Tas Racing: Devonport, Sunday 12th August

Racing is again at Devonport this Sunday with another competitive 8 race card set to kick off at 12:32pm. The highlight is race 3, a Benchmark 84 over 1650m where last start winners Mr America and Kool Kash are likely to set a cracking tempo ahead of the classy Underplay. Race 4 sees the Tasmanian return of smart 3yo filly Mystic Journey but she will have stiff opposition from the flying Century Arrow.


Race 1 – 12:32 Sky Racing Maiden (900 METRES)

Gee Gees Doubleyou and Emsgem look the speed from the inside gates but expect Cape Cardinal to come flying across from out wider. Newcomers Divi and Campari Soda also look to possess early speed to have them in the firing line early.

Emsgem (2) backs up again here to run for her third Sunday in a row. All three Tasmanian runs have been extremely solid, including her last run where she kept finding the line despite racing wide without cover throughout. Ran on gamely two starts ago over 1000m so while she looks disadvantaged coming back in distance, she does have form over shorter trips. Finally draws an inside gate so if she can hold a position early she will take plenty of beating.

Gee Gees Doubleyou (14) resumes from a decent spell here without a trial. Trialled nicely leading into her only start as a 2yo and showed speed against good company to be there to challenge but tired in the concluding stages. Draws ideally here and the 900m looks perfect fresh. First look at this track but providing she handles the surface she looks suited. Leading chance.

Divi (12) is a debutant for Scott Brunton and bred to be quick out of speedy mare Divine Decree. Showed speed at the trials in Hobart and won under a hold in very plain time. Was slow to begin there which is a concern but looks to have the early speed to come across near the lead if she leaves the gates well. Obvious query but does look a type suited by 900m so watch betting.

Campari Soda (10) is a first-starter for the Nigel Schuuring stable by Dream Ahead. Has trialled on this surface and showed plenty of speed to narrowly hold off Wharfie’s Boy in decent time. Drawn very wide so early stages are crucial to her, especially with some genuine speed drawn inside her. If she gets across she is in with a hope but her chances may end if trapped wide.

Garland (3) resumes from a spell for the Barry Campbell stable after racing in Queensland and New South Wales for Chris Waller. Well bred mare who has been competitive on the provincial circuit and started at some short prices when racing in Queensland. Hasn’t trialled and probably wants a little longer so may need the run but watch the market.

Next best Huff’n’toff (4) (showed speed first-up from good draw and boxed on over 1000m, Newitt stays with her) and Wharfie’s Boy (9) (couple of solid trials but a horror barrier draw).

Verdict:

Emsgem (2) has the form on the board here but has had a lot of racing and comes back to 900m. Expect a good showing from Gee Gees Doubleyou (14) off the inside gate while a number of newcomers should be respected if met with positive market support.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on Divi (12).

 

Race 2 – 13:07 Simons Design Centre Maiden (1350 METRES)

No obvious leader here. On-pacers Blackberry Rose, The Auditor, Push Pause and Swinley Forest look most likely to settle near the lead while Race The Wind can work forward again out wider if the tempo is slow.

Blackberry Rose (8) has been around the mark at all three runs this prep and was nailed right on the line last time by Uncovered in her first try over this course. Again looks like getting into a gun spot on speed and should benefit from the run over this trip. Has been having her chance but this looks no harder and she is still open to improvement. Leading chance again.

Race The Wind (2) was 3rd in the blanket finish behind Uncovered last time after pushing forward when caught wide without cover. Being wide in the run wasn’t much of a disadvantage there if at all and comes up with an awkward draw again here. Has been very consistent at this track this preparation with his best runs coming over this trip so while he will need luck from his barrier he looks the major danger.

The Auditor (5) resumed from a spell in Hobart over 1100m and ran home gamely to finish 2nd behind the highly talented Lady Pluck. Beat the rest convincingly and looks suited stepping up to this trip. Yet to race here but did place over a mile on the Pakenham Synthetic when he led. No doubt he has the ability given some of his Victorian placings so he is right in the mix.

Swinley Forest (4) has been ridden a little quieter lately and has responded well, stringing three good runs together after a couple of failures in Hobart on wet ground. Hasn’t been far behind some promising horses so may find this a little easier and they may look to roll forward at this longer trip to overcome the wide barrier. Failed in his only run over this distance range but that was on heavy ground. Racing consistently and has each way claims.

In Bloom (6) has had a short freshen since working home here behind Mississippi Grind over 1650m when unsuited by the tempo. Always gets well back in her races which makes her task difficult but did run home well in her only run over this course back in June. Has no weight with Smith’s claim but a lack of pressure up from may be against her again. Has ability but needs every favour in running.

