Longford hosts its traditional New Years Day meeting this Monday, with the highlight being the $20,000 Cressy Chaff Cutters Jim Osborne Cup over 1800m. Flash Missile, Kanji and Beaufort Lad look set to fight out favouritism in the feature event, while the flying mare Galeocerdo tries to make it four wins in a row in race 4.
Race 1 – 13:23 Incitec Pivot Maiden (1400 METRES)
Chase And Status is the leader with Gee Gee Countryboy, Nahla and Gone Girl most likely to settle near the speed. Doubt there is too much pressure so those on speed should be advantaged.
Gone Girl (7) comes back to her right grade after finding C1 company too tough last time behind Speedonova. Won’t find an easier maiden than this and has Newitt in the saddle to try and overcome the wide draw. Clearly has the best form in the race so with even luck she looks too good here.
Gee Gee Countryboy (1) hasn’t done a whole lot this prep and was found to be lame after his last run behind Century Arrow. Fresh run was probably his best so gap between runs may suit and he did run some fair races as a 2yo. Can go forward if he beings well which helps here and he shapes as one of the dangers if he brings his best.
Nahla (5) is another who hasn’t done much this prep after running some reasonable races last time in. Steadily improving this prep but but still well beaten on all three occasions. Can improve here rolling forward for Carr and her best has her in with a decent place chance at least.
Onnanoko (8) found the line very well on debut but didn’t do a whole lot first-up a fortnight ago. Rise to 1400m looks very suitable but gets a long way back in her races and won’t be suited around this track. Has more scope than most of these so knockout chance on that basis but might need a bit more race experience.
Chase And Status (2) goes to 1400m for the first time which looks a major query on her exposed form. Last run was ordinary but her best form is thereabouts with any of these outside the favourite. Should lead and in light with Barr’s claim so may give a sight and fill a place on that basis.
Next best Portrait Painting (6) (less convictions than these and wasn’t beaten that far on debut so has some scope to improve here).
Very hard to go past Gone Girl (7) who looks ready to win.
BACK (WIN) Gone Girl (7) – 6 units
Race 2 – 13:58 T A Bricknell Benchmark 62 Hcp (1400 METRES)
Pontypaul and Welcome Invader are likely to look for the lead here ahead of Speranta, Jo Anconi and the emergencies Sunset Party and Kelly’s Diva.
Jo Anconi (4) returned to something near her best form last time when 2nd behind Jacques in Launceston. Form last preparation was very good, including a win over Happy Halloween and a comfortable win in her only start at 1400m. Should get a nice run on speed and in well with claim. Only has to go on from her last run to be clear top pick.
Welcome Invader (2) resumes here but looks to have been in work for a while having trialled at the end of November. With Newitt on this feels like a bit of a target race on his home track and he should push forward to overcome the wide draw. Form last time in was very consistent and he ran well fresh over this trip three starts ago. Looks one of the better hopes.
Charlemagne’s Girl (6) has had a freshen since a reasonably consistent preparation without being able to win. Trained on the track and rarely runs a bad race in this grade but has only placed once from 8 tries over this trip. Best form is up to any of her rivals but this distance is the query.
Speranta (7) comes here on the quick back-up from Devonport where she ran a solid 4th behind Tycoon’s Daughter. Gets to her right trip and can take advantage of her inside draw to find a nice spot near the lead. Trained here so sure to be spot on for this and has each way claims.
Pontypaul (8) hasn’t been too bad at her past couple, sticking on alright after being wide despite running last in the 3yo Cup and then finishing a close-up 4th in Hobart in C1 grade. Goes to 1400m for the first time but this track seems a good place to try it and has the speed to be in the first couple. Up in grade but has ability and a knockout chance with the right run.
Next best Just Call Me Fred (1) (best form better than these but hasn’t showed that for quite a while and needs a major form reversal).
Jo Anconi (4) deserves to run favourite but think Welcome Invader (2) can give some cheek first-up.
BACK (WIN) Welcome Invader (2) – 2 units
Race 3 – 14:33 Armidale Stud Benchmark 62 Hcp (1400 METRES)
Acronym may roll to the front here ahead of Schillie Billie and Solomon’s Song, with emergencies Sunday Cider and Ruthless Lover capable of being in the thick of things early if they gain a start.
Solomon’s Song (1) was very good at his first two runs in from a spell before being well-backed but disappointing last time behind Lady Jane. Can be fitter for that run over the trip under his belt and this looks a bit easier but Barr may have a bit of a task getting across from the wide draw. Still looks one of the better chances in an even race.
