Wednesday night again hosts racing in Launceston this week with another 8 competitive races for punters to solve. The rail comes back to the True position for the first time this season after being out 9m last week, presenting plenty of fresh ground on a track which has played very well in wet conditions over the past fortnight. The track continues to improve and with only odd showers forecast it may be just about perfect come race night.
Race 1 6:25pm Glenara Lakes 3yo Maiden (1200m)
Della Terra and All About Elouise look the most likely leaders here with Sunset Streaker, newcomer Catalyst Fire and Bella Francesca vying to box seat. Shouldn’t be too much pressure here so lean to the on-pacers to get their chance.
8. Della Terra: Resumes here with a trial win under her belt. Only had the one start here in early July when a solid 4th behind Korn Broke, but has had a number of preparations with trials dating back to October last year. Interesting to see Pires stick with her instead of riding either Brunton runner. Should get a good run from an inside draw and looks one of the leading chances in an even race.
10. Sunset Streaker: Goes to 1200m for the first time here after a couple of close-up efforts at her first two starts over shorter distances. Has good early speed so should be able to find a good spot near the lead. This will be her first go on drier ground and first look at this track but with her racing style suggest both may suit. Form reads well enough and she’s right in the mix.
9. Jansz: Has been reasonable in running two close-up 5ths this prep and looks ready for 1200m now. Ran on nicely late at Devonport when the race was over suggesting she wants the extra trip. Both runs at this track in the autumn were good in stronger races than this and she gets in light with Thornton’s claim. Definite hope.
6. Bella Francesca: A half-sister to the group one winner Palentino who didn’t do a lot at her only run when ridden quietly over 900m. Has trialled better since and looks better suited out to 1200m despite being fresh. Siggy Carr takes the ride and expect to see her much closer to the speed this time. Still a bit unknown but must respect.
4. All About Elouise: Resumed here a fortnight ago with a speedy 3rd behind Angel Of The Abyss over this course. Maskiell sticks with her to keep her down in the weights and she should be able to work across into a good spot from a wide draw. Should be fitter for the first-up run and that has her in with a chance here.
Next best Catalyst Fire (debutant for Scott Brunton who has trialled quite nicely so watch betting).
An even race with a number of improving types with potential here. Going with Della Terra (8) off a good recent trial and she should get every chance in the run.
BACK (E/W) Della Terra for 3 units
Race 2 7:05pm Longford Cup New Years Day Class 1 Handicap (1200m)
Under Milkwood looks the leader here but there is no shortage of on-pacers looking to box seat. From inside to out – Gee Gees Vicki, Sunset Party, I Love This Bar, Gee Gee Spitfire, Ty Dash, Meteor Strike, the emergency Gotta Have Vibe and the former New Zealander Count Da Vinci all like to race near the lead which could result in plenty of pressure as those drawn wide out try and get across.
6. Ty Dash: Super impressive last start at Devonport over 1150m, running fast time to break her maiden status by over 6 lengths. Stays down in the weights with Wong’s claim but this is much harder and she needs to reproduce her win on the turf. Showed she was capable on turf in Victoria which bodes well and she has the speed to get into a good spot near the lead. Hard to win straight away in C1 grade and this is quite strong but if you believe her last win she can do so.
5. Gee Gee Spitfire: A nice 3yo who has run two good 2nds this prep, including the latest in open 3yo company behind Chillout. Middle draw looks beneficial and McCoull should find him a good spot near the lead. Ready to peak here 3rd up and form reads well for this. Looks the bombproof one and sure to be in the finish.
2. Meteor Strike: A talented galloper who did a good job resuming when 3rd behind Fill Ya Boots at Devonport after racing wide throughout. Has placed over this course behind Partenza which reads well for this if he can get across from his wider draw. Wasn’t far behind Gee Gee Spitfire last time and arguably has more improvement in him second-up, so he rates a strong winning chance here.
8. Phantasmagoria: Firm in betting last time at her first run for over a year and did a great job to run into 2nd after being held up back in the field approaching the turn. Was one of the few to make up big ground on the night and did break her maiden over this course in the summer of 2015. Drawn out but that may suit her drifting in behind the speed and she can be the swooper late.
1. Count Da Vinci: A newcomer to the Scott Brunton yard having done all his racing in New Zealand. Shapes likes the longer trips will suit him better but early form over sprint trips is solid, especially fresh. Has Pires on top but he will have a big task from a near outside draw. Watch the betting but suggest if he can get across he can show up.
Next best I Love This Bar (speedy filly who ran well behind Chillout here last time, out to this trip for first time but should get good run).