Next best Submit Another (3) (reasonably solid when a close up 4th first-up with blinkers on but suited by pattern, form ties in with favourites so has a hope on that basis).

Verdict:

Blackberry Rose (8) has had a few chances but is still open to more improvement than most of these and should take some beating on that basis. Race The Wind (2) and The Auditor (5) appeal as logical dangers.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Blackberry Rose (8).

Race 3 – 13:42 Tasracing.com.au Benchmark 84 Hcp (1650 METRES)

Mr America and Kool Kash both like to run along at a strong clip so with both engaged the pace may be very fast. Spihro, Underplay, Rougeau and Agree To are all capable of being just behind them so expect this to be a true test.

Underplay (1) was well backed to win here over 1150m two starts ago and then looked to have his chance to run down Mr America last time but couldn’t do so. On reflection making his run up the inside was probably a disadvantage there and getting back out to a mile shouldn’t be an issue. Could get a perfect trail behind the speed here and expect him to be hard to beat again.

Mr America (2) scored a bold win over this course two starts ago in BM64 grade when he led all the way before dropping back to 1350m last time in this grade and he was too strong for Underplay. Getting back out to this trip is clearly no issue but he may receive more pressure in front this time with Kool Kash among the field. Still stays down in the weights with Willis’ claim, who won on him two starts ago, and expect him to give another bold sight up front again.

Spihro (5) has chased home Underplay and Mr America at his past couple of runs and now looks ready to get out to the mile at his fifth run this prep. Has won twice over this course previously including a strong win over Mr America here on Devonport Cup day. Will do no work behind the speed from gate 1 and is definitely capable of winning if things go his way.

Kool Kash (4) steps up in grade here after racing successfully in lower benchmarks but has raced well in this company previously. This is probably his favourite trip having won five races over this course so he looks suited dropping back from a steadily run 1880m win last time. Races well in fast races which should eventuate here with Mr America also engaged and will appreciate a substantial drop in grade. Tough galloper who should be thereabouts.

Agree To (3) brings different form to this race having raced on wet tracks in Hobart for the past couple of months. Has been very consistent in similar grade and scored a game win when out to this distance range last start. Has only raced once at this track but that was a solid win here over 1150m despite running off the track. Hard to line up here but very consistent and must be considered.

Next best Stella Etoile (6) (might be looking for the mile and hasn’t been too far away but needs to make clear improvement to win here).

Verdict:

Very competitive race here. Underplay (1) and Spihro (5) may be the ones suited if these two leaders want to run along at a mad clip.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Underplay (1) and 1 unit to win on Spihro (5).

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on Spihro (5).

Race 4 – 14:17 Dannebrog Lodge Benchmark 70 Hcp (1150 METRES)

Century Arrow probably comes out looking for the lead here with competition from Jacques if he wants to hold the inside and Mystic Journey trying to get across from wider out. Expect a genuine clip.

Mystic Journey (6) was arguably the state’s leading 2yo and went to Caulfield for her first-up run this prep where she was a game 4th behind the highly impressive Brutal after racing wide without cover. Would have lost no admirers with that effort and now has her first try against older horses. Potentially has a tricky draw but if Century Arrow can cross she may work across into a good spot. The 2yo form from last season looks strong so expect her to be hard to beat here.

Century Arrow (1) bolted in over this course two starts ago in C2 company before dropping back to 1000m last time and again scoring a game win on speed defeating Ariconte. Back up in trip looks much more suitable and if he runs along early like he has been he should have little issue in finding the front. Has only missed a top two finish once at this track in seven runs and does look to be improving with each run. Expect a big sight in front again.

Ariconte (2) is racing very consistently and made good ground last time to finish 2nd behind Century Arrow over 1000m. Previous run over this course was solid behind Westerly Haze and he will appreciate trailing the speed from an inside draw. Gets a bit of weight relief this time after carrying 60.5kgs at his past couple and he looks one of the better chance again.

Jacques (3) was a bit plain first-up when 4th behind Ariconte but went much better last time to finish 2nd behind Underplay in BM84 company. This is easier and his runs over this course are generally very good. A repeat of his last run puts him right in the finish of this so he is another with a good hope in a very competitive race.

Gee Gees Style (4) backs up here after a solid 2nd behind Kyogle Son over this course last week. Was given a gun run by Newitt there so couldn’t have gone much better and now find a race with a lot more depth to it. Racing well and shouldn’t be too far away but will need everything to go his way to be winning.

Next best Gee Gees Blondie (7) (bit better last week when 3rd behind Kyogle Son, gets right down in the weights but this is tough).

Verdict:

Mystic Journey (6) is a very good filly who will be hard to beat if she gets luck from the wide alley. Century Arrow (1) is flying and will be the one to catch again.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 2 units to win on Mystic Journey (6).

