Racing returns to the turf this Sunday in Hobart with a strong 8 race program set to kick off at 1:02pm. With heavy rain on Thursday the track is currently rated a Heavy 8 and may struggle to improve to any better before race day.
The rail comes back to the True position after being out 6m a fortnight ago, so while jockeys will likely head wide down the back straight they may not do so in the home straight with further to head. As always, watching the pattern will be vital.
Race 1 1:02pm Luxbet 3yo Maiden (1100m)
No exposed speedsters here so the newcomers Sunset Streaker and Monobrow may be able to go forward on debut. Jansz looks most likely to race near the lead of those who have raced. Tricky map to work out with advantageous positions on speed up for grabs.
5. Jansz: A well bred filly resuming from a spell with a handy trial under her belt. Raced well in her first campaign and showed some early speed when the blinkers went on which can be a bonus in this. David Pires takes the ride which should offset the inside gate and she has the right form for a race like this. Unknown on heavy ground but if she handles it she looks the one to beat.
4. Angel Of The Abyss: Ran well resuming here two weeks ago when a close 3rd behind Kepta over 1200m. That run under her belt can be very important if the track is very heavy and fitness proves key. Improving filly who only has to go on from her first-up run to be right in the mix here.
1. Alexander Benjamin: Also has a run under his belt with his first-up 5th behind Kepta which may prove beneficial if the track is very heavy. Still learning the caper and may appreciate a slower tempo here to keep him in touch with the leaders in the run. Should be strong at the finish so if he keeps in touch he is a knock out chance.
2. Tough Vic: Was a late scratching at the gates a fortnight ago and has since trialled well enough to say he is ticking over OK. First-up run was declared a non-runner when reasonable at Devonport and he looks to have come back better this prep. Should be very fit having been in work a long time and looks capable of being in the finish here.
6. Monobrow: A debutant from the Crook & Miller yard won won her most recent trial comfortably in plain time. Not sure how much early speed there is there but looks suited if she can race close to the lead in this field. Inside gate is likely to be a big disadvantage but watch the market as she may show up if fancied.
Scott Brunton holds the key here with the three leading chances. Jansz (5) looks a promising filly and appears to be the stable pick with Pires in the saddle. Those looking for a fitness edge may look to go with Angel Of The Abyss (4) instead.
BACK (WIN) Jansz for 6 units
Race 2 1:40pm Schweppes Maiden (1200m)
Our Caption and Kuusela look most likely to take up the running here with over half the field capable of racing near the lead.
8. Farewell Angelina: Did a good job last time when a narrow 2nd behind Hushama after having to work wide from an inside draw. Drawn out here looks more suitable and can be ridden a bit more conservatively early if desired. Step up in trip looks fine and if she runs up to her last run she looks hard to beat.
12. Our Caption: Brought her Tapeta form back to the turf last time when a close-up 3rd behind Hushama after racing down nearer the inside in the straight. Arguably could have won had she come to the wider section of the track and that form obviously ties in well here. Comes up with an inside draw again which may make things difficult but may look to go quickly early again to overcome it. Always in the finish and with the right run she’ll be there again.
11. Kuusela: Has her first run for the Scott Brunton yard here and tuned up with an impressive trial a fortnight ago. Showed speed to lead at her only run for Brendan McShane before giving up a long way from home on heavy ground. Stable rider David Pires takes the ride and she is drawn wide enough to find the right spot so respect any significant market moves.
13. Candlepins: Couldn’t keep up early on debut before running home strongly behind Hushama albeit 6 lengths from the winner. Wide draw looks perfect and has blinkers go on for the first time. No surprise to see her improve sharply here with the run under her belt and she has definite claims.
9. Gee Gees Talk Fest: Resumes here after being scratched a fortnight ago. Trialled a month ago so has probably done enough work unless the track is really heavy. Gets in light with Wong’s claim and wide draw suits. Had plenty of chances but rarely too far from the winner and can be thereabouts again.
Next best My Kingdom (made up good ground fresh and suited drawn out again).
Looks to be four leading chances here. Farewell Angelina (8) appeals on her recent effort but query on stablemate Kuusela (11) who has Pires in the saddle. Candlepins (13) was very good on debut and with blinkers on she appeals at value.
BACK (E/W) Candlepins for 2 units
Race 3 2:15pm PFD Food Services Maiden (1600m)
Some early speed here from Geegees Close Call, Quaternion Eagle, Fought For and possibly Highly Leveraged but unlikely they will go too hard. Those on speed look to get every chance.
