Devonport hosts its traditional Boxing Day program this Tuesday with the 7 race card highlighted by the $25,000 Barry Diprose Transport Sheffield Cup, featuring highly promising gallopers Killin Falls, Willby Rules and Extender. The last race also sees a smart BM72 field with Happy Halloween, The Captain and Harvey Bay set to do battle over the 1150m trip.

Race 1 – 13:21 Alan Hardstaff Memorial Maiden (1150 METRES)

Speed Map

No genuine leader here so look for Dubbo to contest with possibly Treeconi and/or Totally Wicket. Those landing in the first couple will probably be advantaged by the tempo.

Major Players

Treeconi (4) is the latest addition to the Stuart Gandy stable from Jerome Hunter in Victoria. Beaten a long way at only Victorian run but had trialled reasonably previously. Stepped out at Hobart trials last week and showed speed to run well in fast time. Finds a very winnable race and stable has been going well with these newcomers recently. Big market watch and looks hard to beat if fancied.

Shackley’s Hill (1) was slow away when resuming over this course and then raced three wide throughout in what wasn’t a bad effort to run 4th behind Jurisdiction. Kept battling away in the straight when entitled to get tired late. Has blinkers on for the first time and Newitt in the saddle so not unreasonable to think he is capable of improving sharply second-up. One of the better hopes.

Sh’bourne Dynasty (6) didn’t show much speed on debut here over 1000m and then raced wide so expect she will be better for that outing. Step up to 1150m is a definite plus and is in light with Graham’s claim. If she can show better speed early she may be able to take advantage of the inside draw and settle in a much better position. Expect a better showing this time.

Dubbo (5) had the blinkers on last time and settled handy behind Jurisdiction but was only fair to the line after having every chance in the run. Finished ahead of Shackley’s Hill there but may not have the same scope of improvement coming to this run. Should get a good run near the lead from a good draw again and can be around the mark again.

Totally Wicked (2) has far more race experience than the rest of these but his best showings have been over longer trips. Wasn’t far away first-up behind Boltoutoftheblue in Launceston in what was a much stronger affair than this. Generally race well at this track and does have some speed to find a forward position. Had plenty of chances but has a hope in a race where most of these are starting their careers.

Next best He Swims Well (3) (didn’t do much on debut but was in the market and now has blinkers first time).

Verdict

Tricky race but Treeconi (4) trialled well enough to suggest he can make a successful Tasmanian debut.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Treeconi (4) – 4 units to win

Race 2 – 13:56 Doc Sender Memorial Maiden (1000 METRES)

Speed Map

If Silent Savings begins well he can hold the lead from the inside draw. Ilfracombe, Meetony, Effortless Opera and Orange Encounter can all be handy but doubt there will be too much pressure up front.

Major Players

Effortless Opera (8) ran a solid 2nd on debut over this course when forced to race three wide throughout and only just missing behind Gee Gees Boy. The slow overall time may have flattered that performance but draws better this time so while there is speed drawn inside she should settle closer to the fence. Looks more depth here but with natural improvement she appeals as one of the better chances in an even race.

Meetony (1) ran a solid 3rd on debut at Launceston behind Double You Tee over 1200m. This looks a bit easier and draws nicely to find a good spot just behind the leaders. The major obstacle for him looks to be the drop in distance as he struggled to hold his spot when the sprint went on last time and the best part of his race was the last 200m. If he can be in touch on the turn he will be hard to hold out late.

Ilfracombe (9) is a 3yo filly by Haradasun who makes her debut here for Aidan Nunn. Trialled competitively twice at Hawkesbury through the year and then won a trial easily earlier in the month at Longford. Time was nothing flash but looked to have a bit left in the tank and has speed to take advantage of the good draw. Watch betting but might give a sight here with no weight after Voorham’s claim.

Silent Savings (3) was well supported last time in Launceston and led but was first horse beaten on the corner. Previous form had been alright and beat Meetony home comfortably in his first Tasmanian run. Hasn’t seen this track and drops in trip but his best run was good enough for this so he has a hope if he holds the lead from the inside gate.