Good quality C1 here. Going to take the Ty Dash (6) win on face value and stay with her to show up in the higher grade. Happy to save on Meteor Strike (2) who looks well placed at this course.
BACK (WIN) Ty Dash for 4 units
Race 3 7:40pm Chilli FM Maiden (1200m)
Small field but a few with early speed which could result in a strong tempo. Miss Maneuver, Westerly Haze and Our Caption are all capable of leading, while the newcomer Banca Dream has shown early speed at the trials. Kaoru also led two starts back but they looked intent on riding with cover last time when he improved so he is probably ridden similar again. This tempo should see all get their chance.
7. Our Caption: Has had plenty of chances but gets another go here from a good draw. Can forgive her last run at Devonport when caught wide on the speed and she wasn’t far off the rest of the beaten brigade behind Ty Dash. Gets blinkers on for the first time here and Carr takes the ride so expect her to be in the first couple. Leading hope in an even race.
8. Candlepins: Had no early speed on debut but ran home really strongly when finishing midfield behind Hushama in Hobart on heavy ground. Has the blinkers go on here and with firmer ground and race experience she may be able to take advantage of the inside draw. Still learning but looks to have plenty of ability and appeals as one of the better chances.
2. Impulsive Lager: Was a little unlucky fresh when a close-up 5th behind Under Milkwood after finding trouble on the bend. Should be easy enough to find cover from the outside draw with many of these pushing forward and can be the first to come with his run down the middle. Likes this track and should be fitter for his first up effort. Genuine danger.
1. Banca Dream: A newcomer from the Angela Brakey stable who won a recent trial in good time at Devonport. Raquel Clark is a positive booking for this stable and he looks to have the speed to overcome the wide gate. Watch the market and suggest he has found a winnable race if fancied.
3. Kaoru: Well backed last time behind Under Milkwood and ran a close-up 3rd after taking a sit behind the leader. Stays down in the weights with Graham’s claim and may get a similar run here. Lightly raced so still improving but will find this a bit harder than last time. Should be around the mark.
Next best Westerly Haze (had a freshen since handy debut effort, can go forward here, not hopeless).
Handy little race here. On better ground and with the blinkers on looking to be with Candlepins (8) but respect to the top 5 chances.
BACK (WIN) Candlepins for 4 units
Race 4 8:20pm CUB Great Northern Beer Maiden (1400m)
No genuine leader here and should be a muddling tempo as a result. Expect the front to be occupied by Glory Blaze from Somatra and Bush Mayhem and they may get every chance to dictate. Should a rider wish to show early intent to race more forward than usual the opportunity is there.
1. Another Brother: Looks a handy stayer in the making and comes here of a freshen after placing over the mile behind Island Tiger on heavy ground in Hobart. Previous run at Devonport over this distance range was very good in C1 grade when ridden cold which reads very well for this. McCoull sticks with him and he looks one of the better chances here in a thin race.
2. Glory Blaze: Had excuses last time when a beaten favourite over this distance range at Devonport when he got shuffled back in the run. Likes to race on speed and looks like getting a pretty comfortable run up the front in this. Has his first run on the turf here which is a little query but if he can bring his form from his home track he should be right in the finish.
7. Khatun: Backs up here after a gallant 2nd last week behind Amaword. Has made ground at both runs so looks suited here up to 1400m. Should land in a pretty good spot and finished alongside Glory Blaze at her debut. On the up and a definite winning hope here.
5. Somatra: Has done very little at his two most recent runs on the turf after an encouraging first up run. Backs up from last week when well beaten behind Amaword but much better suited at 1400m. Can go forward and make her own luck and gets in light with Wong’s claim. Doesn’t have the form on the board of the top three hopes but has shown glimpses and looks the improver.
Next best Knight To Remember (on debut after four trials, will probably need this but watch betting just in case).
Looks three main hopes here. Another Brother (1) may not be suited by the tempo but shouldn’t be too far away in the small field and looks the testing material.
BACK (WIN) Another Brother for 4 units
Race 5 9:00pm Chris Reissig Builders Benchmark 82 Handicap (1400m)
Small field but expect a genuine tempo. Miss It And A Bit likes to roll along in front at a strong pace, with Snippetee Bee, Spirit Of Nia and Red Eagle all capable of racing near the lead. Every horse should get their chance here.
1. Red Eagle: Resumed in good style a fortnight ago here behind Vigilante when 3rd after copping a mid-race check. Generally races well second-up and has had 6 tries over this course for 2 wins and 4 placings. Drawn to get the one-one position in the run and has beaten home most of his rivals in this before. Doesn’t win often but looks well placed and should be in the finish.
