TAS Racing Expert Preview

Matt Reid is a horse racing expert who delivers an insight into all Tas Racing meets where he previews the entire card each week and gives you his betting strategy for every race.

Check out the Betfair Hub and the Betfair Exchange for the latest odds.

TAS Racing: Launceston, Wed 20th March

After a magnificent weekend for Tasmanian racing with Mystic Journey taking out the All-Star mile, we return to the regular Wednesday night timeslot for a big 9-race card at Launceston.

With this being just the second meeting since the Cup three weeks ago, big fields and competitive racing should be a feature. The rail is out 9m from the 1200m which has compressed field sizes from some starting points, and with warm weather forecast the track should be rated good.

Race 1 – 18:14 Good Friday Twilight Race Meeting Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400 metres)

There looks to be plenty of speed with The Auditor, Beautiful Boy, Enzian and The Greatness all drawn wide, and Jubilance and Caesar’s Quest nearer the inside rail.

Sentimental Dream (1) has figure form which is worse than it reads for his two runs this prep. He was one of many with excuses in the last race on Launceston Cup day, when held up in the home straight, and first up he was caught wide for most of the race. He trialled last week in good time for the day and has appeal with Brendon McCoull riding from gate 4.

Heaven’s Delight (12) will also be hoping for more luck than last start when heading to the line untested in the main form reference for this race. The start prior she was solid in a race dominated by leaders over this track and distance. The 4yo mare has had her runs spaced and may run well in a race which could throw up some value.

Jubilance (2) brings a different formline by coming through the Magic Millions race for 3 and 4yo’s on Oaks day. She led and faded there, but with the winner being Mandela Effect, and subsequent winner Tale of the Fox finishing third, it’s easy to argue the form could be stronger. May need to hand-up in front with speed out wide but should be given every chance with Craig Newitt aboard.

Turtles Nest (3) ran the best closing splits behind the winner last start, when settling at the tail of the field. He’s generally not been a horse to race from well back but has done so at his last two starts. With the rail out 9m, it may be difficult to round up the field early, however if he can sit closer in the run with cover, he has an each-way chance.

Next: Extremely tough race, and basically everything that came through race 10 on Cup day must be given a chance. Of those; The Auditor (7) and Enzian (5) has drawn wide and Epidexios (10) has only been fair the last few runs. Louise (13) was well supported to win a Class 1 on Cup day and is on the up for the Adam Trinder stable.

Betting Strategy

One of the hardest races on the card starts the night. Keen to follow up on Sentimental Dream in a low confidence race.

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit each-way on Sentimental Dream (1).

Race 2 – 18:50 Kevin Sharkie Class 3 Handicap (1200 metres)

Gee Gee Rich Ruby should push forward from a good draw, with speed from wide gates coming from Ansaam, Miss Smith and perhaps Party Planner who is first up. Gee Gee Secondover and Maroch should camp just behind the speed from inside draws.

Gee Gee Secondover (1) returned at the last Launceston meeting when running second to the highly progressive Lady Pluck. He showed no ill effects returning to 1200m having reached 2100m through Summer, and while the leaders had him chasing early there, he should be better for that hit-out. Maps for a great run from the barrier.

Uber Ed (2) was scratched on the 9th March and will hopefully run here after promising a lot as a 3yo. As well as having a knee issue cleaned up, his layoff was enforced by stewards due to barrier issues, which is the likely cause for a blindfold being used for the first time. He was a short price prior to the scratching last time and should be firmly in the market again.

Maroch (3) hasn’t missed a place from three career starts, having his colours lowered for the first-time last start. Far from disgraced there but was safely held by Gee Gee Secondover and meets him at the same weights this time around.

Gee Gee Rich Ruby (10) was entitled to tire at her first run after a short break, when caught in a speed battle for the lead. May get some pressure in front again given the big field, but races well over this distance at Launceston and will be under the minimum with Chris Graham’s claim.