Amber In Paris (4) hasn’t had much luck at her first two runs this prep over 1200m in Launceston. Raced well here through the winter without winning but not sure how suited she is dropping back to 1000m third-up. That said, she has placed over this course previously and if she gets the right run she can run home into the finish.

Next best Orange Encounter (6) (resuming, best form is over these shorter trips, Newitt a positive booking, watch betting).

Verdict

Even affair. Effortless Opera (8) kept coming on debut and can go on with it here. Big watch on the newcomer Ilfracombe (9).

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Effortless Opera (8) – 2 units

Race 3 – 14:31 Joe Mason Memorial Maiden/Class 1 (1650 METRES)

Speed Map

Century Arrow shouldn’t have too many issues holding the lead with Beautiful Boy likely to be up there with him. The rest of these prefer to settle off the speed so those two get their chance to control the race.

Major Players

Century Arrow (1) finally broke through for a long overdue win last time in Launceston over 1400m. Didn’t beat a whole lot there but previous 2nd behind Pennstock looks very good the way he has gone on since. Gets to the mile for the first time but it looks perfect for him the way he hit the line last time and he doesn’t look to have much competition for the front. No reason he can’t win again.

General Sussex (3) was very good in BM58 grade last time here over 1350m. Raced wide throughout but continued to find the line in the straight to be beaten less than a length behind Gemini. Better placed over the mile but has an awkward draw to contend with again. Always needs luck with his racing style but rarely far away and definite chance with luck in running.

Vallegrande (4) has only won once in 22 tries but has been racing well in tougher grade than this. Close up 4th behind Greenmount Lass and last start 3rd behind Axion and Biscay Barb, both over the mile, read very well for this grade but this is harder than the average Maiden/Class 1. Races off the speed so Darmanin suits but will need luck around this course. Genuine chance.

Beautiful Boy (5) won well at his second start over 1200m in Launceston but has been forced to race wide on the speed throughout at his past couple of runs and has been well beaten as a result. Up to the mile he should have a much easier time getting into a good spot on speed and while this is his first start on the track, he is trained here and trialled nicely on the surface before his debut. First try this trip but if he runs it out he appeals as a major improver and can win.

Next best Aljazmic (6) (much better third-up and now gets to the trip she won her first race over, needs luck from back in the field but knockout hope).

Verdict

Many of these are racing well but hard to go past Century Arrow (1) although the price is likely to be short. Worth saving on Beautiful Boy (5) who may be over the odds after two wide runs and a better run likely here.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Century Arrow (1) – 6 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Beautiful Boy (5) – 1 unit to win

Race 4 – 15:06 RJ (Snow) & NK Aylett Memorial Benchmark62 Hcp (1350 METRES)

Speed Map

Expect Gee Gee Rich Ruby to cross from her wide draw and take up the running. Gemini, Ramaadi Bullet, Perez and Savrajette are capable of being in the forward half of the field while It’s A Battle might try and push on from out wider if he begins well. Should be a genuine tempo.

Major Players

Written Addiction (2) has been better than it looks at his two Tasmanian runs in harder company than what he contests here. Had no chance from back in the field last time in an on-pace dominated race behind Fragment in Launceston. Racing like 1350m will suit and he may be able to settle a bit closer from his inside draw with Graham on. His only Devonport run was good enough for this so he appeals as top pick in a very even affair.

It’s A Battle (1) was very good fresh over 1200m in Launceston before being a little flat here second-up in a decent BM62. Looking for the extra distance that he gets here but drawn awfully and whether he can go forward to overcome the draw at this trip is a query. Loves this surface and best form is as good as any in this so if he gets the right run he can win.

Piped Aboard (3) has run well at all three Tasmanian runs and worked home well in a good Hobart BM62 in his first run over this distance range. First look at this track and not sure how well suited his get-back style will be here but draws inside after three horror draws so may settle a bit closer than usual. Will need luck in running but in good form and definitely in the mix.