5. Spirit Of Nia: Ran a solid 3rd first-up behind Issawi before being a bit flat last time behind Vigilante when finishing a 5 length last. Suited getting up to 1400m here and has won 4 from 7 over this course. Should find a good spot in or near the lead for Pires from the inside draw and has form in this grade and above. Needs to bounce back from last run but better suited here and best form is good enough.
6. Keukenhof: Charged to the line here second-up when 2nd behind Vigilante after coming from last. Rise in distance suits perfectly at this stage but might land in a tricky spot off the speed from the inside draw. Rarely runs a bad race over this trip and stays down in the weights. Another who doesn’t win often but with the right run and favourable track pattern he can swamp them late.
4. Miss It And A Bit: Resumes from a decent break here after a long summer carnival campaign. Had a trial to tune up for this but worth noting she hasn’t placed first-up in five tries. 1400m form isn’t flash either but she always runs well when allowed to bowl along in front and looks like getting that run here. Down in the weights with regular rider Barr’s claim and should give them something to chase.
3. Snippetee Bee: Was a bit better last time behind Vigilante but is still struggling to recapture the form that made her one of the state’s top sprinting mares. Ran a narrow 2nd over this trip in Victoria so maybe the slower tempo will help her here and she can roll forward into a good spot if she begins well. Ideally wants wet conditions which she may not get here but if she rediscovered her best form she’d be just about winning this.
Another even race and the small field makes this one tricky. Going with Red Eagle (1) but really wouldn’t be surprised at anything happening here.
BACK (WIN) Red Eagle for 2 units
Race 6 9:30pm Wordsmith Tas Newmarket 16 November Class 3 Handicap (1200m)
A number of on-pacers here, with the lead to be fought out by Before All, Fill Ya Boots, Watch Over Me, Apriano and Cuban Missile. That should result in enough pressure to ensure a strong tempo to give those off speed every opportunity.
6. Watch Over Me: Has been racing very consistently in this grade at Devonport and now gets back onto the turf for the first time since running 3rd here behind Caffeine Hit on heavy ground back in July. Last three especially have been very good clashing with Concentrate in form that looks slightly stronger than this field. Should get some competition for the lead but has shown versatility to lead or take the sit so she should find a good run from a middle draw. Expect her to be in the finish.
4. Fill Ya Boots: Makes a jump in grade here after winning in C1 company very impressively first-up at Devonport. Led all the way there over 1000m but 1200m holds no fears after winning her maiden at this trip as well as a promising midfield finish in last years 3yo Magic Millions race. Has the speed to lead but also races well if she has something to chase so she should find a suitable spot in the run and be hard to hold out.
5. Mon Londo: Has done a lot of racing on an unsuitable surface at Devonport but his most recent effort when 5th behind Steel Brom was full of merit. Better suited back to this trip where he has won 2 of his 3 races and worth pointing out his only other run on turf this prep was an unlucky 5th behind Caffeine Hit in a race where Watch Over Me ran 3rd. Should get the speed on to suit and no surprise to see him rocketing home late.
8. Jupiter’s Moon: A lovely 3yo in the making who steps up slightly in trip after a solid run last time behind Chillout over 1100m. Had no real hope there the way the race was run and from the spot he was in but he did enough to suggest he is ready to win when he lands in the right race. With an inside draw and a likely strong tempo in front of him this looks to be his type of race so he should get his chance to step up to this grade. Has a genuine chance.
1. Apriano: Has his first run in this state for John Luttrell here after racing in Victoria for Colin Alderson. Trialled very well in Hobart, holding off Geegees Doublejay under a hold. That looks excellent for a race like this but he comes up with a wide barrier with plenty of speed drawn underneath him and straight into a 1200m event when he has only run this far once in his 10 starts so far. Very interesting runner who looks up to this on his Victorian form if he is ready for the 1200m trip fresh and can get across from the gate.
Next best Cuban Missile (resumes after a good first prep in this state, won a trial leading into this, wide draw may be tricky but races well here) and Downwind (hasn’t won for a long time but not bad last time and suited if they go too hard).
Very even race for quaddie punters. Fill Ya Boots (4) is a mare on the up who can improve again up in grade here. It has been a while but Mon Londo (5) finds a nice race and can show up if horses are making ground from the back.
