Racing returned to the Tapeta surface in Launceston on Easter Monday, with a 7-race card taking place on an excellent track surface. Local trainers Adam Trinder and Barry Campbell both trained winning doubles, while apprentice Chris Graham notched up his first career treble.
Race 1 – 1:10PM Lending4u 3YO Maiden (1150 METRES)
Chase And Status began well in search for the lead but Annie’s Shiraz drove up underneath her to hold her out. The tempo was solid with the overall time being reasonable for this grade.
Gee Gee Pureblonde ($8 to $6) was given a lovely run behind the leader here by Brendon McCoull and was able to burst through nearer the inside to win well. He looked to appreciate the return to his home track as he found the line a lot stronger than he has been on the turf and he was full of running on the line with the 8th fastest last 200m the best part of his race. He will need to improve again into C1 grade but should at least be competitive if he stays on this surface.
Century Arrow had a nice run outside the eventual winner and finished off alright in the straight to run a solid 2nd on debut. The Financier made good ground from back in the field to run into 3rd, just ahead of Amber In Paris who showed enough on debut to suggest she has a bit of a future. Great Expectation was well tried ($6 to $3.90) but didn’t find the line after enjoying a good run, while the $2.80 favourite Chase And Status was beaten early in the straight after being unable to find the lead.
Race 2 – 1:45PM William Street Meats Pty Ltd Maiden (900 METRES)
Classic Western was able to hold the inside from his good draw with Gasnier racing outside him and I’m A Lucky Girl forced to race three-wide. The leaders were able to run 1-2 here with nothing behind making any real impression, suggesting they were able to lead at a comfortable pace. The overall time was quite reasonable for this grade.
Gasnier didn’t have a great deal of support on debut ($6.50 to $12 back to $11) but did an excellent job to win after racing outside the leader. He dashed to the lead on straightening to get a margin over Classic Western on his inside and was able to hold that to the line, with a gap to 3rd. 900m form at Devonport doesn’t usually translate well to other conditions so it is hard to gauge what lies ahead for him but he has plenty of gate speed and can’t have done much more than that on debut.
Classic Western ($8 to $4.60) ran a good race from the inside draw and tried very hard in the straight but ran into a better one on the day. Orange Encounter wasn’t best away and took a sit behind the leaders as a result, but was unable to make any impression on them in the straight. Not much to say for the rest, with the well-backed $3 favourite Sunset Streaker never a hope after being awkwardly away.
Race 3 – 2:25PM Mother’s Day High Tea at Spreyton Maiden (1650 METRES)
Pace was genuine early before Totally Wicked went around the field from his outside draw to take up the running and dictate from there on. The pace was solid throughout with the field starting to break up approaching the home turn. The overall time was quite slow despite the tempo which casts doubt over the strength of this form.
Aljazmic was very easy in betting ($3.50 to $5.50) but defied the drift to hit the line full of running to win convincingly. She was given a gun ride by Ganderton, who persisted with inside runs after setting midfield on the rail from the inside draw. Saving the ground enabled her to burst on the scene when clear in the straight and the step up to the mile turned out to be right up her alley. The time was slow and she had a great run but she won in dominant fashion and should only improve with further experience over this trip so her immediate future looks bright enough.
Totally Wicked ($5.75 to $4.80) was well ridden by McCarthy who took control of the race in front but he just ran into a better one on the day. Winless in 18 starts suggests he is limited but he can make his own luck on speed so should remain competitive over this trip. Cheap Trick finished a distant 3rd after racing on speed throughout, just ahead of fast-finishing New Release who caught the eye from back in the field. Courte Choux was well supported at her first Tasmanian run ($3.30 to $2.80) but was disappointing after having every possible chance racing behind the leader.
Acronym held the lead pretty comfortably from her inside draw with Airlie Magic quickly up 2nd and they set a genuine tempo. The overall time was fair for this grade with only a few lengths separating the first 7 home.