Next: Pontypaul (9) was a strong winner last time but will be reliant on tempo to get into the race from the back. Foxling (7) won with the same pattern as Pontypaul but has more tactical speed and could sit closer. Speedy Illusion (12) and Miss Smith (6) finished alongside each other four weeks ago but don’t look to have the upside of others.

Betting Strategy

Looks a race dominated by the top of the market. The market may tell the story regrading Uber Ed off a long break, but Gee Gees Secondover looks the safer play.

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

Race 3 – 19:25 CUB 2YO Maiden (1100 metres)

Five of the nine face the judge for the first time so the early speed is a query. Gee Gee Bumble Bee and Still A Star look most likely of the first starters to be ridden aggressively, while of those who have raced, Fitzwilliam and Gee Gee Double Hot were forward at their most recent outing.

Still A Star (8) brings impressive trial form to this race having won well at Longford on two occasions, most recently beating several of the other first starters she will face here. The filly was a $13,000 purchase at the 2018 Tas Yearling sales, and looks to have found a nice maiden to kick off in.

Fitzwilliam (2) returned from a break as a well-supported $2.10 favourite but could only manage third behind Heaven’s Bonus. Has the edge of race experience over most here and looks to have found a shallower race than what he has been contesting.

Maceyanna (6) hasn’t shown a lot in her two career runs to date, despite being firmly in the market on both occasions. She’s been given a letup since finishing last behind Mystical Pursuit in December but was across the line with Fitzwilliam on that occasion. An improved performance certainly wouldn’t surprise.

Little River Miss (5) had excuses for finishing well down the track last start when caught wide without cover. Her previous third behind Deroche could see her running into the finish here, but again draws wide for apprentice Trent Germaine who may need luck early.

Next: Gee Gee Bumble Bee (3) wasn’t far off Still A Star at the trials, but that horse looked to have him covered.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 6 units to win on Still A Star (8).

Race 4 – 20:00 Neil Buckby Motors Maiden (1200 metres)

Coal Hill can drive through as she did on Cup day. Jayemara and Sheorta should also be in the firing line, as can first starters Gee Gee True Story and Sky Fox.

Coal Hill (8) started a firm favourite three weeks ago but was a narrow second behind the fast finishing Needs Amore who goes around later in the night. The 5yo is only lightly raced embarking on her first prep and will be hard to beat particularly if she shows the same gate speed as last start.

Sheorta (10) finished a spot behind Coal Hill at her only career start and has since been to the trials when winning easily untouched. Should be better for the race experience, and interestingly connections have chosen to claim, so she will only carry 53kg with Trent Germaine riding. Slightly awkward draw but she will go close if cover can be found early.

Gee Gee True Story (4) looks the pick of the first starters, beating Sheorta home over a month ago who since proved herself on debut. Slight query that it’s been a while between the trial and her first start, so the market may be a good guide. Can run well if supported.

Gee Gee Runaway (3) is another who has had a short break, having not raced since Hobart Derby day. He had been performing consistently in Hobart maidens of questionable depth but looks to have found a few on the up here.

Next: Jayemara (12) wasn’t far behind Coal Hill and Sheorta last time out. Full Knots Ahead (9) and Sky Fox (7) are having their first race start off ok trial form. Respect any market leads. Coronotion Pia (13) gains a start as an emergency having her first run for Siggy Carr after previously being trained by Brett Scott.

Betting Strategy

With even luck Sheorta should be in the finish, and an each-way price looks over the odds.

 BACK (WIN) – 2 units each-way Sheorta (10).

Race 5 – 20:30 Anzac Eve 24th April maiden (1400 metres)

There doesn’t look a lot of obvious speed on paper in this one. Needs A Scotch and Luna Sky both draw near the inside and may look to use that and go forward. Most of those drawn wide prefer to race back, but perhaps one of the three Gee Gees will add some speed into the race.

Emmceeoh (1) returned in reasonable fashion on Cup day with a sixth that saw him finishing alongside Diesel Dan who won last week. Gets to 1400m second up off a three week break which might be a slight query but looks a logical chance in an open race.

