Night racing is on again in Launceston this Wednesday with a seven race program highlighted by an Open handicap in Race 3 at 8:00pm. Blaze Forth is expected to run favourite after an impressive win here a fortnight ago but will need to be on his game against Chillout who gets blinkers for the first time and a fresh Happy Halloween. Strong stayer Bidirectional looks set to run the shortest price favourite of the night in race 6 at 9:30pm but has to come back in distance after his good 3rd in the St Leger.


Race 1 – 18:55 Chester Poll Hereford Maiden (1400 METRES)

Speed Map

La Superba may come across from the outside barrier to take up the running here ahead of likely on-pacers Kent Street, Nahla, Princess Of York and Stinka. Not necessarily a lot of pressure but the big field should result in a genuine tempo.

Major Players

6. Nahla: Had a 1400m trial leading into her last run where she ran a very solid second behind Carmina in good time over 1200m. Ready to step back up in trip now and she ran a narrow second over this course behind Go For It earlier this prep. Drawn ideally to get a gun run on speed and only has to go on from her last run to be a leading chance in an even race.

1. Kent Street: Continues to race well and battled on gamely for third last time after over racing behind the slow tempo. Previous runs over this trip were very honest and he still has some improvement to come as he sorts out his manners. Perfectly drawn but might be looking for the mile so will need luck getting into the clear at the right time. Good each way claims.

2. San You: Ran well over this course two starts back when he narrowly beat home Kent Street before going to 1600m last time and finishing on the heels of the placegetters behind Totally Wicked. Not sure he wants the drop in trip at this stage of his prep but draws for a cheap run inside and ran well the only other time Maskiell was on top. Another with a good winning chance with the right run.

3. Stinka: Kept finding the line nicely first-up when third behind Gold Phoenix when unsuited by the rail bias. Goes to this trip for the first time but last run suggested that he wants it and he can roll forward to try and overcome his tricky draw. Much more depth here but lightly raced with a bit of scope and should be in the mix with luck getting across.

9. Gee Gees Liberty: Has been ridden quietly lately and stepped up to this trip for the first time this prep to run home for second behind Levissi in Hobart. Should be better for that look at this trip and has run a couple of decent races here despite being unplaced in all four runs. Should get a soft run drawn inside for Newitt so is very capable if things pan out her way.

Next best Princess Of York (7) (ticking over alright, showed more early speed last time and beat home Stinka, first try 1400m some concern) and Lucille (11) (not far behind Gee Gees Liberty last time, needs a lot of luck with her racing pattern but in light and has ability).

Verdict

Open race. Nahla (6) was very good last week behind Carmina and looks suited going forward from an inside draw so she appeals as top pick

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Nahla for 3 Units

Race 2 – 19:25 Quamby Plains Poll Hereford 2YO Maiden (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Gee Gee Ladybird should find the front here with Little River Boy working up on her outside. Geegees First Lady and Gee Gee Born Free can settle handy, while a softer tempo might help Aspirate and Ochanda settle closer than last time.

Major Players

5. Gee Gee Ladybird: Has started her career with a pair of seconds, the latest one coming behind speedy filly Gee Gee Queen Bee over 1100m. Goes to 1200m for the first time which is a little query on her last run but draws nicely for Newitt to take up a position on speed. Beat home many of her rivals comfortably last time so she appeals as the logical favourite.

4. Little River Boy: Didn’t have much luck on debut when he covered a bit of ground but he stuck on quite well in the straight to hang on for third in the Gee Gee Queen Bee race. Has to go an extra 100m this time and draws out but has the blinkers on and should push forward to settle in the first few. Looks very competitive with the favourite on their last outing and has definite winning claims.

1. Aspirate: Ran a solid fourth in the Alfa Bowl here behind Mystic Journey before trialling nicely at Longford in plain time. Run off his feet early last time in Hobart but continued to find the line and was only a length behind Little River Boy. Looks to be crying out for 1200m if not further so if he can stay in touch he might run over the top of them late.