Race 5 – 14:52 Carlton Draught Class 2 Hcp (1150 METRES)

Rubinic has the pace to hold the lead from the inside draw if desired with many of these on-pacers rather than mad leaders. Ain’t The Whisky, Gasnier and Meteor Strike might come out running from wide out trying to get across and many of these can settle in the forward half so expect a good tempo.

Pontypaul (11) was beaten a long way first-up but backed up here a week later and rattled home from back in the field to finish on the heels of the placegetters behind Century Arrow. This looks a slightly easier race and the longer trip looks no issue. Mixes her form but has always flashed plenty of talent so if she can reproduce her last run she looks one of the better chances in an even race.

Gasnier (1) comes back to this trip after failing over 1350m last time. Raced on speed there in a race dominated by the swoopers so can forgive that run to a degree. Previous form over this trip was consistent in reasonably strong benchmark grade. In well with Patis’ claim but she has a big job ahead of her from the wide barrier. Form is as strong as any but will need a lot of luck in running.

Balestrand (2) comes back in trip on the quick back-up after a solid 4th last week over 1350m behind Life Of Waldo when heavily backed. Has only raced once in this distance range in Tasmania where he ran a good 3rd behind Shot Of Irish in Hobart on heavy ground. Drawn well for Maskiell so should get a nice camp on speed with the question being is he sharp enough at this trip. Each way claims.

Meteor Strike (4) has been given time to get over his first-up run after he wasn’t fully ridden out and pulled up with abrasions. Had good support in betting there and his best form does measure up to this grade. Draws very wide but worth noting his last win did come when drawn the outside and allowed to work across near the lead. Hard to catch but capable.

Ain’t The Whisky (8) resumes here after two trials and was scratched last week to be saved for this. Has won first-up previously and the bar plates come off which is always a good sign. In well with Voorham’s claim and does race well here. Can show up if fancied.

Next best Gee Gee Royal Miss (9) (always runs on and rarely too far away but racing pattern makes it hard to win) and Rubinic (5) (lightly raced mare with speed drawn the inside but hasn’t shown anything since her 2yo days).

Verdict:

Even race with none of these presenting with obvious claims so Pontypaul (11) gets her chance if she can repeat her latest effort.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Pontypaul (11) for 4 units

Race 6 – 15:27 Thai Imperial Class 1 Hcp (1350 METRES)

Doesn’t look too much speed here so no surprise if Harriman rolls to the front. The Decider should be right there with Newitt taking advantage of his inside draw while Platinum Magic and potentially Jodi Nicole can work across from wider out. If they find their positions quickly this could be run at a steady tempo advantageous to the on-pacers.

The Decider (2) resumed at 1400m and ran on soundly on heavy ground to finish 2nd behind Pelagia in C2 grade. Has been very solid at all three runs and can expect him to be fitter off that first-up effort. Drawn ideally and has the early speed to take advantage. Hasn’t been to this track but if he handles the surface he looks set to give a bold sight on speed. Leading chance.

Harriman (1) won well here on debut before failing here a fortnight ago over 1150m. Was heavily backed there and had excuses, racing greenly on the worst part of the track and making heavy contact with another runner. Could be suited by the slower tempo at this longer trip and has the early speed to overcome his wide draw. Expect a much better showing this time and can easily bounce back.

Ivoryman (3) was right in the market here first-up over 1150m before finishing midfield behind Bedrock Dreams in BM58 grade. Will find this easier and is also much better placed over this longer trip. Has a tongue tie for the first time and should get every chance with Maskiell aboard from the inside gate. Should be better for the experience on this surface and looks a definite chance here.

Aspirate (7) charged home from the back to win first-up. Slow to begin again second-up when favourite over this course and ran into a dead end in the straight so forget he went around. Has a barrier extension for the first time which may help with his issues at the start. Looks to be more depth in this but clearly has ability and capable of winning if he puts it together.

Platinum Magic (9) was placed over this course in BM58 and C1 grade before failing last time up to BM64 level. Drew the inside gate with the rail off there so easy to forgive the run and now comes back to her right grade. Draws out but not a lot of speed drawn underneath her so very possible she can get across on speed. Consistent mare with each way claims.

Next best Gee Gees Saint Nik (4) (finally broke through last time after a gun ride, added distance helps but this is clearly harder) and Jodi Nicole (6) (former Victorian from Nikki Burke stable now with Cameron Thompson, recent form is plain but showed ability earlier in her career).

Verdict:

Good quality C1 race here. The Decider (2) ran well fresh and will take some beating off a good draw while Harriman (1) had excuses last time and can bounce back. Ivoryman (3) and Aspirate (7) need luck in running but have the ability to show up also.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 3 units to win on Harriman (1).