Gemini landed in a great spot trailing the lead here for apprentice Nathan Punch and when he got her into the clear on straightening she won this rather convincingly despite the narrow margin at the finish. She was able to settle a bit closer here than of late yet still finish off which should help her as she moves up in grade. Her win was somewhat flattered by the perfect run she enjoyed but she has always shown ability so she may gain confidence from this to improve again.
Airlie Magic was given every chance outside the leader but did show good fight in the straight when headed to battle on for 2nd. Westerly Haze worked to the line to finish a close-up 3rd and looked to appreciate the slightly longer trip. Acronym was disappointing after enjoying a good run in front, while Pelagia was given little hope having to make her run wide from the back but hit the line with the 3rd fastest last 400m of the day so she couldn’t have done much more.
Race 5 – 3:36PM Simons Design Centre Class 4 Hcp (1350 METRES)
Cuban Missile led comfortably here from Blaze Forth and they were able to control the race. As a result they were clearly the first two home and the overall time was solid enough for this grade.
Blaze Forth ($3.90 to $3.10) enjoyed the drop in grade and Chris Graham’s claim to score a dominant win here. After racing outside the lead he hit the front pretty early in the straight and never looked in any danger in the run home. No doubt this is his best distance range but he also races very well on this surface so now he has struck form again he can continue to be very competitive in similar grade in the near future.
Cuban Missile was very firm late to start a clear favourite ($3.70 to $2.35) but after having every possible chance in front he found the winner too good. These two finished clearly ahead of Tambro’s Game who ran 3rd at $101 and is ready for something easier. Charlemagne’s Girl and Speckie were both in the market but could make no impression on the leaders who controlled the race.
As per the public change of tactics, Shiralee was ridden much more forward, working around the field to find the front as they went out of the straight at a cracking tempo. Schillie Billie also went quick early but handed up, with Spihro having the drop on them 3rd. The fast tempo resulted in a very fast overall time which was clearly the fastest of the day.
Spihro ($3.80 to $3.40) was having his first try at the mile here but ran it out emphatically to record a strong win. Pires gave him a lovely run behind the fast speed but his ability to run a solid last 400m after chasing the speed was key to holding his rivals at bay over the last 200m. That is his 4th win from 5 starts here on his home track and being able to run this distance opens up further possibilities for the future. A very consistent galloper who looks set for a successful preparation with more meetings at this track on the horizon.
Golden Kiss was very good, running home in the fastest last 200m of the day and was one of few to make good ground from back in the field all day. She also has a liking for this track despite it not really suiting her pattern and if she can hold this form she will find her right race. Shiralee ($15 to $11) was specked with the tactic change to go forward and stuck on solidly after setting a fast tempo, while Don Reggio had every chance but could only manage 4th. These horses don’t win often but the fast overall time should provide them with a good fitness base for their next starts.
Dalehill drove through to lead here from Meconsul, with favourite Steel Moon getting a gun run behind them on the fence. The speed was only average early but it picked up approaching the turn and resulted in a reasonable overall time.
Steel Moon was a firm favourite ($3.80 to $3.20) and prevailed by the narrowest of margins to give Chris Graham a winning treble. He found a lovely spot behind the leader from his middle draw and looked the winner when the gap came on straightening, but he had plenty of pressure to his outside with Meconsul laying slightly and Dalehill rolling out. Despite this he stuck to his task and was able to dig deep and win by the narrowest of margins. He has featured in higher grade than this which he most likely has to try now but has run placings behind some of the state’s better gallopers so expect another very consistent preparation.
Meconsul nearly beat Steel Moon last prep and performed right up to that with a game 2nd after racing near the lead. He enjoyed a pretty comfortable run with the lead time nothing special but he just couldn’t match the finish of the winner. King’s Spirit was very well-backed at his first run for Liandra Grey ($19 to $8.50) and went enormous, producing the fastest last 800m of the day and he would have won in one more bound. Concentrate was able to record the 2nd fastest last 800m of the day but couldn’t get into the race from the back, while Dalehill did a reasonable job racing out of his grade.