Launceston hosts its Cup day meeting on Wednesday and the blockbuster 10 race program is traditionally the Grand Final day of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival. The Group 3 $250,000 Sky Racing Launceston Cup is the feature on the program at 6:14pm with Pretty Punk looking to complete the Cups double against a capacity field. Hellova Street will be a short-priced favourite as he strives to win his second Mowbray Stakes, while gun 2yo Mystic Journey tries to remain unbeaten in the Listed $150,000 Steve’s Liquor Gold Sovereign.

Race 1 – 13:17 Mckillops Insurance Brokers Maiden (1400 METRES)

Speed Map

Plenty of on-pacers engaged here but not many genuine leaders so the front is up for grabs for someone who really wants it. Elwick Eddie and Kathonious may be most likely to lead although Ivoryman might try and push on from out wide. Seize Them All, Kent Street, La Superba, Levissi and maybe the debutant Bless Me Father can all settle handy while The Last Godfather and San You may settle closer if they begin well also.

Major Players

2. Ivoryman: Makes his Tasmanian debut for the Scott Brunton stable after racing in NSW for Joseph Pride and John O’Shea. Has run placings in strong provincial grade maidens which translates nicely for a race like this. Has a tricky barrier for Newitt to overcome but is versatile where he can settle which should help. Watch the market but suggest he will be hard to beat if ready.

4. The Last Godfather: Was very good at his first Tasmanian run when 3rd on Hobart Cup day after being caught on the wrong part of the track. Extra distance looks right up his alley and he is better suited drawn the middle of the line. NSW form is weaker than Ivoryman but has the run under his belt and looks the obvious danger.

7. Kathonious: May have found the 1600m a bit far at this stage of his career last time when midfield behind Paterangi. Better suited back to 1400m and both runs at this track have been good. Should get an ideal run from a good draw and has each way claims.

9. San You: Ran quite well in the Magic Millions last time to finish within 5 lengths of the winner despite being clearly outclassed. Previous runs have been ok, including a close-up 5th over 1400m in Hobart. Back up in distance suits but he does have a tricky barrier to overcome. Might surprise at longer odds and has place claims at least.

8. Kent Street: Is steadily improving and did a good job to stick on last time when on speed in a fast run race. Should be better for the run over the trip and can land in a nice spot quite comfortably from an inside draw. Still learning so is open to further improvement and can be somewhere in the finish at longer odds.

Next best 6. Elwick Eddie (another improving type who ran well enough last time to show up with luck in running) and 12. Levissi (ticking over alright but has a nightmare barrier).

Verdict

Ivoryman (2) has good NSW form for a race like this and with luck from the barrier might get punters off to a good start. The Last Godfather (4) ran well in Hobart and looks the obvious danger.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Ivoryman for 5 Units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – The Last Godfather for 2 Units

Race 2 – 13:52 Finance Brokers of Tasmanian BM62 Hcp (2100 METRES)

Speed Map

Balestrand will probably take up the running here ahead of on-pacers White Hawk, It’s A Battle, Lovely Lady, Mponeng and possibly Kalalo and Matiano. The big field should be enough to ensure a genuine tempo.

Major Players

1. It’s A Battle: Drops in grade after running a very solid 3rd on Sunday over this course in BM72 company. Also ran a strong placing in the Night Cup so this is a much easier affair and he has proven he can carry weight so the top weight isn’t of concern. Has only won 2 of 21 which is a slight query but brings the best form into this on the quick back-up and is clearly top pick as a result.

4. Striking Prospect: Was very impressive winning over this course in a plain Maiden/C1 two starts ago before tackling this grade in Hobart and running home to finish just behind the placegetters in an on-pace dominated affair. Should relish a much more genuine tempo here and drawing out is suitable as he gets back and likes to race with room. Will be especially suited if any rain causes the inside to chop out. Looks a big winning hope.

3. Matiano: Has done enough in two runs this prep with his last start 3rd a reasonable effort given he wasn’t suited by the tempo and wanted to lay into the inferior ground in the straight. Looks ready for the 2100m now and his only run over this course was a competitive 2nd with Eastender in easier grade last season. Another with a poor strike rate (2 from 29) but rarely runs a bad race and should be right there in the finish once again.