Ramaadi Bullet (6) went forward over this course two starts ago and kept battling on strongly when 2nd behind Gemini. Went back to 1200m last time and ran very well, continuing to find the line despite racing wide throughout. Back to this trip should suit now and expect him to roll forward into a good spot. Another with each-way claims.

Gemini (5) won under these conditions at the last Devonport meeting here and again comes up with the inside draw. Had a gun run last time trailing the speed and getting clear down on the inside but no reason she can’t get the same run again. This is a bit harder but with the same run she can be in the finish again.

Next best Cranny Flyer (11) (ran well at first Tasmanian start and gets Newitt on but draws awkwardly so will need luck) and Gee Gee Rich Ruby (9) (should run along in front which is always a plus here and won easily last time but last bit will be the query).

Verdict

Very competitive race where just about all of them have some chance. Written Addiction (2) shapes as an improver at good value while Ramaadi Bullet (6) and Gemini (5) can show up again with similar runs to last time.

Betting Strategy 

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Written Addiction (2) – 3 units

Race 5 – 15:46 Mick Sims Memorial 0-62 (1150 METRES)

Speed Map

Should be good speed from Miss Scandilous, Gee Gees Boy, Braccenby and potentially Steel Dan. Top Draw, Lonhwan and Gee Gees Queenie can all be there too so the pressure will be on.

Major Players

Steel Dan (2) was well backed last time over this course when fresh and won arguably a stronger BM62 than this very comfortably. Graham goes on to keep him around the same weight and rode him very well to win at his only other Devonport run. Some query that his best runs are always fresh but he should find a good spot near the lead again and only has to run up to last time to win again.

Braccenby (1) is a well travelled gelding who has shown loads of ability and gave a good sight first-up over 1000m when 3rd here in C1 grade. Longer trip looks suitable and gains the services of Newitt this time. Drawn the middle should help with the pressure likely to be on early and he is capable of taking a sit if required. This is harder but he looks to be one of the better chances.

Gee Gees Queenie (8) has been racing well in pretty tough company, with her last start 3rd behind Fragment following a 4th in the 3yo Vase behind Derasa. Hasn’t raced on this surface before but her breed generally handle it and the course does suit her go forward style. Wide draw may be an issue with a lot of speed drawn underneath her but has a long run down the back to work across and can lead or take a sit as required. Has good each way claims.

Top Draw (9) ran very well here at her first start for John Blacker, working home nicely into 2nd behind Gasnier over 1000m despite wanting to lay in. The longer trip has been an issue for her in the past but she has clearly had some issues which she may be getting over now. Well drawn so should get a nice run and she is in the mix if she runs up to her last effort.

Windrider (4) comes back in grade after a midfield finish behind Steel Dan, which is clearly a strong form line for this. Generally races well on this surface and has blinkers on for the first time which may result in an improved run. Should appreciate a good tempo and won’t be the worst at longer odds.

Next best Miss Scandilous (13) (had a good run fresh but didn’t finish off behind Gasnier, can hold the lead from the inside draw with no weight and blinkers replace winkers so may improve).

Verdict

Wary that Steel Dan (2) won’t run up to his first-up win as he goes well fresh but he still rates higher than this field and is top pick. Braccenby (1) appeals as the logical danger while Gee Gees Queenie (8) may show up at longer odds.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Steel Dan (2) – 4 units

Race 6 – 16:26 Barry Diprose Transport Sheffield Cup (1650 METRES)

Speed Map

Spirit Of Nia should take up the running although Sound Bar, Mr America and maybe Spihro can push forward to ensure a genuine tempo. Willby Rules may also be able to settle closer out to the longer trip.

Major Players

Killin Falls (3) comes here off three runs against top company where he has found the line strongly on each occasion and acquitted himself very well, even under WFA conditions. Was sent out second favourite in the Tasmanian Stakes last week and this shapes as a much easier assignment. Form on this track through the winter was very good however it is worth noting his run over the mile was probably his worst, although he was then spelled immediately afterwards. His racing style is always a concern around this track but with the right run he will be very hard to hold out.

