Racing is at Launceston this Wednesday night for the last meeting before the Hobart Cup weekend. Action kicks off at 5:54pm with a competitive 9 event program. The rail moves to the 5m position from the 1200m to the winning post, and back to the True for the remainder, after racing excellently when in the True last week. The track is currently a Soft 5 as is standard to then move to a Good 4 on raceday, however there is the chance of showers for the afternoon and night which may have some affect on the track.
Race 1 5:54pm Autobarn 2yo Maiden (1100m)
Expect Bonjour Belle and I Love This Bar to take up the running here as the clear likely leaders. Didn’t seem to be much early speed among the newcomers, with maybe Divine Plan and Aljazmic most likely to push forward, but spots on the speed in 2yo races are up for grabs for any who begin well.
Hot Dipped was scratched on Sunday to come here and draws ideally in 3. Well bred filly being a half to Hugo by Written Tycoon and showed plenty of ability in winning her trial by a big space. Ran good time there and deserves favouritism on that performance. Hard to beat.
Starity Miss looks the best of the exposed runners after two respectable runs at this track and has winkers on to sharpen her up here. Has the benefit of two runs under her belt and draws for a nice run from 4. Know what you’re getting from her and should be somewhere in the money.
Bonjour Belle was well beaten at her only start behind the flying Gee Gee Double Dee in November after winning an early trial, and comes here with another trial win under her belt. Went nearly a second faster at most recent trial than back in November and shows plenty of early speed. Big jump to 1100m off the 700m Longford trials after knocking right up on debut over 900m but should land right on the speed and have every chance.
A number of first starters are hard to line up here and will require market monitoring.
Acronym won a trial at Hobart beating Sunday’s victor Little Elsa but was pushed out there in only average time and she’ll need to have come on to be competitive with the favourite.
Aljazmic wasn’t far behind Bonjour Belle at only trial and comes from leading 2yo stable of Barry Campbell.
Mulley’s Idol is very well bred out of smart mare With Decorum and has the visor on for his debut. Didn’t do a whole lot in only trial against older horses but has Thornton booked.
Mariah’s Magic wasn’t bad in only trial behind subsequent winner Jupiter’s Moon and leading chance Starity Miss. Looked in need of more time there but appears to have ability.
Divine Plan showed speed behind Bonjour Belle but didn’t do a lot late and will need to have come on.
Keen to be with Hot Dipped on her excellent Hobart trial. Starity Miss looks the best of the raced brigade, while expect Bonjour Belle to be improved on her only run. Watch the market with the unraced but on their trials they need to improve smartly to go with Hot Dipped.
Race 2 6:25pm Tas Hotel & Club Supplies Class 1 Handicap (1400m)
Dehughes is likely to take up the running here and run along as he likes to do, with Ariconte also right there with the winkers on. Rougeau, Genuine Art and Farnor West look to be handy to the speed behind them. Expect a genuine tempo but only average pressure on the leading bunch.
Ariconte looks suited returning to 1400m after a game run in the Tasmanian Guineas when he led. Two starts ago at this track and distance he was only narrowly defeated by smart 3yo The Master Speed with subsequent winner Livermore well behind him in 3rd. That form looks very good and a repeat of that stamps him as top pick here.
Rougeau made it 5 placings in a row since arriving in the state last time when running home well in an on-pace dominated race behind Because. First try at 1400m this prep but looks suitable on his last effort and he has blinkers on to take advantage of the inside draw. Expect him to get a gun run behind the leaders and he looks certain to be right in the mix again.
Genuine Art is a promising filly being a half-sister to Genuine Lad and she will appreciate the drop in grade after racing in BM72 grade last time. Has blinkers on for the first time so should be able to push forward to overcome the awkward gate. Broke her maiden over this trip and only run at this track was good. Looks a strong hope.
Sphero has raced well this prep against some reasonable horses in maiden grade and did a good job last time to chase home a strong tempo and break his duck. Up to 1400m looks very suitable now 4th up but he does have to contend with the outside barrier which doesn’t look at all helpful. Think he’s going well enough to make the step to this grade but he’ll need luck in running to be finishing off hard.
Claiborne King is another coming back from the Tasmanian Guineas but he was quite disappointing there at his first try in Hobart and over the mile. Two starts ago he was very good here at 1400m behind Jerilderie Letter in open 3yo company. Start before he rattled home to finish just behind Rougeau at Devonport. Can mix his form a bit but no doubt his best is good enough to feature in this.
Next best Savrajette (likes this track, has gear changes to improve on last start flop when favourite).
Very competitive race of great quality for a class 1. Ariconte is a smart 3yo who looks to get the right run on speed but will need to run to his best to score. Four genuine winning chances to challenge him and searching for value among them is recommended.