8. Geegees Lillybet: Won nicely first-up over the mile in BM58 grade in Hobart before being in the wrong spot last time behind Barjeel so that run can be forgiven. Extra distance here is ideal and any rain would also be a bonus. Ran 2nd over this course three starts back behind Gallow Gate and beating Flash Missile after doing work mid-race so that form ties in nicely here and she is a winning chance at nice odds.

12. Westwood: Has been flashing home at the end of his races but gets a long way back in running. Could barely keep up over the mile last time when 4th behind Paterangi but made up a ton of ground when the race was all over. Gets to 2100m for the first time but while he races like he wants it he comes up against some proven stayers so this is a bit of an ask. Prefer him on an each way basis but unlikely to represent any value.

Next best 2. Kalalo (tough win in easier grade last time, far from disgraced in this grade in Hobart, has a chance again) and 10. Lovely Lady (going okay in slowly run staying affairs in this grade and can be thereabouts again).

Verdict

It’s A Battle (1) looks well placed here and may finally break through for an overdue win. Striking Prospect (4) and Geegees Lillybet (8) appeal as dangers at longer odds.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – It’s A Battle for 5 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Striking Prospect for 2 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Geegees Lillybet for 1 units

Race 3 – 14:27 City of Launceston BM68 Hcp (1600 METRES)

Speed Map

Welcome Invader, Sentry Duty and Miss Two Pairs look most likely to lead with Amaword, Biscay Barb, Tale Of The Fox and Solomon’s Song all capable of being near the front if they begin well. That should be enough to result in a genuine tempo.

Major Players

9. Speedonova: Is a promising mare who was very good in beating Gee Gee Lanett over 1400m in Hobart before making ground when the race was all over last time. Is a month between runs but convincingly won a 1400m trial last week which should keep her up to the mark. Failed at her only run over a mile but raced upside down on that occasion and expect it to suit better at this stage of her career. Any rain would be a plus and she has the scope to be a leading chance in a very competitive race.

5. Biscay Barb: Has run home quite strongly at his past couple over 1400m when not really suited in running on either occasion. Extra distance is ideal and he gets in quite nicely here with Graham’s claim. Loves this track and his form lines up well against many of the main chances in this. Versatile type who should get a good run from a nice draw and looks to have strong each way claims.

8. Axion: Ran home well last time over 1400m in Hobart off a short break to run a close 2nd behind Turtles Nest. Has placed at all three runs over this course, including a nose win over Biscay Barb, and is capable on all track conditions. Should get a soft run from his inside draw but will need luck in running to get clear at the right time. Rarely runs a bad race and has obvious claims again.

6. Boltoutoftheblue: Was quite unlucky two starts ago when 5th behind Player One and with clear running may have tested that horse at the finish. Made amends last time despite dropping back to 1400m with a game win from back in the field and will appreciate returning to the 1600m. Drawing out means he will probably drift back again but is still on the up and can win again with luck in running.

1. Player One
: Was very impressive when winning over this course two starts ago despite starting 100/1 and then ran a solid 3rd in Hobart when over racing off a soft tempo. Gets in on a similar weight to what he won with two starts ago and looks to have regained something near his best form but draws out here so is unlikely to get the same soft run in behind them. Loves the mile and the cut out of the track is fine so he is a knockout chance again with the right run.

Next best 4. Barjeel (finally broke through last time in Hobart when had the right run, might go on with the confidence from that win) and 10. Welcome Invader (very game on-pacer who loves this trip and if leaders are featuring he comes right into calculations).

Verdict

Incredibly even race. Biscay Barb (5) is racing well and might have more luck in running here at his past couple to give him his chance at longer odds but there are many with genuine winning chances in this.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Biscay Barb for 2 units each way

Race 4 – 15:03 Streetwise Developments Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Airlie Magic and Breathtaking might push forward for the front from wider draws but many of these can be handy, including Remigny, Woohoo, Bounce Back, Ruthless Lover, Glory Blaze and Berbent. Every horse should get their chance as a result.

Major Players

1. Banca Boy: Was very good first-up when run down by the well-backed Manilenya but he beat the rest comfortably. Staying at 1200m is a little concern but he has won over this course second-up in the past and generally improves with a run under his belt. Outside gate looks his major obstacle but if the rain comes or the inside has started to chop out it could even be an advantage. Smart galloper who will be hard to beat with luck in running.

