Launceston hosts its Magic Millions race night this Wednesday with two $50,000 races for the younger gallopers to have come through their sales. Our Long Sali will start a short priced favourite in the 2yo division but will find stiff competition from the unbeaten Triple Strip, while City Of Dreams will run a clear favourite in the 3yo race. The other feature on the card is the $30,000 Alpine Eagle @ Armidale Stud Sydeston Night Cup, which provides ballot free entry for the winner into the Launceston Cup in a fortnight.


Race 1 – 18:50 Tasbred Breeding Incentive Scheme Benchmark 58 Hcp (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

Gee Gee Rich Ruby shouldn’t have too many worries finding the front ahead of Gee Gee Spitfire, Cimarron’s Hero and Steel Dan all pushing forward from wider draws.

Major Players

4. Cimarron’s Hero ran well fresh from a break when 2nd behind Kafoo and could well have won had he got into the clear at a crucial stage. Goes up in grade here and draws wider but should work forward into a nice position and being away from the inside might be more suitable. Newitt sticks with him and he is the lightly raced horse on the up against many of these who have been up for a while. Good chance in a competitive race.

5. Gee Gee Spitfire continues to race well in pretty handy benchmark races and this is about as easy as he has found for some time. Stuck on well for 2nd behind Apriano last time over this course and should get the right trail here from a nice draw. Genuine wet would concern at this trip but should get every chance in the run to be right in the finish here.

2. Steel Dan found the line alright last time behind Apriano when getting back on the turf after three good Devonport runs. Potentially drawn a bit awkward here but if he begins well there is a few spots up for grabs on speed. In well at the weights after Graham’s claim but maybe better earlier in his preps. Each way claims.

11. Gee Gee Rich Ruby is finishing off her races much better recently and won over this course four starts ago in this grade. Looks like getting a comfortable run in front which is always her go and Catania has ridden her to a number of placings this preparation. Suited by the four week break between runs but genuine wet would be a definite query. Capable of leading all the way if they leave her alone.

10. Bedrock Dreams has run home strongly to finish within around 4 lengths of Apriano at each of her two starts so far this prep. Looks like getting well back again in a race of little pressure which is a concern. Ran very well in BM72 grade last prep on a rain affected track so rain shouldn’t worry her. Always needs luck with her racing pattern but a knockout chance if things pan out her way.

Next best Top Draw (9) (good win with all favours at Devonport, not bad last time, 1200m may test but will be smothered away and very capable if she gets clear late.).

Verdict

Cimarron’s Hero (4) is the one on the up here and will be hard to beat but is very well found in betting. Value may lie with Gee Gee Spitfire (5) and the likely leader Gee Gee Rich Ruby (11).

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Gee Gee Spitfire for 1 unit

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Gee Gee Rich Ruby for 1 unit

Race 2 – 19:20 MAGIC MILLIONS 2YO CLASSIC (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

Cape Cardinal may kick through and hold the lead from the inside draw with Magic Waler likely to push forward from out wide with blinkers on. Triple Strip and Our Long Sali can settle in the box seat ahead of Tiesto with blinkers on.

Major Players

7. Our Long Sali was very good on debut when she challenged strongly on turning but had to settle for 3rd behind the state’s leading 2yos Mystic Journey and Gee Gee Secondover here over 1100m in the Alfa Bowl. Faded on her run late but the time was very fast and is clearly the best form seen this season. Out to 1220m should be fine but draws wider this time so won’t necessarily get the gun run 3rd the fence. Top pick.

6. Triple Strip had good support at her only start when able to get through on the inside of Gee Gee Pengala to win narrowly here over 1100m. The form from that race isn’t as strong as that of the favourite but she has trialled nicely twice leading into this which will help with the 1220m journey. Drawn for a great run and has a visor replacing the winkers. Filly with plenty of talent and appeals as the major danger.

1. Magic Waler ran alright on debut but was comfortably held by Mystic Journey before being heavily backed last time to run a short priced favourite but had no answer to Gee Gee Mr Paul out in front. Draws out this time but with blinkers on for the first time expect him to get across comfortably into the first couple. Expect him to run well but think the fillies might be a bit better.

2. Tiesto is a strong gelding who has found the line well at both runs but takes a lot of riding to stay in touch when the sprint goes on. Wasn’t bad behind Gee Gee Mr Paul last time and 1220m is definitely his go as he should be better over further in time. Blinkers first time might sharpen him and he is the one who will be strong late if the fillies don’t want the extra trip.