12. Island Tiger: Has been beaten at long odds-on twice in a row but was very unlucky last time when running out of room next to the outside fence when she was about to go past the leading bunch. Probably should have won there and now strikes a similar field over a more suitable trip. Ran 6th over this course in the Tasmanian Guineas beaten less than 2 lengths by Jerilderie Letter which is obviously very good form for this. With luck in running she looks very hard to beat.
5. Highly Leveraged: Comes here off a couple of good seconds including his most recent run here on heavy ground over 1400m behind Appmat. Has the ability to box seat which looks an advantage in this and should be ready for the mile at his 5th run this prep. Has beaten most of his rivals here previously and is firmly in the mix again.
1. Another Brother: Very plain on debut but when ridden back last time at his second start he finished off in very nice style in C1 grade. Back to a maiden here and the step up to the mile appears suitable. First go on turf and on wet ground but if he runs up to his last effort he has genuine winning claims.
11. Intriguingly: Made up a lot of ground at her first Tasmanian run when a close-up 3rd behind Appmat here a fortnight ago. Rise to a mile looks suitable and wide draw could prove an advantage with the likely track pattern and her racing style. Finished alongside Highly Leveraged last time so form is clearly good enough to be in the finish.
8. Quaternion Eagle: An on-pace staying type who comes back to the mile here from a number of 1880m runs at Devonport. Ran a reasonable 4th in Launceston in his only try on heavy ground and has placed on a number of occasions since arriving in the state. Ideally wants more ground but can go forward and make his own luck and may appreciate a testing race on turf. Has a hope.
Next best Fought For (found some form at past couple in Devonport and can go forward but some risk at trip).
If you have been tucking into the short odds recently then going again on Island Tiger (12) may not be for you but she does appeal as the winner once again. Highly Leveraged (5) on an each-way basis looks a reasonable option, while Another Brother (1) was very good last time and brings the different form here.
BACK (WIN) Island Tiger for 8 units
Race 4 2:54pm Australian Racing Tours Class 5 Handicap (1100m)
Small field but good pressure for the lead with Sunday Cider, Bella Venus and Gee Gees Jet all wanting to be near the lead. Beluga Miss also likes to settle close while Downwind has gone quick early at her past couple in stark contrast to her usual racing pattern.
1. Gee Gees Jet: Resuming but did win a trial mid-week here to get him ready for this. Showed himself to be an above-average galloper last prep and ran a close 2nd behind Teriki first-up here over 1000m. Class horse of the field but has plenty of weight and has failed here on heavy ground. Looks the obvious top pick but there’s a bit against him to say he’s far from over the line.
2. Beluga Miss: Ran a reasonable 4th first up in Devonport behind a couple of good gallopers which will hold her in good stead fitness-wise here. Relatively unexposed on wet ground but not disgraced in Victoria in only run on heavy. Has run well here on her home track and will appreciate the light weight. Definite hope.
3. Bella Venus: Has also had a run at Devonport this prep, running a solid 3rd behind Gee Gees Blondie in easier grade. Gets in very light with Clark’s claim but got beat a long way in her only try here on heavy ground. Up to this company on her best form and likes her home track so if she handles the conditions she has winning claims.
5. Qui Samer: A genuine wet-tracker unlike many of these and ran a good 3rd behind Issawi on heavy ground two starts back in Launceston. Has placed 4 of 6 over this course including one win and rarely runs a bad race in wet conditions. Hasn’t raced for 8 weeks but was off similar break two starts ago. Has only won 2 races but finds a suitable chance to tackle this grade.
Next best Sunday Cider (up in grade and inside gate no spoil but has won on heavy ground here).
No doubt Gee Gees Jet (1) is the class runner of the field but on wet ground fresh with the big weight he looks a favourite who can be taken on. Beluga Miss (2) can show up with the run under her belt while Qui Samer (5) likes these conditions and might be the one to pick them off late.
BACK (WIN) Beluga Miss for 2 units
BACK (WIN) Qui Samer for 2 units
Race 5 3:39pm FUJI Xerox Hobart Benchmark 62 Handicap (2100m)
Welcome Invader is likely to take up the running for Raquel Clark as he did last time out and Solomon’s Song is usually close to the lead also. Big Pegg can push forward again to find a good spot as can Princess Atilla with a good beginning and Charcol may settle closer up to this trip. Those on speed look like getting every chance and the leaders dominated a similar race here a fortnight ago.