3. Thewordsout: Dropped back to 1100m after a run in the Tasmanian Guineas and was far too good to break his maiden status, beating subsequent winner Treeconi who then beat Banca Bet in Hobart. Slightly longer journey suits and while this is much harder he is a 3yo on the up. Looks one of the better chances.

6. Breathtaking: Resumed with a strong win here in maiden grade when able to control the race from the front. Didn’t run any time but her late sectionals were good and she won by a space. This is much harder and unlikely she can control the race in similar fashion so doubt she will represent any value but must rate a good chance again.

11. Remigny: Jumped awkwardly in the Carbine Club last time which saw her settle at the rear of the field and she didn’t make any impression from there. This is a big drop in grade and her form earlier this prep was quite strong, including a very good 3rd behind Mon Londo in benchmark grade when she raced wide throughout. Comes up with gate 1 here so can get a soft run and if the inside is holding up she can run a much better race at nice odds.

9. Ramaadi Bullet: Has had a short break since a very solid first Tasmanian prep where he ran some good races without being able to break through. His last two runs over this course were very game in strong C1s and the freshen up should suit coming back from a pair of 1350m runs. Drawn nicely and gets the in-form Maskiell aboard. Knockout chance at longer odds.

Next best 13. Ruthless Lover (going well and wasn’t far behind Banca Boy last time), 10. Geegees Cash Cow (also ran home well enough in the Manilenya race last time but will need luck buried away back in the field) and 4. Treeconi (won well enough in maiden grade last time but this is harder).

Verdict

Another competitive race with many chances. Banca Boy (1) has the right form to win if he can overcome his wide barrier. Thewordsout (3) can also go on now he has broken his maiden, while Ramaadi Bullet (9) appeals as best at odds.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Banca Boy for 3 units

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

Race 5 – 15:44 PFD Food Services 3YO Classic (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Most of these like to settle handy so expect it to be very willing early. City Of Dreams may hold the front from Uber Ed with Gee Gee Lanett having a task to get across from the outside gate. Mister Songman is also drawn wide trying to get across on speed while Effortless Opera and Ilfracombe will probably kick up nearer the fence.

Major Players

1. Mister Songman: Is a highly talented 3yo resuming from a short break after being beaten when an odds-on favourite in the Tasmanian Guineas. Unbeaten in 4 runs on this track including an impressive win in the 3yo Cup beating Gee Gee Lanett. Main concern here is the wide gate but handles wet so rain would probably help him to overcome it. Very good horse and will be very hard to beat with even luck.

2. Gee Gee Lanet: Is a very good filly who dropped back to her own age last time with a narrow but impressive win in the Carbine Club Plate. Gets back up to 1200m which is probably her ideal trip and is versatile enough to push forward or take a sit as required. Likes wet ground should the rain come and meets Mister Songman a little better at the weights for a narrow 3yo Cup defeat. Incredibly consistent filly who looks the main danger.

6. Uber Ed: Was well in the market when resuming in the Carbine Club and did a good job to stick on for 3rd after racing wide without cover throughout. Nicely weighted here coming out of set weights and ran well at both starts on soft ground in his first prep so rain no issue. Will be right in the mix on speed and has genuine each way claims.

5. Ilfracombe: Made a big jump in grade in the Carbine Club but responded very nicely at big odds to get within a short head of Gee Gee Lanett. Enjoyed a nice trail but fought all the way to the line in only her fourth career start. Ran well only start over this course and only has to go on from her last run to have a realistic each way chance.

3. City Of Dreams: Went around an odds-on favourite in the Magic Millions over this course a fortnight ago but found the strong speed and big weight against when picked up late by Jubilance. Big drop in weight this time and ran a solid 4th in the 3yo Cup so this grade is ok. Not sure she runs a strong 1200m in this class but doesn’t know how to run a bad race so should be around the mark again.

Next best 4. Jubilance (nice win in the Magic Millions last time but this looks much harder and place claims appear best).

Verdict

Mister Songman (1) is a class galloper and may be too good for these despite the big weight and wide draw, especially if the pattern starts to suit those horses away from the inside.

Staking Strategy 

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Mister Songman for 4 units

Race 6 – 16:24 Steve’s Liquor Gold Sovereign (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

In contrast to the Elwick Stakes there looks to be few on-pacers engaged here. Gee Gee Mr Paul may come out running again to find the front with Mystic Journey coming across with him. Oh So Needy can be handy while Our Long Sali may look to push forward from her outside draw. Gee Gee Secondover, Lady Pluck and Melveen can push up into good positions from inside gates.

