Launceston hosts a 7 race program this Wednesday night where tough stayer Eastender looks to make it successive wins in the $25,000 Sky Racing Tasmanian St Leger. Step The Pedal looks to top off an excellent carnival with victory in the $25,000 Australian Trainers Association Fillies & Mares Handicap while Chillout and Blaze Forth do battle again in race 3 after running the quinella in the Open sprint on Launceston Cup day.


Race 1 – 18:40 Rotary Club of Central Launceston Maiden (1620 METRES)

Speed Map

Totally Wicked may cross the field here from his wide gate ahead of He’s Rushin’, Gwenville and Fearless Filou looking for forward positions. If they find their spots early enough this will be just a solid tempo.

Major Players

5. Totally Wicked gets to the mile on the back-up after racing over 1200m last week but has had four runs already this prep since resuming in December. Fitness might be a slight concern with the 7 week break leading into last week but has got up in trip quickly in the past so suggest he should cope with it. Can roll forward into a good spot near the front from his wide draw and has placed multiple times over this course in the past. Going well enough to give a great sight on speed in this.

2. He’s Rushin’  has had a month to freshen up to come back to the mile after three 2100m runs. Hasn’t raced over the mile but has shown enough to suggest he can hold a good spot near the lead from his inside draw. Might need a bit further but looks set to get every possible chance in the run which gives him a decent hope.

8. San You ran well last time here over 1400m and managed to nose out Kent Street to grab 4th behind Kathonious. Had every possible chance there so hard to see him improve too much off it but the extra distance should be up his alley. Still relatively lightly-raced so heading in the right direction but may need the gun run to get the prize.

6. Boss Cat  loomed up on the turn last time here over this course but found the on-pacers too strong after making a sharp move approaching the turn wide on the track. Wasn’t suited by the pattern there but comes up with a wide draw here which makes it hard to get the right run from off the speed. Ticking over well enough to get into the finish with luck in running.

Next best Fearless Filou (9) (on-pacer better suited back to the mile and wasn’t too bad in BM58 grade two starts back, probably gets a decent run on speed but has had many chances).

Verdict

Even race but Totally Wicked (5) can improve up to the mile with a good run on speed and may go around at good odds.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 3 units to win on Totally Wicked (5).

Race 2 – 19:15 Kevin Sharkie Maiden (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

Gold Phoenix may cross the field if they elect to use her early speed but Stinka with the blinkers on may also search for the front. Look At This might push forward but most of these are generally happy to settle around midfield so horses landing near the lead may be advantaged.

Major Players

5. Mystic Molly was very solid first-up when 4th behind Banca Bet, who won again on Monday. Newitt takes the ride this time and she has a fitness edge over many of these. Barrier draw is potentially a little sticky but she landed quite close last time and if she can slot into the forward half here she will be hard to hold out late.

4. Gold Phoenix resumes for the Royston Carr stable after racing previously for Scott Brunton. Ran well first-up last time in over 1100m but her subsequent runs were only fair. Has plenty of speed if they want to use it so she is capable of leading if they wish. 1220m first-up is a query with her best form over 1100m but her best is good enough to be a leading chance in this.

3. Stinka ran well on debut when able to take up a forward position and battle on well behind Bunker Star and Beautiful Boy before having excuses from a wide gate in Hobart. Resumes without a trial so the 1220m might be a bit of a test but does have the blinkers on for the first time so he may be ready to go. Drawn nicely to settle near the lead and he can run well.

6. Princess Of York ran home reasonably from back in the field to take a distant 2nd behind Breathtaking before being unsuited by the bias last week and finishing down the track behind Speedy Illusion. Draws inside for a soft run behind the speed but is having trouble getting into the race early enough to challenge. This is pretty soft so she is capable of being in the finish with the right run.

8. Look At This trialled well in her first prep but didn’t have much luck in her three Devonport runs. Wasn’t too far away and now comes here off a 1400m trial where she was given an easy time which is an interesting preparation for this. Hard one to line up so betting may tell the tale.

Next best Iowna (7) (ridden along to win latest of three trials by a big space but in plain time, awkwardly drawn, might need this one).

Verdict

Tricky race. Mystic Molly (5) ran well first-up and has the fitness edge on a few and that might be enough.

Betting Strategy

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

Race 3 – 19:50 Tasbred Breeding Incentive Scheme Open Hcp (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

Galeocerdo and The Captain look set to run along at a fast tempo as they like to do, with Blaze Forth, Chillout and Teriki most likely to take the trail.

Major Players

3. Blaze Forth was very good here on Cup day when 2nd in this grade behind Chillout after finding trouble on the turn. Meets that horse 3kg better this time and can potentially take a position just behind the speed to overcome his wide draw. Racing very well over this trip in good company this prep and this is a little easier. Looks a top chance.