Gee Gees Bulldog (2) ran his fifth placing of the campaign over this trip on Launceston Oaks day, when running into second in a race where the winner dominated on-speed. Drawn awfully here which may perhaps see them try something different or round the field up from the back. Only needs to maintain his form to be in the finish.

Bigable (10) has put in a couple of nice runs recently which sees her working up to a win in a race like this. Like most of the main chances, she races back in the field and relies on a genuine tempo which is infrequent in this grade. Another who can be in the finish with even luck.

Gee Gees Magic Man (7) had some good support for his first up run, but after settling well back in the race, only finished slightly worse than midfield. Continues to do a bit wrong in his races, which may see him be a tough ride for apprentice Trent Germaine, but if the horse is on his best behaviour he can feature.

Next: Luna Sky (11) hasn’t run since Hobart Cup day but could be the beneficiary of the lack of obvious speed. Nahla (9) was reported as not running this trip last time she tried 1400m, and now tries it again after a six-week break. Those Red Colours (5) should do little work from the gate and Gee Gees Keylargo (6) was much improved last start.

Betting Strategy

Tricky race as the market indicates.

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit on both Emmceeoh (1) and Gee Gees Magic Man (7).

Race 6 – 21:00 Jansz Maiden/Class 1 Handicap (1600 metres)

Poolside Hendrick and Our Declaration look likely to fight for the lead. Stinka and Fontein Harry camp just behind from inside draws, with Totally Wicked drawn slightly wider.

Our Declaration (8) was a big effort at her second career start, racing 3-wide on speed before bravely fighting only to be nabbed late. That effort showed her debut win was no fluke, and should Siggy Carr have any luck crossing early, she looks very hard to beat.

The Last Godfather (4) was arguably an equally big effort as Our Declaration in the same race, forced to make a wide sustained run from well back in the field. His three runs since a break have been excellent this time in, but he again maps to be back in the field, although they may choose to ride more aggressively with a claiming apprentice aboard.

Zipponet (6) has been up a long time this preparation but continues to race in honest form. He worked home solidly on Cup day over 1400m, suggesting the mile will suit, however his career record at the trip isn’t great. Likely to be giving a big start but can work into the finish with breaks in-running.

Stinka (3) had a bit of trouble getting a run rounding the home turn last time and was eventually behind a pair of his main rivals here. Like most here he doesn’t win out of turn, but maps for a conservative run behind the speed which should see him around the placings.

Next: Poolside Hendrick (2) had favours but was a strong winner on Oaks day. That form will be tested in the prior race. Boss Cat (7) has been racing better than his career record suggests and was alongside Stinka last time. Fontein Harry (1) was good two back and had some interference last time.

Betting Strategy

Our Declaration looks one of the better bets of the night.

 BACK (WIN) – 8 units to win on Our Declaration (8).

Race 7 – 21:30 Drummond Golf Open Handicap (1200 metres)

Apriano will likely hold the fence and lead with only 51kg on his back. Liffeybeau should try and be forward from an awkward draw, while Life on the Wire and Gee Gee Lanett drop in trip but shouldn’t be far away.

Life on the Wire (2) just missed out when attempting to make it successive Vamos wins last start. The bunched finish, as well as a slow tempo do make that form a slight query, which was evident by a lot of those behind her underperforming at the last Launceston meeting. That said, she’s proven herself a class galloper and will take some beating here.

Liffeybeau (7) was one of the better backed runners on Cup day but couldn’t hold off the closers after getting some pressure in front through the race. Drawing out may force them to ride with a sit given the likelihood the horse drawn gate 1 will try and lead. Doesn’t necessarily need to lead to win and is a big chance if Troy Baker can slot in early.

Blaze Forth (1) rattled home over this track and distance last time and would’ve won the race in a few extra bounds. Has a great record over the Launceston 1200m, but is stuck up in the weights here, particularly with the claim for Life on the Wire. Hard to see him not running well.