Next best Cape Cardinal (3) (showed speed at Moonee Valley but faded badly, this is much easier and draws the inside but still prefer to see him first).

Verdict

Our Long Sali (7) has the right form to run favourite here but is a very short quote. Triple Strip (6) looks a talented filly and the market may underestimate her scope for improvement.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Triple Strip for 4 units

Race 3 – 20:00 Sky Racing Launceston Cup 28th February Maiden (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

Orange Encounter may lead this with Breathtaking working through from her inside draw and Princess of York, La Superba and Isere looking for positions on speed. If they settle down quickly the on-pacers will get their chance to control the tempo.

Major Players

4. Isere has run very well at her past two starts on the turf, recording good closing sectionals to place in reasonable maidens. Both runs have been at 1100m but she has to go a bit further this time, something that looks to have tested her in her mainland form. Ideally wants to slot in with cover from her wide draw so may need some Maskiell magic but with the right run she should be hard to hold out late.

11. Breathtaking resumes from a spell here after a brief winter campaign at Devonport where she was placed in two weaker maiden races. Trialled nicely leading into this and showed enough speed that she may be able to take advantage of her inside draw. Newitt goes on but she may be vulnerable fresh at 1220m if substantial rain hits. Good hope in a thin race.

7. Princess Of York had blinkers for the first time last start when 4th behind Black Jaguar and Isere. Worked home fairly in what was an on-pace dominated race so may be better suited by this distance than some of her rivals. Should get into a good spot on speed and has each way claims on that basis.

6. Orange Encounter is a speedy filly who ran well when resuming over 1000m before being comfortably held behind Lyonesse last time at 1100m. Goes to 1220m for the first time which looks a concern on her Devonport 1150m form but may get a comfortable run near the lead to try and run it out strongly. Has blinkers off and may give a sight on speed.

5. La Superba resumes from a spell here off an unconventional lead up with two 1400m trials under her belt. Ran a handy 3rd first-up last time in before failing on wet ground, so plenty of rain would be a question mark for her. Can roll forward and may show up if the track stays reasonably firm.

Next best Beenagem (10) (green on debut but made some ground, less convictions than these and may improve with race experience).

Verdict

Isere (4) is racing well and will be hard to beat with luck in running. Breathtaking (11) comes out of some plain maidens but trialled nicely and may have come on over her break.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Isere for 2 units

Race 4 – 20:30 TASBREEDERS MAGIC MILLIONS 3YO CLASSIC (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

City Of Dreams and Black Jaguar should settle in the first couple pretty comfortably here ahead of San You and Tale Of The Fox and control the tempo from there.

Major Players

1. City Of Dreams has been freshened since following her 4th in the 3yo Cup with a close-up 4th against older horses in C3 grade over this course. Both runs at shorter than 1200m were wins so the last bit is just a little query here. Should land comfortably in the first couple but has a decent impost of 59kg considering she is a smaller filly. Clearly has the right form line and looks top pick but the weight and the trip are a genuine question mark at a short price.

3. Black Jaguar won stylishly first-up from a spell here over 1100m a fortnight ago after three nice trials. Was strong enough at the finish to suggest she can get out to 1220m here and should be able to get into the first couple quite easily here. This is clearly harder – especially to beat the favourite – but she rates as one of the dangers.

2. Tale Of The Fox comes back in trip again after racing in the Tasmanian Guineas over the mile two starts ago and then battling on last time for 3rd over 1400m. Hard to know what to make of him back to this trip but hasn’t shown a great turn of foot at his past couple so it may not be ideal. Should get into a decent spot and will be strong late so has some chance on that basis, especially if the track is particularly testing, but could well find the fillies a bit sharp.

5. French Dandy followed a last stride maiden win on Devonport Cup day with a very good effort over this course in C1 grade when beaten a length behind Kafoo. Settles back off the speed generally but has a visor on this time and might not be too far away in the small field. Will get further in time but this trip is alright at this stage of her career and if the favourites are soft late she appeals as a knockout chance finishing off hard.

Next best Jubilance (6) (not bad last time, back in trip ridden quiet on the turf probably suits, not hopeless at odds).