5. Big Pegg: Was impressive in this grade last time out, when sitting closer to the speed was the key to a comfortable victory. While this is the same grade on paper, this looks a harder race but she now has the 2100m run under her belt and David Pires sticks with her. Only has to run up to her last start win to be hard to beat again.
4. Charcol: Comes from Devonport form where he turned in two good runs over 1650m in preparation for getting back up to this trip. Should find this easier than last time when only 2 lengths behind Sound Bar is slick time and his two previous runs over this course were more than satisfactory. Form is much better than it reads and he could prove to be the value in this.
1. Solomon’s Song: The class runner of the field but didn’t fire a shot in the Distance Final last time after looking ready to win. Up to this trip is some query considering he is yet to win past a mile but does have a close up 2nd at Mornington over 2030m to his name. In well at the weights with Sherry Barr’s claim and can get a good run on speed. Can show up if he produces his best here.
7. Welcome Invader: Had a good run in front last time when 2nd but was no match for Big Pegg over the concluding stages. Gets a 3kg turnaround here and can get a similar run near the lead with Clark on. The run over this trip can bring him on further and he has placed 5 times on heavy ground. Can give a good sight again.
9. Princess Atilla: Wasn’t bad at her first try over this trip when 3rd behind Big Pegg here a fortnight ago but she couldn’t go with the leaders when the heat went on. Can be improved off that experience and should be able to work into a handy spot from the wide draw. Likes wet ground and sure to be fit enough with the M.S. Trinder polish. In the mix.
Next best Accounted Four (much better last time over 1400m, track, trip, wet are all ticks, looks the fresh one on the scene but maybe a run short?) and Pretoria Miss (good win last time, first go 2100m).
Big Pegg (5) holds obvious appeal after her win under these conditions a fortnight ago but has some added competition here. Charcol (4) in particular stands out as a horse ready to win after two good showings at Devonport and appeals at likely value.
BACK (E/W) Charcol for 2 units
Race 6 4:04pm Raine & Horne Class 1 Handicap (1200m)
Big field and lots of pressure for the lead, which is likely to be disputed by Galeocerdo, Chelsarli, Parisian Lush, Gee Gee Spitfire and O’Lonh Star. All runners should get their chance in this.
1. O’Lonh Star: Did a good job on debut to win over 1150m at Devonport when he did some work in the lead but was still strong at the finish. Has to repeat the dose here on turf in much harder company but gets in light with Graham’s 4kg claim and he showed he knows how to ride this track when winning on Issawi a fortnight ago. Drawn out suits. Hard to back up in C1 grade but looks above average and gets his chance.
6. Genuine Art: Was scratched at the barrier a fortnight ago over 1100m when well in the betting. With another couple of weeks’ work the 1200m should be ok but a really heavy track might be an ask. Drawn out suits and has an in-form Anthony Darmanin aboard. Classy mare who is capable over the sprinting trips and she may well be too good for these.
2. A Choice Scotch: Was very easy in betting on resuming and ran accordingly with a battling 4th behind Turtles Nest. Stayed nearer the inside there so had excuses but again comes up with an inside barrier here. Up to 1200m suits and the run under the belt should bring her on. With lots of pressure up front it may be hard for Pires to get away from the inside again down the back which is her main concern but clearly up to this with the right run.
8. Danzqui: Capable on wet ground and ran on well first-up when 2nd behind Turtles Nest here a fortnight ago. Had an inside gate there which didn’t help and much better drawn this time. Gets down in the weights and her only win came when second-up. Has a bit going for her here and should be somewhere in the finish.
5. Gee Gee Spitfire: A promising 3yo resuming and trialled quite nicely here during the week. Won at this track on debut before finishing midfield in the Gold Sovereign behind star filly Hot Dipped. Takes on a decent field of older horses but drawn the right spot and has a future. A winning chance.
Next best Galeocerdo (ran well fresh, capable on wet ground, inside draw a negative).
Competitive race with a number of chances so working around the wider barriers. Lean to the smart mare Genuine Art (6) but have some concern over her missing the run a fortnight ago. O’Lonh Star (1) has to make the jump in grade and show his worth on the turf but has the wide gate and big claim to get his chance. Don’t want Danzqui (8) going around as a loser either after she returned in good style a fortnight ago.
BACK (WIN) Genuine Art for 3 units
BACK (WIN) O’Lonh Star for 2 units
BACK (WIN) Danzqui for 1 unit
Race 7 4:38pm CUB Benchmark 82 Handicap (1400m)
With a better beginning than first-up, Lander Dollar can run them along here, while Meconsul can also push forward at this trip. Skip To The Moon and Vigilante can be handy but there looks minimal pressure on those in the front half of the field.