Gee Gee Lanett (8) was perhaps a shade disappointing in the Vamos but did settle further back there then she usually does. Looks suited back to 1200m and with Siggy Carr aboard who knows the horse well. Can certainly bounce back.

Next: Fragment (5) was an eye catcher behind key rivals last time. Gate 9 may force them back to last though. Apriano (9) was brave leading to win last start, and the same tactics will likely be attempted again.

Betting Strategy

Deep race with multiple winning chances. Liffeybeau should run well stalking the lead, and Gee Gee Lanett may be overlooked by the market

 BACK (WIN) – 2 units to win on Liffeybeau (7) and 1 unit to win on Gee Gee Lanett (8).

Race 8 – 22:00 TAB Benchmark 72 Handicap (2100 metres)

One Way Ticket should go forward and have a lot more peaceful time than he did last time at the races. It’s A Battle looks the other to be prominent early.

Manilenya (2) gets back to the 2100m having had just the one prior attempt in the Brighton Cup, where she finished midfield. Slightly inconclusive that run as a guide to whether she runs a strong staying trip, but she looks ready to attempt it again after a pair of mile runs. A useful claim with Trent Germaine riding, sees her carry just 53.5kg.

It’s A Battle (6) was brave carting the field up to the tearaway leaders last time, only to be grabbed in the shadows of the post by Reann’s Diamond who he meets again here. He meets her 5kg better for a very narrow result, and with Craig Newitt taking the ride should have every chance to turn the tables.

Reann’s Diamond (4) got the right run but knuckled down late to score a deserved win over this trip at her last start. She’s raced in excellent form this campaign and shows no sign of letting up. Does have the negative weight swing against her, but she carries only 54kg and again maps for an economical run from the gate.

GeeGees Lillybet (8) was in a three way go with It’s A Battle and Reann’s Diamond last time so must be given a chance as well. Mixes form a bit but showed last start that she has enough ability on her day.

Next: One Way Ticket (9) should lead relatively easy from the draw. C’Est Bon (5) has been given a freshen but can’t be written off, despite resuming over the staying trip.

Betting Strategy

It looks the race for Manilenya who gets her chance to prove she can see out the staying trip.

 BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Manilenya (1).

Race 9 – 22:30 Nightly News – 7 Tasmania Class 1 Handicap (1400 metres)

The lead should be contested by The Hussler and Princess of York who have both drawn towards the inside. Alfred Street may cross from slightly wider to put some pressure on, with Needs Amore and Border Protection camping just behind the speed.

Needs Amore (8) had heavy late support to win the opener on Launceston Cup day and landed the prize with a strong finish. The 3yo filly has now placed five from six starts, which include some placings behind a few handy horses. Tough Class 1 to finish, but she’s firmly in the mix.

Carmina (6) settled well back at her return after a decent break, but worked home really well in race dominated by run on horses. She draws gate 13 here, which by the last of the night we should have a good idea whether that’s a help or hinderance. Should be running on well if horses are away from the inside by this stage of the night.

Border Protection (2) finished ahead of Carmina last start, and nearly landed some good bets after a 9am race day move. The 3yo gelding missed the start there, but powered home to lose a narrow photo. Stepping to 1400m shouldn’t hold any fears, and he draws the other side of the track from Carmina, so any obvious pattern may dictate his chances.

Diesel Dan (3) was a dominant winner opening preceding’s at the last Launceston meeting. He finished behind Needs Amore the start prior, but looks a horse learning the caper, so the extra run may be to his advantage. Drew the inside and raced forward last start, so with gate 12 early tactics will be interesting.

Next: Princess of York (9) has run very well at her last two 1400m runs and would be suited by any leader pattern. Alfred Street (1) has had a 1400m trial but may need this one getting to the distance for the first time in a race. Swing it Sister (4) drops back from the 3yo staying features to her rightful grade.

Betting Strategy

Any track pattern will well and truly be known by now but hedging our bets with a two horse play on a couple drawn different sides of the track.

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on both Needs Amore (8) and Carmina (6).

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