Launceston Race 9 | Launceston Cup | 2400m G3 HCP | 6:14pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out 3m the entire circuit after being in the true position on Sunday.

There is a high chance of showers developing in the early afternoon through evening with 4mm to 8mm of rain expected.

If that rain does arrive then it’s likely to be enough to tip the surface into the Soft 5 range. Expect horses to get away from the fence rounding the turn and in the straight with the middle of the straight becoming the best going.


Speed and Tactics

There’s not a huge amount of early speed here. Gwenville (5) led at a slow pace last start but prior to that settled off the speed. Shock Shock (1) had been settling on the lead over 1600m but was restrained last start to run well and with the step up 500m in distance here I wouldn’t think they’ll be too aggressive from the inside draw.

There looks to be genuine speed in the race with The Mighty JRod (12) almost certain to press forward and Gallow Gate (14) very likely to do the same.

There’s plenty drawn inside to middle that will want to hold a reasonable position forward of midfield and perhaps one or two other wide drawn runners that might try their hand at going forward. It’s hard to image anything but a genuine pace or faster, making the race a strong staying test of the 2400m.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine to above average

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to below average

Best Suited: 2 to 5 lengths off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on lead up form, the winner of this race will need to rate somewhere in the 95-97 range (at the weights) to win. It’s hard to imagine at least a couple of runners won’t hit that mark.


Race Assessment

3. Andrea Mantegna: Forecast 96-97.5. Assessed $4.40

Was a very solid 2nd to Pretty Punk in the Hobard Cup lead up. His 96 rating from that run puts him right in the finish of this race and he does have a big 101 spike previously in Adelaide, so improvement on last start is not out of the question. Barrier 10 looks likely to be a good draw by this stage of the meeting (assuming the rain comes.) He’s the horse to beat in a competitive race.

5. Bondeiger: Forecast 95.5-96.5. Assessed $6.00

He’s found a new lease of life this preparation winning his last two in Adelaide. His last start returned a 97 rating at the weights in this race, which makes him hard to beat and his past history shows numerous other performances around that level. A soft track and inside draw which may not be ideal if they are getting off the fence are possible limiting factors I’ve allowed for, but on the quality of his form and overall talent he’s right up to winning this

1. Berisha: Forecast 94-95. Assessed $9.00

Both runs this preparation have been good and he looks set to run well here. The problem is that he gets a mile back in his races, which is a significant betting risk. His ratings are very competitive and it wouldn’t surprise if he won, but with that run style and the fact he’s won just once in the last two years, he’s not a betting prospect for me.

2. Pretty Punk: Forecast 93-95. Assessed $9.00

She was good winning the Hobart Cup but pays for that with 58kg here and if they are getting off the fence by the time this race comes around, barrier 2 is likely to be some disadvantage. I won’t be surprised if she wins again, but I have to risk her in this race.

9. Eastender: 92.5-96. Assessed $11.00

He was very well backed in the Hobart Cup off a good prior rating and ran just fairly after Newitt did seem to go for home a bit early (not sure it was the difference though.) The fact he weakened in a slow run 2400m last start does raise a concern about a more solidly run race this time, but that previous SP deserves respect.

6. Fastnet Dragon: 94-95. Assessed $11.00

Comes off a solid third in the Hobart Cup last start with competitive ratings and the right draw / run style that should see him suited in this race.

7. Up Cups: 93-94. Assessed $23.00

Beaten 1.8L in the Hobart Cup last start behind Pretty Punk. His ratings perhaps aren’t good enough to win, but he looks well set up here to run to his level and be somewhere thereabouts.

4. Geegees Goldengirl: 92-94. Assessed $26.00

She’s racing consistently wit10. Settlers Stone: 92-93. Assessed $34.00 ratings that can see her thereabouts, similar to he 2L 5th last start in the Hobart Cup

10. Settlers Stone: 92-93. Assessed $34.00

Beaten 3.5L in the Hobart Cup and it’s hard to make a strong case he can suddenly turn that around. What he does have though is some older form / ratings from 12 months ago which could be very competitive here, so he’s not totally hopeless. If you’re looking for one at big odds to include then he’s at least proven in the past he can reach the winning mark.

12. The Mighty Jrod: 90-93. Assessed $34.00

He won over 2000m at Flemington last start but there was a lack of substance in the figures that make me questions the form. He needs to new peak to get in the finish of this race and under the expected conditions I doubt he can do that leading over 2400m.

15. Earl Da Vinci: 91-93. Assessed $41.00

Beaten 2.5L in the Hobart Cup at big odds. Drawn more awkwardly here and deserves to be a longshot again.

8. Brilliant Jet: 92-93. Assessed $51.00

Was okay up to 2400m beaten 3.3L in the Hobart Cup. Barrier 1 looks a negative here.

11. Gallow Gate: 82-86. Assessed $501.00

Yet to get anywhere near the ratings needed to be competitive in this.

14. Kanji: 84-87. Assessed $501.00

Yet to get anywhere near the ratings needed to be competitive in this.

17. Wyuna: 86-88. Assessed $501.00

Yet to get anywhere near the ratings needed to be competitive in this.

16. Smoke N Whisky: 84-86. Assessed $501.00

Yet to get anywhere near the ratings needed to be competitive in this.

18. Striking Prospect : 82-86. Assessed $1,001.00

Yet to get anywhere near the ratings needed to be competitive in this.


Betting Strategy

On current markets I’m looking at both Andrea Mantegna and Bondeiger as betting prospects. For better or worse I’m happy to work around Berisha, Pretty Punk and Eastender who are similarly hard in the market and can win, but have queries that make it difficult to find them at a value price.

 BACK – ANDREA MANTEGNA – Bet to WIN – Stake 1.0% of your total bank.

 BACK – BONDEIGER – Bet to WIN – Stake 0.8% of your total bank.


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