Major Players

5. Mystic Journey: Is an extremely smart filly who continues to answer the challenges that are thrown at her. Had to take a sit for the first time in the Elwick Stakes and was headed in the straight but showed a real will to win to extend her unbeaten streak to three. Drawn out doesn’t look an issue here with less speed engaged in this so expect her to control the race on speed. Has to go to 1200m for the first time but she can cap a great season with a grand final win here.

1. Gee Gee Secondover: Is a very smart 2yo in his own right but has had to lower his colours to the filly on all three occasions. Looked to have his best chance yet to beat her last time when getting to the right part of the track but she held him out and racing wide may have taken its toll late. Finally draws an inside barrier but not sure how suitable that will be for him if he is awkwardly away and the fence might chop up if the rain comes. Logical danger to the favourite once again.

6. Our Long Sali: Found the top two a bit too good in her debut but then went to the 1200m of the Magic Millions and was in a class of her own. Has that run over the trip over the other two and is potentially open to more improvement from their first clash. Wide draw may be tricky but has the speed to work across and if rain comes it may even be an advantage. Has to find a couple of lengths from her debut but clearly has the scope to do so. Genuine danger.

7. Melveen: Is a Victorian filly from the Henry Dwyer yard who comes here off a gutsy Sandown win. Time was very slow there but she overcame that from back in the field in a win full of merit. Mainlanders in the Elwick Stakes failed to beat the best locals and the top three look very smart horses but a metropolitan win seems strong enough form to respect in this.

8. Triple Strip: Was well backed when resuming in the Magic Millions but was always in the wrong spot and was no match for the runaway winner Our Long Sali. A middle draw looks much more suitable but this is much harder again and she can’t afford to do things wrong in this grade. Clearly has ability but place claims appear best.

Next best 2. Gee Gee Mr Paul (improved sharply to lead all the way second-up and may stick on into a place if she finds the front) and 9. Exclusively Ours (worked home well in the Elwick Stakes nearer the inside so also capable of getting into a place if things pan out her way).

Verdict

Mystic Journey (5) continues to handle everything that gets thrown at her and with the likelihood of the right run on speed she can win again. Gee Gee Secondover (1) and Our Long Sali (6) are the obvious dangers again, while the Victorian filly Melveen (7) will need to be well above average to take down what looks a very strong Tasmanian crop of 2yos.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Mystic Journey for 8 units

Race 7 – 16:59 GBI Racing Quality Hcp (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Plenty of speed here, just as there was in the Open sprint on Hobart Cup day. Issawi, Gee Gee Red Prince, The Captain and Apriano all like to race near the lead so the pace should be hot. Blaze Forth, Geegees Doublejay, Teriki, Gee Gee Double Dee and Chillout will all be looking to hold a position behind the speed and get into the clear when the time comes to challenge.

Major Players

3. Gee Gee Double Dee: Is a smart mare who won three in a row before being beaten in the Bow Mistress Trophy when held up for a run nearer the inside at a crucial stage. Runs over this course have been solid without being special like her 1100m showings this prep, running 5th in the Newmarket and a nose 2nd behind Gee Gee Red Prince. Drawn to trail what should be a good speed which she likes, but is starting to creep up in the weights. Deserves to be favourite back to this grade but the weight and the trip are slight concerns.

5. Teriki: Got the best run in the world last time when trailing a line of four but when she got into the clear she went bang and scored by a wide margin. This is harder and has plenty of speed drawn inside her this time so she might not get the same gun run but she should appreciate being able to settle behind the pace again. Has measured up in this grade in the past and rarely runs a bad race so has strong each way claims.

2. Geegees Doublejay: Is racing very well this preparation, breaking through to win at Devonport then running 2nd here at WFA level behind Lord Da Vinci. Had to do plenty of work in the run on that occasion and did the same again last time in the Thomas Lyons where you can forgive his run over 1400m. Hot speed and drop in trip suits and has won with big weights in the past. No doubt he can swamp them with the right run and is a live chance.

6. Chillout: Has been freshened since being well held in Hobart over 1400m. Ran 3rd behind Geegees Doublejay previously at Devonport so he is around the right form for this grade. Races very well at this track and is capable at this trip, especially with a strong pace in front of him to chase. Needs to improve on recent runs to feature in this grade but lightly raced with a good record and has the scope to figure.