1. Chillout didn’t have much luck last time when shuffled back on the inside but when the gap opened up he charged to the line to score an impressive win in open company. This is a bit easier but he goes up 5kg to carry the top weight this time after winning on the minumum last time. Has to give all of these weight but only has to run up to his last win to be a leading hope again.

7. Galeocerdo is a speedy filly who was run down on the line last time in Hobart when ridden more conservatively in the lead than usual. Again she draws the inside, drops down the weights and gets her regular rider Carr back aboard. Form is much stronger at 1100m so the last 100m is the concern in this grade but she did win over this course back in November. If the rail is a positive then she will be hard to run down.

4. Teriki bolted in two starts back in Hobart when enjoying a perfect run behind a strong tempo before struggling to make an impression from back in the field behind Chillout here last time. Better suited drawing the inside if she can hold her position early and gets in on the minimum with Voorham’s claim. Rarely runs a bad race and if she gets the right run here she is capable of bouncing back.

6. The Captain continues to run brave races on speed and did so again last time in open grade when sticking on for 4th behind Chillout. Will probably have to race outside the speed again with Galeocerdo drawn inside him which makes it tough but he hasn’t been far away multiple times this prep with similar runs. Will be there for a long way as usual but will probably find one or two better again.

Next best Lord Farquaad (9) (this grade tests but flies fresh and tuned up with three trials so watch betting).

Verdict

Blaze Forth (3) can go one better if able to slot in from his wide draw. Galeocerdo (7) is one to watch if leaders look to be advantaged.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Blaze Forth (3).

Race 4 – 20:25 Sky Racing Tasmanian St Leger (2650 METRES)

Speed Map

Volcan De Fuego looks likely to take up the running again. Kanji, White Hawk, Flash Missile and King Manu are all capable of taking up spots on speed while Bidirectional will probably be ridden a bit quieter this time. Should be a genuine tempo to give them all their chance.

Major Players

Volcan De Fuego looks likely to take up the running again. Kanji, White Hawk, Flash Missile and King Manu are all capable of taking up spots on speed while Bidirectional will probably be ridden a bit quieter this time. Should be a genuine tempo to give them all their chance.

2. Eastender won this race as a 3yo over 2400m and looks even better placed this year with the added distance. Was suited by the true staying test of the Launceston Cup last time and continued to find the line to run a strong 5th. Proven in this grade with his Brighton Cup win and well weighted considering. Looks his race to lose.

1. Up Cups ran a very solid 4th in the Hobart Cup before battling away to finish midfield last time in the Launceston Cup. Finished midfield in the 2016 Adelaide Cup over 3200m so he should handle this longer trip better than most. Goes right up in weight which looks the main concern but racing well and looks one of the dangers.

3. Bidirectional was a strong winner of the Night Cup for Darmanin here two starts back before racing close to a brutal tempo in the Launceston Cup which didn’t suit. Will appreciate Darmanin back aboard and the added trip is right up his alley. Last run may have taken a bit out of him but if he has taken no harm he has each way claims here.

6. Volcan De Fuego is working swiftly through his grades with a pair of dogged wins at his past two runs over 2100m. Goes out to the longer trip for the first time which is a query but the way he has been fighting on suggests he can run it out. Makes his own luck up front so while he is not suited at the weights he can give a sight on speed.

Next best Kanji (4) (outclassed in Launceston Cup but not the worst, maybe better suited this trip than others so may stick on into a place).

Verdict

Eastender (2) clearly has the best form leading into this and will relish the longer trip so it does look his race.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 8 units to win on Eastender (2).

Race 5 – 21:00 Australian Trainers Association F&M Hcp (1620 METRES)

Speed Map

Secrets She Has is the only runner here showing any sort of early speed and should be able to control the speed in front. Stella Etoile can settle closer up to the mile with the rest of these generally settling off the speed in recent racing but the lack of pressure means there are spots on speed up for grabs.

Major Players

2. Step The Pedal is racing in tremendous form, following up an excellent 2nd in the Vamos with another fantastic 2nd behind Hellova Street in the Mowbray Stakes. That is clearly good form for an easier assignment here back against her own age and the strong tempo throughout proved she can run this trip out strongly. Has to give weight to the rest of the field but has won with as much as 59kg and looks the obvious top pick.

3. Stella Etoile is ready for the mile now after two 1400m runs and a 1400m trial last week to top her off for this. Avoided the Vamos to come through benchmark grade and was only narrowly beaten last time against the boys. Is capable of settling closer at this trip and looks the main danger to the favourite.

7. Toorak Affair is a mare with plenty of talent and was very good in the Vamos last time when she had to come wide from the back. Ran home alongside Gogo Grace in good time and was narrowly beaten in her only 1600m run this prep in easier grade. Doesn’t win often but has a big finish so she can be in the finish if things go her way in running.