Willby Rules (4) has proven himself to be a class above the BM72 level and now jumps into open class for the first time. Last win was very good under 60kg and the way he is racing now deep into his prep suggests he is ready to tackle the mile for the first time. Many of his rivals have come through the benchmark grades recently also so there is no reason he can’t make the leap. Strong chance.

Sound Bar (1) is a tough on-pace galloper who loves his home track, having won nine races here. Has won three times over this course including last year’s Golden Mile, but he worryingly comes here off a 7 week break between runs after a fresh run at 1400m. Looks like getting a good run on speed so rates as an obvious chance but that fitness query may be the difference late.

Eastender (7) is a highly talented stayer who drops in trip after bolting in over 2130m second-up. Fresh run over the mile showed he was capable at the shorter trip and has been four weeks between runs into this but still prefer to see him over a longer trip. Form here is mixed, with a 2nd followed up by a disappointing 7th back through the winter where it was reported he didn’t handle the surface. Has endless potential but will be back in the field and has a lot to overcome to win this.

Mr America (10) is another horse working through his grades quickly and put four wins on end before finding the 2130m a bit beyond him last time behind Eastender. Much better suited coming back to the mile and can go forward to make his own luck which will suit around this track. Hasn’t races on this surface which is a query and this is his first try in this grade but with the right run he shapes as a lightweight chance.

Next best Geegees Soprano (2) (flashed home to win the Golden Mile last start in a slowly run race, still some query in a genuinely run mile but may be the forgotten horse again).

Verdict

A number of promising up and comers engaged here. Very hard to go past Killin Falls (3) but Willby Rules (4) is going through his grades nicely. Prefer to risk Eastender (7) on this track back in trip while Mr America (10) appeals as best roughie.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Killin Falls (3) – 4 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Willby Rule (4) – 4 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Mr America (10) – 1 unit

Race 7 – 17:06 AJ Skirving Memorial Benchmark72 Hcp (1150 METRES)

Speed Map

Expect The Captain to push through and lead with Happy Halloween potentially there also, although he could just as easily be back in the field if he doesn’t muster early. Loose In Vegas and Kafoo can be thereabouts in the run as can Gee Gee Spitire and Harvey Bay. Pressure should be on throughout.

Major Players

Happy Halloween (2) had his winning streak broken last time in Hobart but his run was still very good, flashing home from the back after failing to work forward into his usual handy position. He does have trouble getting towards the front without Carr aboard but maybe another female rider in Voorham might be able to getting him going early. His last two runs in this grade were both very good wins and he races just as well on this surface. Well weighted with the claim, he looks the obvious top pick but with slight reservations if he can’t get going early.

The Captain (3) is another noted speedster in excellent form, putting two wins together in Hobart before running 2nd behind Happy Halloween in Launceston. Races well on this surface and this course suits him when he is making every post a winner out in front. Form ties in well and is drawn to lead from where he will take plenty of catching.

Harvey Bay (1) returns to his home track where he has won three races after a reasonable first-up run in better company in Hobart. In well enough with Graham’s claim and has the speed to go forward from his outside gate to slot in behind what should be a fast tempo. Generally likes a little further but always most competitive in this grade and expect him to be in the finish again.

Gee Gee Spitfire (8) is racing out of his grade but has been doing so very competitively recently, finishing on the placegetters heels two runs back behind Happy Halloween and The Captain and then sticking on ok behind Galeocerdo last time. Gets right down in the weights and draws for a lovely trail on a track he has won on previously. Not sure he has the class of the main chances but gets the right run and has at least a place hope on that basis.

Verdict

Happy Halloween (2) is hard to back confidently with his issues in the first couple of hundred metres so maybe The Captain (3) is the one to be with as he will likely find the front. Harvey Bay (1) can improve back in grade also.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) The Captain (3) – 2 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Harvey Bay (1) – 2 units


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