Race 3 7:05pm Weeding Hire Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m)
Should be a very solid tempo here with Baldez and Sandeep capable of running along in the lead, while Dillon Hall will likely go forward from the wide gate and emergency Krake can arguably go faster than them all if he gets a run. Treasury Bond and Geegees Brightstar can box seat behind the speed.
Treasury Bond is a promising type who has blinkers on here for the first time. Wasn’t bad last time at Devonport when fancied after missing the start and having to race back in the field. Last run at Launceston was good behind Geegees Brightstar and he arguably should have won there. Looks to get a lovely run here from the inside draw should he begin well and will take a lot of beating.
Geegees Baritone was impressive last time when winning over this distance on Devonport Cup day after an encouraging midfield effort in the Sheffield Cup. Has a lot of weight but did carry this weight to win at this track and distance back in October in BM62 grade in fast time. Wide gate is his main issue here and will probably have to go back to get in but has Carr on and does appreciate fast tempos which he may get here. Very good chance again and may get to silly odds if the market risks his big weight.
Livermore has been impressive in both runs this prep in easier grade and the step up to a mile is ideal. Very good win last time but this is much harder and he doesn’t get much weight relief from a couple of the well-performed leading chances. Staying type who is firmly on the up and rates highly but the query is this grade might have come just a little too quick for him this time.
Geegees Brightstar comes back to the mile after an unplaced effort in the Brighton Cup. Won over this track and distance prior to that in BM82 grade when defeating Hugo and beat Treasury Bond here at the start prior. Up in the weights a bit now but the mile looks his best trip and he should get a great run just behind the speed. Has to be respected again and will appreciate any rain.
They look to be the clear 4 leading chances, with next best Sahara Girl (not bad last couple, draws inside and ready for the mile).
Four main winning hopes here and all have genuine claims which makes it a tricky race. Treasury Bond is still on the up and might get the right run here to return to the winner’s circle, while Geegees Baritone is still more than capable of winning with the big weight.
Race 4 7:40pm Balmoral on York 3yo Maiden (1200m)
A number of lightly raced runners here makes the map a bit tricky to work out but Fill Ya Boots does look most likely to take up the running. Gallow Gate and Princess Of York can race on speed with Gee Gee Black Buty maybe looking to push on from out wide. Polly’s Choice showed enough speed in her trial to suggest she can kick up from her inside draw also.
Princess Of York resumes after a handy winter prep and tuned up with a decent trial. Darmanin takes the ride which suggests she’s ready to go. Her form reads well with winners Treasury Bond, Brightness, The Captain and Purrsnickety coming out of her races and she was only 3 lengths behind Gee Gee Red Prince on her debut here last year. Looks a top chance in an open race.
Gallow Gate ran well when resuming here behind hot favourite Sphero and has winkers on for the first time for this. Has similar winter form to Princess Of York and finished just behind her in their only meeting. Gets a nice claim for Boris Thornton and a good gate and he looks an obvious chance on his first-up run.
Polly’s Choice makes her debut for Adam Trinder in this and beat Princess Of York in a recent trial. Looks ideally drawn in 1 to take a position on the speed and should have every chance. Market can tell the tale with this stable so watch closely and no surprise for her to be in the finish if fancied.
Fill Ya Boots was well supported at her Hobart debut and showed good speed before copping a bump in the straight and just knocking up late. Inside draw looks suitable here and no surprise if she holds the lead. Will need to be stronger at the 1200m than her first run but should get her chance in the run and would appreciate any on-speed pattern.
Union Boss ran home very nicely no debut over the 1000m in Hobart and looks much better suited up to the 1200m trip here. Drawn wide probably won’t hurt as expect him to race back in the field. Any run-on pattern will assist and if the pressure goes on up front he is the swooper late.
Another even race here. Lean to Princess Of York over Gallow Gate as the best of the exposed form but do think Polly’s Choice on debut is a genuine hope if fancied in the market. Also think Union Boss went much better than his form reads on debut and he may be a value runner.
Race 5 8:20pm TOLL Tasmania Maiden (1200m)
A Choice Scotch led on debut and no reason she won’t again here from barrier 1. Expect she could be joined in the lead by George’s Gambol who mixes his pattern but showed a stack of speed at his only other fresh run. Etown can be handy as can Greenmount Lass while expect Off The Grid to be ridden a bit quieter back in trip.
A Choice Scotch comes here with obvious winning hopes after a debut 2nd in Hobart behind You Didn’t. Overall time was poor there but think she will be better suited up to 1200m and should lead from the inside draw. Still shapes as being better over further but gets every chance here to notch her first win.