Acronym (7) won very nicely first-up in C1 grade in Launceston over this trip before fading last time to finish midfield behind Earl Da Vinci. Given a month between runs but kept up to the mark with a 1400m trial. Looks the likely leader and this is her right trip so she can give a bold sight out in front.
Schillie Billie (6) finally broke through for her 2nd career win last start when too strong for Nordic Thunder and Savs Finale in Launceston. Thrived on being able to sit behind the speed there over the shorter trip but now gets back up to 1400m. Might get a lovely trail behind Acronym so while you would think it unlikely for her to win two in a row she might go on with it now. Definite hope.
Piped Aboard (2) hasn’t run a bad race since joining the McCulloch stable, with a pair of 4ths in this grade following her C1 win in Launceston. Comes here on the quick back-up but her racing style from the wide draw will make it hard around this course. Has the right form so is a winning chance if she gets the right run.
Northern Soul (4) has had a couple of months break after a very good first Tasmanian preparation where he finished in the placings in four of his five runs. Best form is over slightly longer but this trip suits fresh and he draws inside for a soft run. Generally takes a run or two but capable of showing up with the right run.
Next best Frog In A Pond (3) (unlikely to run after running in Hobart on Sunday and up in grade but showed a bit as a 3yo and has Newitt booked so has some hope if he backs up).
Acronym (7) might prove hard to run down here in an even race with many winning chances.
BACK (WIN) Acronym (7) – 4 units
Race 4 – 15:08 Queens Arms Hotel Benchmark 72 Hcp (1400 METRES)
Galeocerdo can find the front without too much pressure and should set a quick tempo as she usually does. Catalyst Fire, Minute Repeater and Tammany Hall look most likely to sit behind her.
Galeocerdo (1) has previously failed at both 1400m attempts but comes here in super form, having run time to win her past three starts including one at the longer 1220m trip. This track should suit her front-running style and she doesn’t look to have much competition for the front. Carried 59kg to win last time so big weight isn’t an issue and she should look the winner until at least the last bit. Hard to run down but might need to close your eyes for the last 100m.
Catalyst Fire (5) is a very promising staying mare who returns from a trip to Victoria where she ran a close-up 4th in a BM70 at Sale. Previous form back home was very good and she is capable of going forward to sit behind Galeocerdo. Fresh for this which should suit and she appeals as the logical danger.
Minute Repeater (3) hasn’t been far away in recent runs but hasn’t really threatened the winner for a while either. Finds the mile a bit far so better suited back to this trip over which he has won three races. Ideally drawn for a soft run to chase the speed and can be thereabouts.
Tammany Hall (4) continues to race consistently and this trip does seem to be his favourite. Not far away at his past couple of runs and generally suited when he can relax behind a good tempo. Outside draw makes it hard to get the right type of run to win here but capable if he gets it.
Mulley’s Idol (6) has been outpaced at both runs this prep when the sprint has gone on but hasn’t been too far away. Rise to 1400m is ideal and Newitt is a positive booking. Trained on the track and showed plenty of ability as a 3yo so may be ready to improve considerably. In the mix.
Next best Red Eagle (2) (both Devonport runs have been quite good and suited up to this trip on the quick back-up but hasn’t won for a long time so place chances best).
Galeocerdo (1) is flying and can go all the way again despite the rise in trip, but if she is a silly price Catalyst Fire (5) is the one for those looking for value.
BACK (WIN) Galeocerdo (1) – 4 units
Race 5 – 15:48 Sues of Invermay Maiden / Class 1 (1800 METRES)
Not much obvious speed on paper. Paterangi may roll forward with Lovely Lady and Super Leane. Those settling near the lead might control the race.
Lovely Lady (7) goes to 1800m for the first time but has a nice platform off two solid mile runs, the latest very good when wide throughout and still only narrowly beaten into 3rd behind Global Princess. Looks to get a much softer run on speed this time and gets a senior rider in Carr on top. Last bit will be the query but looks well placed.
Vallegrande (4) has been within 2 lengths of the winner at his past three runs, including a couple in higher grade than this. Ran home well late last time behind Century Arrow and his late sectionals were very good. Failed in his only try over this longer trip but that was in much tougher grade and he has four mile runs under his belt leading into this. Will need luck from back in the field but is one of the better chances.
Super Leane (3) is proven over the longer trips and drops back from a 3rd behind Moorcroft over 2100m in Launceston. Wasn’t far behind Lovely Lady over the mile in the start prior to that and has the speed to be in the first half of the field in this. Has had plenty of chances but been relatively consistent this prep and has each way claims.