Race 7 – 16:02 Birdcage Tavern Benchmark 58 Hcp (1650 METRES)

A few of these are capable of contesting the front, namely Foreeva, Beautiful Boy, Into The Night and Scouting Around, so expect a genuine tempo on that basis.

Scouting Around (2) scored a gutsy win over this course two starts back in BM64 grade before tackling 1880m last time to finish 3rd behind Kool Kash. Think this distance is much more to his liking and is well placed in this grade with Smith’s 4kg claim. Has the speed to work forward from his wide draw to find a spot on speed and while he doesn’t win often he rarely runs a bad race. Looks the testing material.

Braccenby (1) has been ridden quietly at his past couple of starts and responded tremendously with two very good performances. May have been flattered by the pattern last time but won impressively and the extra distance shouldn’t be an issue considering he was placed over this course behind Scouting Around in May when ridden forward. The major question mark is the 62kg and his backmarker tactics can be troublesome around this course but he is clearly going well enough to be a primary danger.

Into The Night (4) found some form here last week when able to lead unchallenged and box on gamely for 3rd behind Robbo The Bold and Magwitch. His best form has come in company harder than this so with Voorham’s claim he does look well treated. Doubt he will get to control this race in front and he can mix his form but his best is good enough to rate a winning chance.

Beautiful Boy (3) is ready for the mile now after three runs this preparation. Raced wide last time when 4th behind Braccenby here over 1350m but that wasn’t necessarily the disadvantage it usually is. Ran 2nd at both runs over this course last time in and will keep finding if he finds a good spot on speed. Each way claims.

Ramaadi Bullet (7) had been ticking over nicely, including a close-up 4th over this course behind Mr America in BM64 company, before finding the 1880m a little too far for him last time. Much better suited back in trip and should get a very soft run from the inside draw with Maskiell on. Has only won once from 26 runs and his racing pattern means he will require a lot of luck but he is going well enough to be a knockout hope.

Next best Purple Rider (5) (reasonable 4th here two starts ago behind Scouting Around before running a similar race to Ramaadi Bullet last time, has only won once in 27 tries himself so place claims are probably best).

Verdict

Scouting Around (2) looks well placed once again while Braccenby (1) has plenty of weight but his new tactics may see him go to a level the others can’t reach.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 2 units to win on Braccenby (1)

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on Ramaadi Bullet (7).

Race 8 – 16:37 Dean Walker Designs Benchmark 64 Hcp (1880 METRES)

Little obvious speed engaged here could see Ponzi take up the running ahead of Mississippi Grind and Aventador. Perun and Robbo The Bold can work across in decent spots if they want to settle in the forward half.

Mississippi Grind (6) scored a solid win here two starts ago in maiden company but was far more impressive last time when she got to this trip and bolted in against C1 grade. Was very strong at the finish off a slow tempo and did look to appreciate being able to trail the speed rather than set it. This is harder again but a similar tempo looks likely and she ran sectionals that suggest she is up to this. Good chance to make it three on the trot.

Another Brother (4) has the right form on the board for a race like this, following two 2100m placings in Hobart with a good 2nd behind Kool Kash over this course last time. Races well here despite usually settling in the second half of the field and is guaranteed to be strong at the end of this trip. Needs luck in his races but looks well placed and should be in the finish.

Perun (3) was in the market here over 1650m last time but didn’t quite finish off like he has been previously. Has had one run over this course which was a good 3rd behind Real Messi and he may have got very close if he didn’t get blocked for a run late. Has been up a while so the way he finished off last time is some concern but longer trip will help. Each way hope.

Robbo The Bold (1) returned to the state last week and toughed it out well to share a dead head for 1st after enjoying a good run in the one-out one-back position. Out to 1880m is no issue at all and has won over this course previously. Claim for Patis brings him in well at the weights but with an awkward draw and a tempo which is unlikely to string them out he will need luck in running. Game old galloper who will be thereabouts with the right run.

The Grey Crusader (5) has been racing very well on wet ground over longer trips in Hobart but amongst those runs was an unlucky 2nd over this course in C1 grade. Suited back up to this trip off a 1400m run and should do no work from his inside draw. This is harder than his recent racing but worth noting he has finished clearly ahead of Another Brother and Perun in staying races in Hobart. This probably isn’t his absolute go but a forward showing won’t surprise.

Next best Aventador (2) (can forgive last run when caught wide and did run 4th in a Devonport Cup over this trip, might need another run and has plenty of weight but not impossible at odds).

Verdict:

Hard to go past Mississippi Grind (6) after such an impressive win last time but Another Brother (4) does present as the one with proven form at this level.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Mississippi Grind (6).


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