George’s Gambol has had one prep through the winter racing solely on Tapeta and while he mixed his form there he ran some nice races. Best runs appear to be when using his speed early and he gets his chance to do that here if they wish. In well with claim and is a leading chance here if he brings his best form.
Greenmount Lass wasn’t bad on debut when a respectable 4th behind Sphero here over this trip. Raced pretty greenly and did things wrong so should be better for the outing. Another who looks suited when she gets over a bit more ground but looks likely to be one-out one-back in the run here and has a genuine winning chance.
Surprised if one of those 3 doesn’t win here, but give a rough hope to Off The Grid (back from some ordinary mile runs off quick back-up isn’t ideal but best run this prep was over 1000m and may appreciate shorter trip). Watch the market on Tuscan Wish having his first start but hard to give it a push from the trials.
Looks three main hopes here and hard to split A Choice Scotch and George’s Gambol. Have a slight leaning to the latter. Genuine hope Greenmount Lass and best roughie Off The Grid.
Race 6 9:05pm Jansz Maiden (1400m)
Very little speed on paper here with Songs ‘n’ Stories and Opening Line the most likely to roll forward although Belmont has been jumping out well at the trials. Sunday School can be on the speed from the good draw while Like The Wolf may show some speed fresh. A confident ride with initiative can get an advantage here racing on speed.
Hell Baby was good last time when running on well into 2nd behind Millrace and appeals as a leading chance here. Well drawn so should get a nice run in behind the speed and looks to possess a turn of foot which many of these don’t have. Muddling tempo concerns if she gets caught back on the inside but with clear running she looks top pick.
Aussie Alice was disappointing last time but rider reported ground was possibly too firm. Back to 1400m is probably alright here but would like a decent tempo in front. Any rain would be a bonus and her best form is competitive in a race of this nature. Definite chance and well suited if track is rain affected.
British was better than he looked on debut and backed that up with a good 4th second up at big odds behind Millrace. Appreciated the rise to 1400m there and should be spot on for it now 3rd up. Draw is a little tricky with a number of backmarkers drawn inside him but a repeat of his last run has him right in the mix here.
Sunday School has run well at both career runs and is now ready for the rise to 1400m. Drawn ideally in 2 and may be able to race near the lead on a projected soft tempo. Still improving and this looks pretty suitable. Looks an improving type who can be in the finish.
Opening Line has winkers on for the first time and Carr regains the ride after riding her into a handy 2nd 2 starts ago at Longford. Found a lot of trouble last time behind Millrace and finished much further back than she may have otherwise. Form is only fair but expect her to race right on the speed from the wide gate and she might run a cheeky race from there.
Next best Torre Velasca (slowly improving, gets Maskiell’s claim to get in 2kgs under the minimum) then Belmont (no form at all to speak of but recent trials have seen him much better early and breeding suggests he may come good at some stage).
Another open race with Hell Baby the obvious but no good thing, while Aussie Alice would appeal with significant rain. Outsiders Opening Line and even Belmont may be suited if they choose to ride close to the speed and appeal as worth a try at longer odds.
Race 7 9:35pm Chris Reissig Builders Pty Ltd Benchmark 82 Handicap (2100m)
Not much genuine speed here so expect Deux Foix to go forward again with any of Aventador, Mister Moneypenny or Oerter up close and handy. Hugo, Cheryl’s Horse and Sir Joey can also go forward if desired. Think it will be a steady gallop at best.
Hugo was a sensational run last start in the Devonport Cup when he was clearly the best run of those back in the field and he’s had a trial since to keep him up to the mark. Has the winkers off going out to the 2100m trip, his first time since narrowly winning last year’s Night Cup. Muhcu has the option of going forward or back from the good draw and he looks very hard to beat albeit in a good race.
Aventador also ran well in the Devonport Cup to stick on for 4th after racing close to the speed throughout. 2100m form here is excellent and his close 3rd in the Longford Cup looks even better considering what Up Cups has been doing since. Siggy Carr is a great booking and can have him close to the speed again and he looks an excellent each-way proposition here.
Mister Moneypenny comes here after two reasonable Devonport runs and now gets to a trip where he had placed at in three consecutive runs before coming to Tasmania. Can race on speed which will help in this and wasn’t far away from the top two picks in the Devonport Cup. Looks a pretty suitable race for him and no surprise if he gives a big sight.
Settler’s Stone has a tongue tie on for the first time here and wasn’t far behind Aventador in the Longford Cup two starts back. Last start he made good ground to run a well-beaten 4th in the Brighton Cup and looks cherry ripe for this. Still on the up, has won at this track and 2100m looks his go. Has to find a little to go with the top hopes in this but very capable stayer who has genuine claims.