Akbar Jay (1) is another one better over the longer trip and comes here on the fresh side after being pulled up out of the race won by Moorcroft. Previous form was fair in harder races than this and stable likes to target their runners for this day on their home track. Needs to improve but capable of being a knockout chance.
Next best Paterangi (2) (ran well fresh then wasn’t too bad in a hot C1 last time, can roll forward up in trip and might give some cheek at odds).
If Lovely Lady (7) runs up to her last run she will be very hard to beat here.
BACK (WIN) Lovely Lady (7) – 6 units
Race 6 – 16:28 Cressy Chaff Cutters Jim Osborne Cup (1800 METRES)
Expect Miss Hissy to run along in front ahead of Kanji and Flash Missile. Beaufort Lad may be able to settle a bit closer at the longer trip and Up Cup has been pushing forward recently in Victoria.
Flash Missile (8) comes here in very good form having finished in the placings in her past four runs. Has been racing much better with the blinkers off and followed a strong Devonport win in this distance range with a game 2nd last time over the longer trip. Should get a good run on speed although she is somewhat disadvantaged at the weights in this grade. On the up and looks a leading chance.
Kanji (5) was beaten a nose in this race last year off two mile runs but takes a different path this year, coming back from a strong win over 2100m beating Flash Missile. Meets that horse better at the weights now too and can take up a similar position on speed. Don’t think he is quite as well suited coming back in trip which may be the difference but has an obvious chance.
Beaufort Lad (3) is the one coming up in distance, hitting this fourth-up after a run in the Golden Mile. Won at this meeting last year over 1400m so you would expect he has been set for this on his home track. Newitt booking is a good lead and has form in better races than many of these so capable of making the improvement necessary to win here.
Up Cups (1) is a former Hobart and Launceston Cup winner on the comeback trail. Went to Victoria for two runs but was well beaten on both occasions. Clearly this is much easier and placed 2nd in this race in 2016. Would like to see him return to his best before getting too involved with him from a punting perspective but if he runs anywhere near his best he can win.
Miss Hissy (11) is the likely leader who comes back to this trip after battling away for 5th last time behind Kanji. That form line looks reasonable for this and she looks set to have it all her own way in front which is how she likes it. This grade can generally find her out but she is a knockout chance at odds if they don’t pay her enough respect out in front.
Next bets King Manu (9) (last year’s winner who comes here in good form with a last start 3rd behind Geegees Brightstar and Earl Da Vinci, will need luck from back in the field but has done it before).
Flash Missile (8) is on the up and looks set to get the right run to give this a big shake, while Beaufort Lad (3) is the improver coming through the shorter races.
BACK (WIN) Flash Missile (8) – 4 units
BACK (WIN) Beaufort Lad (3) – 2 units
Race 7 – 17:08 Tasmanian Livestock Services Benchmark 62 Hcp (1800 METRES)
Not much pace here so expect the lead to be taken up by Biscay Barb, Kryptonian or Biscay Barb. The opportunity is there for any of these to roll forward and take up a position if they begin well.
Biscay Barb (1) gets up to 1800m for the first time this prep with a very solid platform of four mile runs under his belt. Hasn’t had a lot of luck at his past few runs but has been very competitive in this grade in tougher races than this. Expect him to roll forward to overcome his wide gate and his only look at this track was a narrow 2nd behind Wyuna last year. Clear top pick.
Global Princess (6) has been ridden quietly this prep and is thriving, with her most recent win from back in the field a very strong effort to defeat Balestrand over the mile. Gets to this trip for the first time but the way she has been hitting the line it should suit. Will need luck again but could be hard to hold out late if she gets it.
Real Messi (4) ran home gamely in Devonport last time over 1880m after racing wide to finish 3rd behind Flash Missile in a strong BM72. This is clearly a drop in grade on that run and he has run some solid races in tougher races earlier this prep also. Can win with the right run.
Kryptonian (5) wasn’t bad behind Gee Gee Rich Ruby two starts ago over 1200m before jumping to a mile and battling away alright when off speed and wide in an on-pace dominated race won by Pennstock. Can go forward at this longer trip and gets down in the weights with Graham’s claim. Needs to improve but capable of doing so.
Next best Western Front (8) (always needs luck from back in the field and doesn’t win often but rarely too far away).
Biscay Barb (1) gets his chance to win again here out to the longer trip. Real Messi (4) may be the value off a good run at Devonport.
BACK (WIN) Biscay Barb (1) – 6 units
BACK (WIN) Real Messi (4) – 1 units