1. Gee Gee Red Prince: Is one of the class runners in the field who doesn’t usually run a bad race but last run in Hobart was too good to be true. Reported to have had some issues in the lead up so may strip a lot fitter here. Will have plenty of competition on speed and any rain is a negative so his chances rely on the rain missing Launceston.

Next best 11. Naadam (suited by tempo and flashed home behind Teriki, this grade tests).

Verdict

Can make a case for the top six chances here but going to go with Geegees Doublejay (2) at odds, who is much better suited back to this trip and will relish a fast tempo in front of him.

Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Geegees Doublejay for 3 units

Race 8 – 17:34 Sky Racing Mowbray Stakes (1600 METRES)

Speed Map

Hellova Street and Count Da Vinci look the two to roll forward and control the speed here ahead of Geegees Brightstar, Zatacla and Overplay with Royal Rapture having a decision to make from the widest draw.

Major Players

1. Hellova Street: Had a short break leading into the Thomas Lyons and he proved the doubters wrong with a dominant win, signalling he is back to his best. Won this race last year so going to the mile is no issue and Maskiell showed with a strong ride and the whip in the left hand he can keep him away from inferior ground near the rail should that eventuate. The placegetters from last time aren’t here so this is arguably easier and he looks too good for these if he holds his form.

2. Royal Rapture: Is a very good galloper and a former stablemate of Hellova Street who was was a little behind that horse before joining Darren Weir to win multiple metropolitan races in Victoria. Has done enough in two starts back from a spell over 1400m and being owned in Tasmanian interests he is sure to be ready to show his best. Damian Lane is riding in super form when he comes to Tasmania and he is likely to have the drop on Hellova Street so he appeals as the obvious danger.

3. Count Da Vinci: Was quite good first-up over 1200m but was a bit disappointing second-up when 5th in the Thomas Lyons. Much better suited up to 1600m and this was always the race he was going to be most suited in so no surprise if he has been trained with that in mind. Will be right in the firing line on speed and suited by any rain. Needs to improve on last time but a genuine each way chance if he does.

9. Step The Pedal: Is on the quick back-up from a very good 2nd in the Vamos Stakes on Sunday. Is yet to prove herself at 1600m so the distance here is a query but racing like she will get it and definitely fit enough to attempt it. Will probably be tested by the class of the top few chances but is in very good form and has place claims on that basis, especially should substantial rain arrive on the day.

10. Overplay: Is a talented 3yo who won the Tasmanian Guineas over this distance in Hobart. Dropping back from the 2200m of the Derby where his saddle slipped so that run can be forgiven. Has only had the six runs this prep so might still have something to give although the other staying 3yo Double You Tee was beaten over this trip on Sunday in much easier grade. WFA conditions help but still might find these a bit tough and place seems best.

Next best 5. Beaufort Lad (overcame a slow tempo to win well last time, this is his right trip and might run into a place if the rain arrives).

Verdict

Hard to go past Hellova Street (1) and if we see the same horse as in Hobart he should win again.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Hellova Street for 6 units

Race 9 – 18:14 Sky Racing Launceston Cup (2400 METRES)

Speed Map

Looks to be more natural speed here than the Hobart Cup and a bigger field should aid a stronger tempo too. Earl Da Vinci led in Hobart and will probably have to roll forward again from his outside draw but will have more competition from the Victorian The Mighty Jrod who likes to run along, Kanji and Gallow Gate. Pretty Punk may elect to take a trail this time from her inside draw while Geegees Goldengirl probably has to go forward from her wide gate. Expect a more genuine tempo than Hobart so another mid-race shake up looks unlikely.

Major Players

1. Berisha: Is the class runner of the field, having won a Mornington Cup and only three runs ago ran 4th in the Group 2 Zipping Classic behind The Taj Mahal, finishing alongside last year’s winner Big Duke. Had his first run for John Sadler last time in the Colac Cup and ran home strongly under 62.5kg to run 2nd in a nice lead in to this. Has plenty of weight but is a genuine stayer and should appreciate a strong tempo given he likes to race back in the field. Looks the best chance of the new blood.