Smoke ‘N’ Whisky has been very good all prep without winning and only just missed last time at his first try over this trip. This is much harder but he gets weight relief and should save plenty of ground from gate 2. Will be better for the run over this trip and he’s so honest that it’s hard to not picture him in the finish somewhere.
Next best Tycoon Navigator (likes this track having won 3 times here including once over this trip, form ties in with leading fancies before last couple of average efforts), Cheryl’s Horse (impressive at Longford but this is much harder, in light but inexperienced rider) and Oerter (better last time back on turf and gets in light with Maskiell’s claim but needs to improve again).
Hugo and Aventador stand out here as two obvious chances but it is quite a deep race. Definite respect for Mister Moneypenny and Settler’s Stone but you could give a genuine hope to as many as 8 horses here.
Race 8 10:05pm Venarchie Contracting Class 2 Handicap (1200m)
Expect Madame George to find the front here, crossing over from a few on pacers in Auntie Beverley and Osborne. Trot On Candy may be ridden more positively from the good barrier and can be on speed also.
Auntie Beverley was very good last time in Class 4 company when getting within a length of Gee Gees Jet and beating some handy horses home in the process. Draws well again and a repeat of that effort would see her very hard to beat in this grade. Has only won the 2 from 25 which is a concern but she finds a pretty suitable race here.
Madame George was in trouble by the turn last time when caught in a battle for the lead and think she’ll get things much easier in front here. Like Carr being back on and previous form was alright without winning. Needs to just find a little more at the end but should get her chance in front.
Trot On Candy was excellent when winning last time on Devonport Cup day and was scratched from last week’s Thousand Guineas. This trip seems much more suitable at this stage and from the good draw Muhcu can choose to race forward or back, both patterns which she has saluted from already in her short career. Looks to get every chance in this and has a big hope.
Village Green is a handy mare resuming with a distant 2nd behind Sh’bourne Spirit in a trial under her belt, Form last prep was very good, running placings behind Meconsul and Tshahitsi as well as not being disgraced behind Geegees Doublejay. Has won at this track and trip and ran 3rd when last first-up at big odds behind Meconsul. Market confidence would be nice considering she is resuming but her best form is undoubtedly good enough for this.
Sentinel returned to form last time with a solid 2nd behind Into The Wind and after just peaking on his run late he should be improved here 2nd up. Ideally wants a bit further and is awkwardly drawn in gate 9 but would be suited by any run-on pattern later in the night. A repeat of his last effort will have him competitive here but might want one more.
Next best Nuclear Star (races well fresh, wants speed on but suited by any run-on pattern).
Looks a nice race for Auntie Beverley and only has to reproduce her last run to win this. Village Green is the class horse of the race and worth following if strong market support arrives.
Race 9 10:35pm Steve’s Liquor Maiden/Class 1 (2100m)
No genuine leader here in the last but a few of these should roll forward, Hoffsetter, Somatra and Shlingas can all be thereabouts, while Leigh John will probably still head towards the front despite taking the blinkers off.
Squire returns to this trip where he ran a good 2nd 2 starts ago behind Steven’s Wonder at his first career try past a mile. Ran well again when back to the mile last time in Hobart and should be primed to return to this trip. Gets in well with Maher’s claim and should get a good run from barrier 3. Any rain would be a distinct plus but still looks the top pick on firm ground.
Dropaclanger returned to his usual run-on pattern last time at Devonport and responded well with a strong run in BM62 grade when a close up 4th behind Musique Player. Previous form here over this trip was very solid in this grade. McCoull takes the reins and his usual honest run has him right in the mix here.
Storm Gust is the horse on the up here having his first try at the trip. Was a bit flat last time early despite having the winkers on before working home alright behind Olly’s A Star. That was third run at a mile so should appreciate the rise to 2100m. Form at shorter trips is good enough for this so although horses are often improved after their first go at this distance he is good enough to feature at his first try.
Shlingas has had limited racing in this state in this distance range but was very good racing on speed last time behind Musique Player in BM62 company and should find this a bit easier. Can mix his form a bit but capable of taking a position which can advantage in this and sure to be fit enough being an M.S. Trinder disciple. Repeat of last run gives him an excellent chance.
Hoffsetter has been mixing his distances but it doesn’t seem to be worrying, having run good 2nds at his recent tries at a mile and beyond. Yet to try 2100m which is some query but 1800m run was tough and he’s in the right form to try it. In light with Boris Thornton’s claim and can race handy to the speed so expect him to be there for a long way.
Looks a nice race for Squire, especially if the meeting is hit by considerable rain, and he appeals as top pick in a competitive race. Some good chances outside of him however which is fitting on a tough night of racing.