3. Gee Gee Born Free: Resumes here with a trial under his belt having not raced since his debut back in November. Battled home well for 3rd there despite racing wide throughout in the small field behind two horses with plenty of talent. 1200m first-up is a bit of an ask but races like it might suit. Watch betting and suggest he is not without a hope if fancied.

6. Geegees First Lady: Also resumes and came through the same trial as Gee Gee Born Free where she finished alongside him. Finished well behind that horse at her debut but improved at her subsequent runs, although her latest run was in a race run in very poor time. Carr on from the inside means she should get every possible chance in the run but will need to have improved from her first prep to be a genuine winning hope here.

Next best Ochanda (7) (inconvenienced at the start on debut and lost the plot early before running home well late, may improve sharply with race experience and has no weight).

Verdict

Gee Gee Ladybird (5) and Little River Boy (4) appeal as the obvious getting good runs on speed but go to 1200m for the first time. Lean to Little River Boy (4) with the blinkers on, while Aspirate (1) is looking for the longer trip and might be hard to hold out late.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Little River Boy for 2 units

 BACK (WIN) Aspirate for 1 unit

Race 3 – 20:00 Ross Martin Open Handicap (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Should be good speed from Apriano and Galeocerdo with Happy Halloween capable of being right on speed if he begins well also. Blaze Forth and Chillout look to get the right trail.

Major Players

2. Blaze Forth: Racing in excellent form and made amends for his unlucky second on Cup day with a dominant win last time over this course. Only goes up 1.5kg for that win and this is a pretty similar affair. Looks like getting a great trail behind a strong tempo so looks clearly the one to beat again.

4. Happy Halloween: Doesn’t come through the race won by Blaze Forth last time so is the fresh horse on the scene. Hasn’t raced since January but had a very consistent preparation which saw him win three times over this course, usually carrying big weights. Yet to prove himself in open grade but this course is his go and he is nicely weighted. Might need a slice of luck from his wide draw but if he gets across near the lead he will take some running down.

1. Chillout: Ripped home to beat Blaze Forth two starts back before rising sharply in weight and getting home fairly to run fourth behind that horse last time. Stays up in the weights but has blinkers on for the first time so may settle closer to the strong tempo from his good draw. Doesn’t know how to run a bad race so has genuine each way claims again.

3. Geegees Soprano: Got a great run through two starts back here over 1400m to win in BM78 grade before coming back to this trip where he ran on to finish fifth behind Blaze Forth. Finished alongside Chillout there so his form ties in alright for this and has had a tinker with his blinkers. Strong tempo should suit him and he has a knack at winning at knockout odds when ridden for luck. Has won 6 races over this trip so don’t underestimate.

6. Apriano: Led all the way last week in a small but quality field and the second-placed Amaword backed up on Sunday to win. Ran good time there but should find much more pressure up front to deal with this time. Was found out in open grade at his two previous runs so the combination of better grade and more pressure mean this will be much tougher.

Next best Galeocerdo (5) (was very well supported last time when he failed behind Blaze Forth, gets in very light this time but will have competition for the lead and she might find the 1200m a bit far again on that basis).

Verdict

Blaze Forth (2) was impressive last time and looks well placed again. Wary of Happy Halloween (4) who is smart when his mind is on the job, while Chillout (1) should be respected with blinkers on.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Blaze Forth for 4 units

 BACK (WIN) Happy Halloween for 1 unit

Race 4 – 20:30 Anzac Eve Races 24th April Benchmark 58 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Gee Gee Rich Ruby may be able to cross the field and take up the running but there are a number of on-pacers here who can make her work for it. Gee Gee Spitfire, Owens and Scouting Around look most likely to settle on speed with Anastasia capable of holding her spot off the inside draw.

Major Players

3. Gee Gee Spitfire: Ran a very solid second over this course behind Cimarron’s Hero two starts ago before dropping back to the 1000m for another second behind Geegees Trendsetter on Sunday in Hobart. On the quick back-up here which should suit as 1200m is as long as he likes it and he ran a close second behind Steel Dan in his only try at BM58 level. Drawn for his usual good run trailing the speed so while he doesn’t win often, he looks a leading chance once again.

