate getting back up to 1400m after a below par run over 1220m in Launceston last week. Previous racing over this course was very consistent in slightly easier grade. Does prefer drier ground so conditions should be suitable and will do no work from the inside draw. Doesn’t win often but not without some hope.
Next best Lazy Democracy (6) (can forgive last run, suited on firmer ground and has won twice at this track, knockout chance if the swoopers are featuring by this stage of the day).
Count Montagu (3) has been up a long time but continues to race well and think this is his pet trip.
BACK (WIN) Count Montagu for 3 units
Race 7 – 15:46 TRC Members Sprint Benchmark 82 Hcp (1200 METRES)
Issawi should take up the lead here with Steel Moon likely to work across from his wide draw. Nadaam, The Captain, Ollie’s Gold and Gee Gees Style can all go forward so expect a race with genuine pressure and they should all get their chance.
1. Issawi: Has had a freshen since going plainly over this course when fourth behind Step The Pedal although had excuses. Form under these conditions is generally very good and his firm track form is also strong. Well weighted with the claim and looks like getting a good run near the lead. Best form is clearly good enough for this but small query after his past couple. A leading chance.
2. Steel Moon: Has been racing in tremendous form in Devonport this prep with two wins and a second from his three runs. Went a bit keenly last time over 1350m so looks suited back to 1200m here. In well with Graham’s claim and ran a good third at his only run here. Wide draw may be tricky but with luck in running would expect him to be right in the finish again and has great each-way claims.
3. Box Of Frogs: Resumes from a spell here with a trial under his belt. Found the top level a bit strong for him last time in but did run a very good second here over 1100m early on in his prep. Regarded as a wet tracker but won very impressively here over 1400m earlier in his career on dry ground. Inside draw may be awkward but with Pires on he might be the one to pick them off late. Has a hope.
4. Nadaam: Another resuming from a spell after being scratched last week when the track got wet. Has very good form on dry ground and looks likely to get his preferred ground here. Has won four times over this trip and gets in light with Punch’s claim, who won on him at his only other ride. Drawn ideally and best form is up to this grade. If the track is genuinely firm then he rates very highly but any sting out and his chances nosedive.
6. Merrick’s Beauty: Returned to her best form last week in Launceston and comes here on the quick back-up. Gets down in the weights with the jump in grade and worth noting she won here first-up on firm ground over 110m this prep. Is an in-form runner in a race with a few with question marks over them and has each-way claims on that basis.
Next best The Captain (7) (fair run resuming, gets down in the weights and likes racing on his home track but this grade may test).
Tricky race. Leaning to Steel Moon (2) on an each-way basis as he rarely runs a bad race but a race with many winning chances.
BACK (E/W) Steel Moon for 1 unit
Race 8 – 16:25 SKY / ATA Trainer’s Trust Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)
Bandit Ruby showed enough speed last time to suggest she can lead them up here. The Desperate, Our Queenie, Pop A Lefty and Sebring’s Joy all look to have the speed to race on speed but could be further back without surprising. Tempo is hard to predict for that reason but it should be at least solid with Bandit Ruby running along.
2. Sebring’s Joy: Has her first run for John Blacker after racing in Victoria with Darren Weir. Form in BM64 grade is very consistent with big weights and wasn’t far behind Zipped Up two starts back who proved a handy mare when racing down here. Drawn out but that might not matter late in the day and McCarthy’s claim will help.
8. Sugar Free: Was very good at her first run in the state when 3rd behind Meteor Strike in Devonport, as she ran home well despite being unsuited by the tempo. Had reasonable form in BM58 grade in Victoria on the turf so this surface should be no issue. In light with Graham’s claim and might be suited coming down the middle in the last race of the day. Definite hope.
3. Our Shanakee: Has his first run for Scott Brunton here and won a recent trial in fair fashion. Best form reads over a little longer in Victoria but Pires has the ride here so he stays under notice. Looks to have early speed to settle just behind these and should get a gun run from a good draw. Doesn’t look to have the mainland form of the top two chances but monitor betting.
4. Bandit Ruby: Another ex-Victorian who showed an abundance of speed at her only Tasmanian run before tiring behind Tough Missile in BM62 grade. This looks much easier and she won her maiden impressively over this trip at Moe on firm ground. Has a couple of gear changes and Carr is a good booking for a horse who looks likely to lead. Suggest she can improve sharply here and will give a sight.
5. O’Loughlin: Resumes here without a trial but did win first-up last time in over 1100m on heavy ground so suggest he will probably be fit enough. Best form has been early in his prep and has performed on firm ground. Awkwardly drawn so expect him to go back and pattern will be vital to his chances. His best form is good enough, having placed as high as C3 grade, so he has each-way claims in a tough race.
Tough race to finish on with so much mainland form to try and weigh up. Liked the look of Sugar Free (8) first-up at Devonport so can entertain her here but prefer to look for a horse suited by any pattern.
BACK (WIN) Sugar Free for 1 unit