2. Private Currency: Was a remarkable win last time when coming from last over this course a fortnight ago to win in BM72 grade. Talented galloper who has taken a while to find his best form after a tendon injury but latest run shows he’s getting back to his best. This is a bit harder but in well with Wong’s claim and only has to run up to his last effort to be a leading chance.
5. Meconsul: Steps up to this trip after a couple of good runs over 1150m at Devonport including a close-up 4th in the Sprint Final. Has won twice over this distance and has won here on heavy ground. Can go forward and make his own luck but is 4 weeks between runs which may be a concern if the track is very testing by this stage of the day. Good galloper up to this and should run well.
3. Vigilante: Enjoys soft ground and was a very good 2nd last time over the shorter trip behind the runaway winner Issawi. Did a good job to beat the rest after challenging the favourite on turning and looks ready for the 1400m now. Inside draw not ideal but should be able to get wide in the smaller field. This is about as far as he wants but fit and in-form and should run a big race.
4. Hugo: Comes back from a disappointing effort in the Distance Final at Devonport to his home track. Hasn’t missed the top 2 in 4 tries over this course and the run over the longer trip should advantage him if the track is particularly testing. Proven in this grade and above and looks well weighted. Smart horse who can give this a shake on his best form.
9. King Manu: Resumed in nice style when running home for 3rd behind Private Currency here a fortnight ago and is well performed on wet ground. This looks a little harder and he isn’t well weighted up to this grade but he is yet to run a bad race at this track. Drawn out suits and he can be running home at the finish.
Next best Flying Cruiser (bit disappointing last time but getting fitter and likes wet) and Lander Dollar (didn’t give a yelp first-up from a long spell but better suited up to this trip and likes wet, maybe needs one more?).
Another competitive race. Private Currency (2) was impressive last time but has to go up a level here. Vigilante (3) put the writing on the wall with a good run behind Issawi, while Hugo (4) has a great record over this course. Tricky race.
BACK (WIN) Vigilante for 2 units
BACK (WIN) Hugo for 1 unit
Race 8 5:14pm Rogerson & Birch Surveyors Class 2 Handicap (1400m)
Big field but not much genuine speed. Danwish looks likely to take up the running ahead of Kelly’s Diva and Miss Choosey and they can get comfortable runs unless something is ridden upside down to set the pace. Maybe hard for the backmarkers to get into the race?
1. Speedhump: A quality 4yo resuming after a feature 3yo campaign where he finished a close-up 5th in the Tasmanian Guineas. First-up 1400m on wet ground seems like an ask but both fresh runs very good and has won over this trip. Unknown on wet ground and has plenty of weight to carry but drawn out suits. Class horse and very hard to beat if ready but a few question marks there.
5. Aquila Reale: Didn’t get warm first-up in Devonport but ran a much better race last time when she finished off well to run midfield behind Issawi in much harder company. Up to 1400m looks ideal third-up and she won her maiden over this course on heavy ground. Has run some very good races here on her home track and she looks well placed in this.
3. Sphero: Did a pretty good job here a fortnight ago when 4th behind My Paige Three over this course after nearly 2 months between runs. That run should bring him on for this and drawn out a bit suits. Runs into a couple of smart ones here but did enough last time in an on-pace dominated race to suggest he can turn the tables on the ones who finished ahead of him. Has winning claims.
2. Miss Choosey: Was 1000m to 1400m second-up last time when midfield behind My Paige Three but suggest that run will have brought her on for this. Has performed on wet ground and does improve as she gets into a preparation. Has to improve on last time but capable at her best and no surprise to see her run a better race this time.
8. Hello Gertie: Appreciated the drop back to 1100m to win convincingly in C1 grade a fortnight ago. Races well at 1400m but maybe lacks the dash she has at the shorter trips? Stays down in the weights and has performed well against most of her rivals here previously. Inside draw is against but racing well and hard to leave out.
Next best Quirribilly Lodge (fresh, up in grade but gets right down in weights and loves wet ground) and Kelly’s Diva (9) (honest galloper who likes wet and can be on speed).
No doubting the class of Speedhump (1) but he will need to be every bit as good as he promises to be because he has a task ahead of him here. Aquila Reale (5) appeals with the drop in grade and fitness edge, but there are many with some chance outside of these two class runners.
BACK (E/W) Aquila Reale for 4 units