2. Boart: Has been carrying big weights in this grade but continues to race well, placing here at his past three runs. Was ridden further back last time but still hit the line well to finish within a half-length of Osborne despite running out of room at the 100m. The big weight is proving difficult to overcome for the major prize and he has only won four from 48 but he rarely runs a bad race and should be in the finish again.

7. Anastasia: Resumes here after being scratched last week. Should be ready to go after a recent trial and her form last prep reads well behind a number of nice horses such as Derasa, Speedonova and Weekend Whisky. Draws inside which she can take advantage of and won first-up last time in. On the up compared to most of these so a definite chance and especially wary if the money is there to say she is ready.

5. Owens: Improved sharply third-up over this course a week ago when able to sit outside the lead and was only grabbed late by Osborne. Finished alongside Boart there which ties in well for this and may be further improved with added fitness. Tricky draw but has Maskiell on to negotiate and if he gets luck in running he can be in the finish again.

Next best Gee Gee Rich Ruby (9) (had been racing in really good form before playing up in the barriers and finishing last at her most recent run, given a short break since and looks the likely leader, fitness maybe a query but can give a sight).

Verdict

Very even race. Gee Gee Spitfire (3) and Boart (2) are racing well but neither of them win out of turn. Anastasia (7) is the fresh horse on the scene and may be the one if the inside draw isn’t a disadvantage on the softer ground.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Anastasia for 1 unit

Race 5 –  21:00 Fine Printers Benchmark 62 Hcp (1400 METRES)

Speed Map

Turtles Nest should be able to hold the lead off his inside draw with only Kelly’s Diva or Mulley’s Idol likely to push forward from wider out. Kryptonian may kick up again to be near the front like last time and Jupiter’s Moon can settle handy but the pace looks set to be steady at best.

Major Players

3. Turtles Nest: Narrowly beat Axion two starts ago before sticking on well last time behind Tough Missile when forced to work wide to sit up outside the lead. Has proven himself very capable now at 1400m and ran second over this course four runs back behind Flying Geepee. Should get a nice run on speed from his inside draw without too much pressure and looks hardest to beat.

2. Jupiter’s Moon: Improved to win well over this course two starts back in BM58 grade before having no luck last time when third behind Sentimental Dream. Has always promised a bit and looks to be getting the hang of things now and should get a nice run just behind the speed from his good draw here. Only has to hold his form to have a good each way chance again.

6. Jubilance: Ran home well to score an upset win in the Magic Millions two starts ago before working home into 4th in a hot race last time behind Uber Ed and Mister Songman. Previous run was a solid fifth behind Boltoutoftheblue over this course and this doesn’t look much harder than that. Gets back in her races so needs luck in running but with the right run or a track suiting those down the middle she will be hard to hold out late.

4. Leconte: Was only a couple of lengths behind Turtles Nest two runs back in Hobart despite being unsuited by an inside draw before finishing within three lengths of Love Magic last time here over 1200m. Much better suited back to this trip and generally races very well over this course. Will need luck drifting back from a wide draw but his best form is good enough and he is a genuine knockout chance.

11. Trophy Legs: Ran home nicely out wide here first-up behind Cimarron’s Hero and looks suited by the extra distance here. Has placed in four of her five runs over this course and does appreciate the sting out of the track. Doesn’t win often and has a tricky draw to overcome but doesn’t know how to run a bad race and has each way claims.

Next best Written Addiction (8) (not much went right last start over 1600m, better suited at this trip and previous run was good in a decent race, rough barrier but not without some hope).

Verdict

Turtles Nest (3) looks very well placed here and any sting out of the ground would be a bonus.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Turtles Nest for 5 units

Race 6 – 21:30 Prestige Bookbinders Benchmark 82 Hcp (2100 METRES)

Speed Map

No obvious speed here. Hugo may take up the running with King Manu and Sentry Duty not far away. These should get every chance rolling along up front with the rest of these preferring to settle off the pace.