BACK (WIN) Fill Ya Boots for 3 units
BACK (WIN) Mon Londo for 1 unit
Race 7 10:00pm helloworld Benchmark 62 Handicap (1600m)
Constant Velocity can go forward again here like she did in her last start win, but looks like getting a bit more company up front with Steel Brom and Miss Choosey capable of taking up a position. That said, there isn’t much pressure on speed again so the on-pacers should get every chance.
3. King Manu: Arguably should have won last time when held up at a crucial stage when 3rd behind Constant Velocity as favourite. Should be better for that run over the mile and showed there he can settle a bit closer to the speed. Maybe not as well suited on the drying ground and may need luck for Thornton from back on the inside. Looks one of the better chances again but there is a little more depth this time.
5. Steel Brom: Quite impressive getting onto the grass last time with a strong on-pace performance over 1400m. This doesn’t look much harder although she now goes to a mile where she has only been twice early in her career. Should get every chance to run the trip without much pressure up front but it will be interesting to see how she responds given her best run was off a strong tempo last time. Should be in the firing line for a long way and if she runs the mile strongly she will be hard to run down.
4. Miss Choosey: Ready to peak getting to the mile after three runs over 1400m. Wasn’t bad last time behind Steel Brom but should be able to settle closer to the lead over this distance. Has had 3 runs over this course for 2 wins and a 2nd, including an upset win in the Thousand Guineas last season. In well with Maher’s claim and should get a gun run on speed. Ticks a lot of boxes and looks a big hope.
6. Constant Velocity: Caused a boilover last time when leading all the way over this course in this grade. Did have all the favours in front there but not sure this will be run much quicker so she should enjoy a good run on speed again. That was her second win in only 3 tries over this course so this is her type of race and Carr sticks with her. Only a little harder here so she should be around the mark again.
9. Princess Atilla: Was strong running into 2nd last time behind Constant Velocity from behind the speed off a slow tempo. Looks better suited over this trip than the staying races she had been contesting and the improving ground doesn’t seem an issue. Races well here but probably has to go back again from the wide gate. If more pressure eventuates up front she can be in the mix late.
Next best Rather Heroic (steadily improving and suited up to this trip but with the big weight he might need one more).
The races don’t get any easier here. Think Miss Choosey (4) is well placed here and will appreciate getting to the mile so she appeals on an each way basis.
BACK (E/W) Miss Choosey for 2 units
Race 8 10:30pm Chris Reissig Builders House & Land Packages Benchmark 72 Handicap (2100m)
Electric Crimson looks like dictating at his leisure, with no other runner in the field having shown any early speed in recent racing. As a result he looks greatly advantaged if rated correctly, while whoever can lob on speed will get their chance.
3. Accounted Four: Has been an impressive winner at his past two starts on wet ground, including his most recent effort over this course after finding trouble on the corner. Beat a number of his rivals in this there and the 2kg rise to 57kg doesn’t look an issue. Drier ground would present a new challenge for him but he ran well on better ground last prep when beating Dhanraj and he should have just about beaten Bitter Dan over this course. Maybe the only negative is he is looking for a bit further now but he appeals as the logical favourite.
4. Gwemrae: Finished off well to run 2nd behind Accounted Four last time over this course in her first run for the Brunton stable. That was her first run over this trip this prep so she should be better for it and Pires sticks with her. Drier ground would be a bonus as she won a race over this course last season on good ground beating Smoke ‘N’ Whisky. Definite chance to turn the tables.
2. Electric Crimson: On the quick back-up from a game 3rd over a mile on Saturday in Hobart which followed a similar effort behind Accounted Four here. Should be rock hard fit now and will appreciate the drier ground. Clark hops back on and should enjoy dictating the tempo with no apparent competition up front. Wasn’t far away against these two back so rated correctly in front he is a genuine chance of pinching it.
1. Holy Cat: Finished a close-up 4th against these rivals behind Accounted Four last time which ties in nicely for this. Was also having his first go over this trip for this prep there so can improve off that again. Without the claim this time so will have to carry the full 60kg which is an ask but the improving ground won’t be an issue. Think he might find it hard to turn the tables with the big weight but will be around the mark.
Next best Remorse (steadily improving, 5th against these last time, drier ground no issue and in light with Thornton’s claim, maybe a place chance).
Scott Brunton holds a very strong hand here in the last of the night and expect one of his three charges to get the major prize. Expect Accounted Four (3) to be short odds and with a couple of little things against, happy to work around Gwemrae (4) and Electric Crimson (2) with the comfortable lead.
BACK (WIN) Gwemrae for 2 units
BACK (WIN) Electric Crimson for 2 units