Verdict

City Of Dreams (1) is the logical top pick but does have plenty of weight. Black Jaguar (3) is promising and looks the main danger while French Dandy (5) and Tale Of The Fox (2) are the ones who will be strong late.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Tale Of The Fox for 1 unit

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – French Dandy for 1 unit

Race 5 – 21:00 Alpine Eagle @ Armidale Stud Sydeston Night Cup (2150 METRES)

Speed Map

Looks more speed than a usual staying race with Geegees Baritone, Kanji, Gallow Gate and Spihro all capable of racing in the first couple. With Flash Missile, It’s A Battle, Bidirectional and Son Of Faith also happy to push forward there is plenty of pressure for spots on speed so those that settle back should get their chance.

Major Players

2. Gallow Gate continued his excellent staying form last start with a game win over Earl Da Vinci, who then ran a solid race in the Hobart Cup on Sunday. Unbeaten in three runs over this distance range and can make his own luck on speed but take the sit if required. Meets a few from last time worse at the weights but he keeps winning and might have more left in the locker if he is required to dig deep. Deserves to be top pick again.

5. Bidirectional got to this trip second-up last time and was very good when a close-up 3rd behind Gallow Gate. Gets a big weight drop here but enjoyed a nice trail last time and now has to contend with a wide barrier. Always races well in this distance range and can settle back if the pressure is on early which might help. Looks one of the better chances.

7. Smoke ‘N’ Whisky was an incredible run last time after losing many lengths at the start by bucking before working to the line well to finish within 2 lengths of Gallow Gate. Gets a big weight drop now and Muchu gets back on after riding him to a midfield finish in the Brighton Cup previously. Blinkers come off to try and improve his manners and he won this race two years ago. Definite hope if he has his mind on the job.

6. Flash Missile ran a very solid 5th when up in grade in the Brighton Cup behind Eastender and was then shuffled back mid-race last time when a game 4th behind Gallow Gate. Draws inside for a nice trail but meets all of her rivals from that last race worse at the weights. Always runs an honest race but yet to win over this trip in five starts this prep and prefer on an each way basis.

10. It’s A Battle (goes to 2100m for the first time but is placed at 1880m and has looked like he wants this trip for quite a while. Past three starts over the mile have all been very good to run 2nd in easier grade and he sticks on at the finish which is promising for this. Isn’t well weighted here on the minimum with some proven stayers but Newitt takes the ride and he can settle in a good spot from his inside draw. Still does things wrong but is on the up.

Next best Wyuna (9) (improving staying mare who finished midfield in the Brighton Cup last time, looks suited if the pressure goes on up front and has a genuine knockout chance).

Verdict

Very competitive race. Can’t knock Gallow Gate (2) and while there is more pressure up front here he has to rate a top chance. Wyuna (9) might be the knockout from back in the field if the tempo is too strong.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Gallow Gate for 3 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Wyuna for 1 unit

Race 6 – 21:30 Grenville Stud Benchmark 62 Hcp (1420 METRES)

Speed Map

Expecting a strong tempo here. Century Arrow, Acronym, Miss Two Pairs and Welcome Invader are all capable of pushing for the lead with the likes of Turtles Nest, Liffeybeau, Flying Geepee and Tambro’s Game all capable of being handy to the speed. Should be a high pressure race.

Major Players

1. Liffeybeau has been ridden quieter at his past couple with the blinkers off and has responded with two of the best runs of his career so far. Latest run was very game when caught wide and only grabbed late by Cheers Chappy. Might get the strong pace he wants to settle behind in this but potentially soft ground looks a query. Leading chance in an even race.

5. Boltoutoftheblue was away awkwardly last time and then held up for a run in the straight but hit the line strongly when clear to just miss the placings when 5th behind Player One. Lightly raced 3yo drawn inside for a soft run and won well over this course two starts ago. Coming back in trip looks a query at this stage of his preparation but yet to run a bad race and is one of the better hopes again.

3. Century Arrow strung two wins together in easier grade before tackling this grade for the first time in Hobart and fading at the finish when an easing favourite. Newitt sticks with him and he comes back to 1420m where he bolted in with his maiden victory. Might have to do a bit of work to hold the inside with plenty of pressure drawn out but freshened for this suits and will take some running down.

6. Flying Geepee broke through for an overdue win under these conditions last time out when given a gun ride by McCoull. This looks harder with a few younger horses on the up but he hasn’t run a bad race this prep and has performed in higher grade. Doesn’t like soft ground so substantial rain would be a query but on a firm surface he will be right in the mix again.

11. Acronym continues to run good races on speed and stuck on alright last time when 3rd behind Cheers Chappy and Liffeybeau. Both of her wins have come over this course and she is capable of taking a sit if the speed goes right on, especially here from her good draw. Has failed on wet ground previously so too much rain would be an issue but if the track holds up she has each way claims.