Major Players

2. Bidirectional: Scored a good win in the Night Cup over this course three starts ago before trying his luck in the Launceston Cup where he was well beaten after being ridden near the hot speed. Went out to 2650m last time in the St Leger and ran a game third behind runaway winner Eastender. Has to drop back in trip considerably within a fortnight but White Hawk was able to do so last week. Only has to hold his form to be very hard to beat.

3. Sentry Duty: Got to 2100m for the first time this prep last time in Hobart and produced a very good performance at huge odds to get the prize. He had to wait for the run with 60.5kg but found the line very strongly when into the clear and he could be reasonably expected to improve again with the run over the trip under his belt. Looks suited going forward here and gets a big weight drop. Any rain seems a plus and he might go right on with the job here.

1. Hugo: Had a month off into a 1600m race in Hobart on Sunday and ran a game second behind Zatacla despite shifty ground not really being his go. Might get a rain affected track here which can dampen his winning hopes but as the ground improves so do his chances. His Brighton Cup run on speed was excellent and he might get a similar run near the front with a lack of obvious speed in this. Smart horse on his day and can definitely win if things go his way.

7. Geegees Lillybet: Worked home alright to run fourth over this course behind It’s A Battle before again running on from the back to finish within 1.2L of Sentry Duty last time in Hobart. Working her way up to a win but has only won three in 42 tries. Any sting out of the track is generally in her favour as would be any run-on bias. This class can test her but she is honest and should run well again.

4. King Manu: Has been racing well over this trip when able to go forward in slowly-run affairs and this race might be run in that manner. Forget his last run in the St Leger which was too far for him and go on his previous close seconds behind in-form Volcan De Fuego. Relatively unproven in this grade at this trip but can give a sight with a good run on speed.

Next best Olly’s A Star (8) (worked home fairly last time, yet to deliver over this trip and prefer to see him do it first).

Verdict

Bidirectional (2) is the obvious top pick but the drop in trip is a valid concern. Sentry Duty (3) scored an impressive win last time and is a genuine danger while Hugo (1) is a good horse who’s chances improve as the track gets firmer. Tricky race.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Sentry Duty for 1 unit

Race 7 – 22:00 Foot & Playsted Benchmark 68 Hcp (1600 METRES)

Speed Map

Welcome Invader looks set to take up the running with Datuk Zadragon able to work into a forward position again. Axion gets a nice trail off the inside while Player One should land in a nice spot. Those on speed should be able to run this as they like.

Major Players

6. Axion: Has been given a month between runs since his unlucky third behind Welcome Invader over this course on Cup day. Arguably would have won with clear running and now finds a very similar race where he again draws inside for a soft run. Has run well off a similar break in the past and rarely runs a bad race so rates as an obvious chance.

3. Welcome Invader: Enjoyed a nice run trailing the lead when successful over this course on Cup day, beating a number of his rivals here. Rises a bit in weight but finds a race with little pressure so he looks set to get a great run near the lead. Only has to run up to his last start win to be right in the mix again.

7. Toorak Affair: Has quite a good record when getting out of the mile, including a nose second behind Greenmount Lass earlier this prep and a reasonable 4th in open mares grade last time out. Can settle closer to the speed at this trip but awkwardly drawn so may elect to go right back. In well with Graham’s claim but this is his first ride on her and she doesn’t win often so she will need luck in running to get the prize.

4. Cheers Chappy: Has only missed a place twice in nine runs this prep so there is no doubting his consistency now they have worked out he races best as a sprinter-miler. 1400m form has been very solid but now tackles the mile for the first time since last season. Has the ability to travel and sprint home which gives him an obvious chance again but he may not be quite as effective over the mile and has only won four of 40. Can win.

Next best Datuk Zadragon (5) (flying in lower grades and has been getting gun runs, if he lobs behind the leader then he can win again but otherwise prefer others) and Player One (1) (mixes his form but won in similar grade three starts ago and loves the mile so if they turn it on early he is the swooper).

Verdict

Axion (6) looks well placed here and will take some beating but Welcome Invader (3) gets his chance to control the race and might prove hard to run down again.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Welcome Invader for 3 units


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