2. Pretty Punk: Comes here in search of the bonus after scoring a gutsy win in the Hobart Cup. Gives herself every chance on speed and should get a nice trail from her inside draw. The concerns this time are the likelihood of a stronger tempo and the rise to 58kg which is a big ask for a mare at this trip. Clearly good enough to be considered a winning chance again but has a couple more questions to answer this time.

3. Andrea Mantegna: Was well supported to run favourite in Hobart and ran a narrow 2nd after enjoying a good run trailing the speed. That was his first 2400m run in Australia so expect he will be better for that run under his belt but this could be a much stronger test. Has the right trainer/jockey combo and still looks to have something to give so deserve to be top pick.

4. Geegees Goldengirl: Didn’t appreciate settling midfield on a slow tempo in Hobart so Carr whipped around the field approaching the 800m to lead and she stuck on well enough from there to run 5th, beaten 2 lengths. Still have concerns at the 2400m, especially with a stronger tempo likely, and she has failed in this race in the past after coming off good runs in Hobart. May also have to work early from her wide draw so minor place claims appear best.

5. Bondeiger: Is a former Victoria Derby placegetter who didn’t win for over 3 years before returning to the winner’s circle two starts ago at Moonee Valley and then strung two together with a win in Adelaide last time. Comes through easier races than some of the other mainlanders but wasn’t too far behind Pretty Punk three runs back when unsuited by the tempo and was within a couple of lengths of Andrea Mantegna the run before that. Runs the trip and stablemate to Andrea Mantegna. Needs to step up again but capable.

6. Fastnet Dragon: Was the first local home in Hobart, running on into 3rd out wide after enjoying a nice track up from the rear of the field. Peaked on his run late so should be fitter again and may have a little more improvement still to come. Was in the right spot last time and isn’t totally proven in a strongly run 2400m but if he goes on from his last run he is clearly in the mix here

7. Up Cups: Won this race two years ago and has started to hit his straps in recent runs after it looked like his career may be over. His 4th in the Hobart Cup was full of merit considering he was trapped away on the inside when the moves came wider out and was then forced to make his run home on the inside of the entire field in the straight when the ground was quite clearly better out wide. He did a great job to finish as close as he did and he appeals as a genuine each way chance at longer odds here.

8. Brilliant Jet: Had to cover a bit of ground early in Hobart from his wide draw but had a reasonable run midfield once he slotted in. Was out-sprinted on turning when the heat went on but kept finding the line to finish midfield and was running through the line so a stronger run 2400m doesn’t look an issue. Will get a softer run early from the inside draw but if the rain comes he might be at a disadvantage racing nearer the rail. Has to make a big leap to win but has a rough place chance.

9. Eastender: Was very well supported to run second favourite in Hobart but was disappointing on face value in finishing midfield. Newitt made a sharp mid-race move to get outside the leader but was then out-sprinted around the bend and only battled away in the straight. May be far better suited here with a stronger tempo likely, loves this track and any rain would be a bonus. Might be overlooked here on his Hobart run so may be the big value runner if you are happy to forgive his Hobart run.

10. Settler’s Stone: Went around at big odds in Hobart and wasn’t suited settling near the rear behind a slow tempo but worked home as he always does to finish within 4 lengths of the winner. Genuine stayer who lacks the turn of foot of the main chances but ran 4th in this race off a similar Hobart run after bombing the start and also ran 5th the year before. Stronger tempo will suit so has rough place claims at longer odds.

11. Gallow Gate: Beat Earl Da Vinci and Bidirectional here two starts ago when racing outside the lead before taking a sit last time and being shuffled back in a luckless 8th in the Night Cup when starting close to favourite. That was his first defeat at 2100m in four starts and now heads to 2400m for the first time. Clearly a big leap in grade here so while he deserves a spot in the field he will find it hard to finish in the money.

12. The Mighty Jrod: Comes here off a BM84 win at Flemington over 2000m last start where he gave a strong display from the front with only 52kg. This is a significant class rise and other mainlanders come through stronger form lines but he runs a genuine 2400m and is likely to get a comfortable run on speed. Will ensure a true staying test and sticks on so while he may be outclassed he has place claims on that basis.

13. Bidirectional: Raced his way into this race with a win last start in the Night Cup. Very versatile gelding who can roll forward or back which may help him overcome his wide draw. This is obviously much harder and this is more a stepping stone through to the St Leger which is more his grade but is a strong stayer who should finish in the first half of the field.