Next best Miss Two Pairs (9) (Victorian on-pacer racing consistently in BM58 grade, will go forward and handles soft) and Written Addiction (8) (steadily improving this prep and likes genuinely soft ground, outside draw is a concern).

Verdict

Like the way Liffeybeau (1) has been racing and he looks a good hope in another competitive affair.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Liffeybeau for 4 units

Race 7 – 22:00 F&W Stewart Silver Ingot Benchmark 78 Hcp (1420 METRES)

Speed Map

Silver Bolt looks set to lead here ahead of Harvey Bay and Red Eagle. Merrick’s Beauty may push forward from her wide draw if the opportunity is there while Fragment is expected to take a trail.

Major Players

4. Fragment gets back up to 1420m after being beaten for speed last time when he could only manage 5th behind Harvey Bay when an odds-on favourite. Should have won his previous run at 1400m in Hobart and was beaten a nose at his only other run over this trip. Should get a nice trail from his inside draw and is top pick again but wary of very short odds.

1. Harvey Bay did a good job to score last time when racing on speed to run down The Captain here over 1200m, with Fragment finishing behind him. 1400m has always been his preferred distance range and he has won twice with 4 placings from 7 runs over this course. In well with Voorham’s claim and handles soft ground so should give a big sight on speed again.

3. Stella Etoile ran very well here first-up in WFA company when finishing within 3L of Lord Da Vinci and Geegees Doublejay here over 1200m. Has won five races in this distance range with all of them coming at this track. Always needs luck from back in the field but thrives on soft ground and has a huge finish when conditions suit. Definite winning chance.

2. Silver Bolt ran a couple of very solid races over 1400m behind Chillout and Valiant Warrior before finishing midfield last time. Handles softer ground but prefers firmer and looks the leader so ideally wants the inside ground to be holding up. Might find this a bit strong over this trip but can give a sight on speed.

7. Cheers Chappy has been racing very well in easier grade and appreciated a gun ride from Baker last time to score an impressive win in C3 grade. Another who would prefer a firmer track and this is his first try in this grade. Gets back and needs luck, especially against this quality of opposition, but should be finding the line as he usually does.

Next best Red Eagle (6) (hasn’t won for a long time but not far away last start behind Harvey Bay and may find a place).

Verdict

Fragment (4) gets his chance to bounce back but is unlikely to be any value again. Harvey Bay (1) gets to his right trip and won last time so why not again.

Betting Strategy

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

Race 8 – 22:30 Wakeful Club Maiden/Class 1 Hcp (2150 METRES)

Speed Map

The Auditor should run to the lead here ahead of He’s Rushin’, Miss Artorious and Gwenville. The rest of these generally race midfield or worse so doubt there will be any other pressure up front.

Major Players

1. Kalalo backs up from a very good effort on Sunday in Hobart when he kept coming from back in the field in an on-pace dominated BM62. Previous mainland form was consistent and he should be rock hard fit for this. Might drift back from his wide barrier so will need luck in the run but expect him to be strong to the line and he should be hard to hold out in this grade.

7. The Auditor is an interesting runner after finishing down the track in the Hobart Guineas after leading the field in his first Tasmanian run. Placed twice in maiden grade before coming down and he finds a race where he might be able to control the tempo in front. Hard to line up his form but does look one of the better chances.

3. He’s Rushin’ has run well at his past two starts over this trip, appreciating the distance and settling in good positions on speed. Was no match for Striking Prospect last start but beat the rest comfortably. Newitt stays with him and he draws for the inside trail again. Not sure his last couple are at the level of the Victorians but he looks the best chance of the locals.

4. Miss Artorius beat home He’s Rushin’ two starts ago when she box seated behind Kandahar before finding trouble at the start last time and having to run home from last. Ran a very solid race considering and expect her to resume racing on speed if she begins well. Genuine stayer who has each way claims.

9. Crystal’s Pass covered a bit of ground last time but kept sticking to the line when 4th behind Striking Prospect. Has run well at all three runs over this trip without really threatening the winner but draws in this time for a nice smother. Needs to find a couple of lengths but has place claims at least.

Next best Gwenville (10) (not the worst in the Thousand Guineas last time, first go at 2100m off such a slowly run mile is a concern but has different form which might show up).

Verdict

Kalalo (1) ran well enough on Sunday to suggest he will be very hard to beat back to this grade if he handles the quick back-up.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Kalalo for 4 units


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