4. Secrets She Has enjoyed a pretty good run on speed in the Vamos but was outclassed. Gets to 1600m now where she thrived last prep, winning four races in a row albeit on wet and synthetic ground. Looks like getting the lead this time under no pressure which is also how she hit a purple patch last prep. Needs to improve sharply and might not be good enough or need wet ground but if she is left alone in front a boilover might not be out of the question.

Next best Gone Girl (5) (very good 2nd in the Tasmanian Oaks behind Pleasuring, won her only start over this course narrowly in BM58, this is tough coming back in trip but might have a touch of quality).

Verdict

 Step The Pedal (2) and Stella Etoile (3) look the obvious chances but will be well found in the market. Secrets She Has (4) might need soft ground but can possibly give a big sight on speed at longer odds.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit to win on Secrets She Has (4).

Race 6 – 21:30 Weeding Hire Benchmark 72 Hcp (1620 METRES)

Speed Map

Weekend Whisky shouldn’t have much trouble finding the lead ahead of Solomon’s Song with Zatacla capable of pushing forward from a wider draw if desired. Son Of Faith can be handy but is back in trip. Doesn’t look much pressure on the on-pacers.

Major Players

3. Zatacla went forward two starts ago and only failed narrowly when 2nd behind Beaufort Lad before tackling the Mowbray Stakes last start and running a very game 4th behind Hellova Street. Obviously a big drop in grade here but is reasonably in at the weights considering. Wide draw is potentially tricky but if the field strings out he is capable of going forward or back to slot in. Racing in great heart and only has to hold his form to be hardest to beat.

1. Weekend Whisky was bold two starts ago when beaten in the last stride by Geegees Soprano before things went wrong here last week when 4th behind Minute Repeater despite being aided by an rail bias. Goes to the mile on the back-up and won his only start this trip back in December when he was too good for Earl Da Vinci and Zatacla. Might control this race from the front and that gives him his chance to bounce back.

8. Solomon’s Song got to the mile for the first time this prep last time on Launceston Cup day and ran a narrow 2nd behind Welcome Invader. Had to work from the outside draw there but this time draws inside and might find a nice trail without doing much work at all. This is a bit harder but with the likelihood of a soft run he has each way claims.

4. Barjeel finally broke through for a comfortably win two starts ago before running into trouble last time when beaten less than a length behind Welcome Invader. Racing well over this distance and should get a soft run from the inside gate. Will need luck getting through the field if he settles back as he usually does but is very capable with the right run.

Verdict

Zatacla (3) has the obvious form coming back from WFA and will take beating but Weekend Whisky (1) gets his chance to control the race and may bounce back.

Staking Strategy

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

Race 7 – 22:00 Liberty Onesteel Benchmark 62 Hcp (1220 METRES)

Speed Map

Many on-pacers in this but no genuine leader. Maybe Gee Gee Spitfire will hold the front from his inside draw but Son Of A Fling, Cimarron’s Hero, Gee Gees Blondie and Jo Anconi can all push forward. Expect a genuine tempo on that basis.

 

Major Players

5. Cimarron’s Hero has had a short break since being scratched at the barrier when favourite here in BM58 grade. Ran a very good 2nd in C1 company behind Kafoo at his last run when unable to get clear in time from behind the leader. This is harder but drawn for a nice run on speed and is a horse on the up so he looks a leading chance in an even race.

6. Gee Gee Spitfire rarely runs a bad race and comes here off a close-up 4th in BM64 grade behind Love Magic. This looks a bit easier and he can either lead or take a sit from his inside draw. Previous two runs over this course were good 2nds and he is one of the better hopes again.

1. Jo Anconi has had a break since scoring a good win at Longford over 1400m. Previous run over this course was very good in C3 grade behind Jacques in quick time which is good form for this grade. Voorham’s claim brings her in on a reasonable weight but she does have a tricky draw to negotiate. Can mix her form but if she is ready to go she is the class runner in this.

2. Son Of A Fling was good fresh off an inside draw when 2nd behind Boart before a plain 5th in a handy race on Hobart Cup day. Was forced to race wide throughout last time in fast time behind Geegee Trendsetter so his effort to keep finding the line was very solid. Drawn inside should see him enjoy a softer run and he appeals as an improver on that basis. Definite hope with the right run.

8. Top Draw did a bit of work on speed last time before fading behind Geegee Trendsetter and don’t think that is really her go. Drawn inside this time should give her a more favourable smother in the run but she does have the winkers on to sharpen her up. Her form generally ties in with most of these and she hasn’t been too far away so she has a knockout chance with the cheap run in behind them.

Next best Genuine Art (7) (rattled home fresh, needs luck with her racing style but a repeat of that is good enough to knock them off here).

Verdict

Very even race. Maybe Son Of A Fling (2) is the one who will go around value after a tough run last time and a better draw here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – 1 unit each way on Son Of A Fling (2).


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