14. Kanji: Led in the Night Cup before finishing midfield and then finished down the track on Sunday behind Volcan De Fuego in BM72 grade. Very fit and can roll forward but is outclassed here.

15. Earl Da Vinci: Led them up in the Hobart Cup before losing his spot mid-race and wasn’t bad in sticking on for 6th, only 2.5L from the winner. Might appreciate taking a sit behind a genuine tempo and finished close enough in Hobart to suggest he has rough place claims with the right run.

16. Smoke ‘N’ Whisky: Ran 4th in the Night Cup and now backs up from racing on Sunday where he was also well held behind Volcan De Fuego. Has been well beaten in two previous attempts in this race and was going better leading into other tries. This looks far too difficult.

17. Wyuna (1st Emergency): Is a young staying mare on the up who ran a narrow 2nd behind Bidirectional in the Night Cup. First try at 2400m but races like she wants it. Badly weighted and tested in this grade but might appreciate the experience for next year.

18. Striking Prospect (2nd Emergency):  Bolted in here over 2100m in Maiden/C1 company two starts ago but this is obviously an astronomical leap in grade. Improving stayer but impossible to make a case for him this year.

Verdict

Andrea Mantegna (3) ran well when favourite in the Hobart Cup and deserves to be top pick again. Eastender (9) let the market down in Hobart but might find this much more to his liking and may be capable of sharp improvement. Berisha (1) is a stayer with a touch of class who may be good enough to carry the big weight, while locals Fastnet Dragon (6) and Up Cups (7) have chances at longer odds. Hobart Cup winner Pretty Punk (2) is in the mix but a stronger tempo and rise to 58kg is a big ask, while the other Weir runner Bondeiger (5) should be respected in a wide-open Cup.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Andrea Mantegna for 4 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Eastender for 3 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Fastnet Dragon for 1 unit

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Up Cups for 1 unit

Race 10 – 18:54 TasBreeders BM64 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

West On Broadway may lead with the blinkers on here ahead of a number of on-pacers such as Schillie Billie, Elegatano, Gee Gee Spitfire, Bounce Back, Gee Gees Blondie, Kafoo and Son Of A Fling. Expect enough pressure to give them all their chance.

Major Players

7. Taramaya Resumes from a spell here without having trialled. Is yet to place first-up in three tries but was beaten less than half a length two preps back and generally comes to hand pretty quickly. Placed in open grade behind Box Of Frogs last time in and likes soft ground so any rain is a plus. Watch the market with her fresh and she can run a big race if fancied.

1. Love Magic: Is yet to run a bad race in this state and was his usual honest self first-up in Hobart when a close-up 4th behind Red Spyder in BM72 grade. This is a clear drop in class but is penalised at the weights accordingly with 61kg even after Voorham’s claim. Loves the sting out so any rain would suit and has finished in the first couple at all four runs on this track. Talented horse who is one of the better chances in an even race.

3. West on Broadway: Is steadily improving this prep after being outclassed first-up in the Winzenberg and his latest run when beaten less than a length in BM72 grade by Shining Star and Galeocerdo was quite solid. Has the blinkers go on for the first time here and may be able to control this race from the front if they wish. Thornton is a positive booking and he handles soft ground so he looks to have a strong each way chance.

4. Bayview Emperor: Ran home quite well last time in open company to grab 3rd in the race won by Teriki on Hobart Cup day. Was suited by the tempo there with a number on speed carving each other up which may have flattered his end result but he had the blinkers on which can explain his improvement also. Drawn out should suit him as he will get back and the track may suit those coming down the outside by this time of the day. Has a knockout hope.

9. Gee Gee Spitfire: Continues to run honest races with 2nds over this course at his past two runs and he was game last time behind Steel Dan in BM58 grade. This looks considerably stronger but he is rock hard fit and drawn for a good run on speed. Proven in this grade but hasn’t won for over a year. Has each way claims again.

Next best Kafoo (2) (nice win in C1 company last time but needs to step up again) and Gee Gees Blondie (5) (ran well enough first-up when unwanted in betting and now gets Newitt on top).

Verdict

Scott Brunton holds the key to this race with four of the better chances but hard to sort out a winner. Taramaya (7) and Love Magic (1) are the class runners while West On Broadway (3) may be the improver.

Staking Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – Love Magic for 2 units

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) – West on Broadway for 2 units


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