Meeting Dashboard – Launceston, Sunday 21 May

18 / 05 / 2017

Peter Staples’ Top 4 tips are indicated by red stars with four being his top pick and four gold stars the best bet of the meeting. Find these under ‘Stapes’ Top 4′:

 = top pick of the race

 = Best Bet of the meeting: STEP THE PEDAL R7, No.9

Tristan Heffernan’s Staking Strategy provides suggested bets for all thoroughbred meetings. The suggested bets are in units, so punters can decide the cost of a unit to suit their budget (e.g.  1 unit = $1). Find these under the heading ‘Staking Strategy’.

Racing returns to Launceston this Sunday for the final meeting of the Autumn Carnival with four feature races worth $30,000 on display. The rail is out 5m for the entire circuit and with rain forecast for the weekend we can expect a genuinely wet track which gets as far as Heavy. With a break since the last meeting the track should hold up alright but expect horses to get wider as the meeting goes on, especially if it rains during the day on Sunday.

Race 1 - 11:36AM National Hall of Fame Maiden (1200 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 1 – 11:36AM National Hall of Fame Maiden (1200 METRES)

Chase And Status looks capable of crossing the field here to lead. Many of these can be handy – Trophy Legs, Egalitarian, Red Harvest, Need A Queen, and maybe Mystic Molly and Arving from wide out. This should result in at least a solid tempo.

Trophy Legs (9) is a handy filly resuming from a spell here with a trial under her belt. Ran a close-up 3rd in the Sires Produce on this day last year on wet ground. Placed at both runs this course behind a couple of smart gallopers in Zatala and Banca Dream at the start of her last preparation. Has placed 7 times from 10 starts and all her form reads strongly for a race of this nature. Drawing out may be a little tricky but she appeals as the top chance on exposed form.

Laughing Heir (2) makes his debut here for Paul Maher after a very impressive trial performance where he ran straight past Trophy Legs. Was nominated for the 3yo race in Hobart a fortnight ago so the stable looks to have an opinion of him. Hard ask first-up at 1200m if the track is particularly heavy but he looks set to give this a shake if he runs up to his trial. Big market watch.

Need A Queen (13) is a 2yo filly taking on the older horses here. Trialled twice before her first-up run over 1000m where she battled on well for 2nd behind the promising City Of Dreams. Silver Road has come out of that race and won since. Step up to 1200m looks suitable and she looks to be improving with racing. Looks to have an each-way hope here.

Mystic Molly (6) had been finding the line well to run a couple of 3rds before pushing forward last time and battling on alright behind Majestic Bow. Comes up with an awkward draw here but may be able to slot in if she rolls forward again and it may not be too bad to get caught wide on wet ground. Has had 5 weeks between runs so maybe a little fitness query there but her last few runs are good enough to rate a chance in this.

Red Harvest (7) ran a reasonable race over this course at his only career start when 4th behind Owens in what was a pretty weak maiden. Spelled since then and comes here with a trial under her belt. Bred to appreciate wet ground but will find this tougher than her first start and is preferred on a place basis.

Next best Chase And Status (4) (has plenty of speed but has disappointed since good first-up run, not sure 1200m is what she wants either and failed only try on wet ground).

Verdict: Trophy Legs (9) can win resuming here but have real respect for the debutant Laughing Heir (2).

STAKING STRATEGY: 4 units to win on Trophy Legs (9) and 2 units to win on Laughing Heir (2).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 9×308 ARVING Paul Hill Yassy Nishitani 15 58.5kg
2 LAUGHING HEIR Paul Maher Sigrid Carr 2 58.5kg  2 WIN
3 ZERO POINT Dylan Clark Hayley McCarthy 7 58.5kg
4 7x9x56x276 CHASE AND STATUS Cameron Thompson Chris Graham 11 56.5kg
5 0099x KIRBY JANE Marion Dalco Bulent Muhcu (late alt) 5 56.5kg
6 84x90x334 MYSTIC MOLLY Barry Baker Boris Thornton (a0) 14 56.5kg
7 4x RED HARVEST Paul Maher Troy Baker 8 56.5kg
8 7 TILOKA John Blacker Nathan Punch , (late alt) 12 56.5kg
9 3x3223330x TROPHY LEGS Chris Crook & Imogen Miller Brendon McCoull 10 56.5kg  4 WIN
10 8 BOSS CAT John Blacker Daniel Ganderton 4 56kg
11 4×0 EGALITARIAN John Blacker Shuji Amano 6 56kg
12   FRENCH DANDY John Blacker   1 54kg
13 6×2 NEED A QUEEN John Blacker Jason Benbow 9 54kg
14 7 RODESSA John Blacker Anthony Darmanin (late alt) 16 54kg
15e 688876986x MIGHTY HOFFA Douglas Brazendale   3 58.5kg
16e 0698×56780 ST DE SALES Troy Blacker 13 58.5kg

Race 2 - 12:10PM Cancer Council Tasmania Relay For Life Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 2 – 12:10PM Cancer Council Tasmania Relay For Life Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Should be good pressure here with Westerly Haze likely to be pressured up front by Give Us A Winner and Ain’t The Whisky. What An Option and Parisian Lush can be there too with Mona. Fragment, Majestic Bow, Schillie Billie and Banca Dream can all be in the forward half also so expecting a keenly contested affair.

Fragment (1) looked a horse loaded with ability at his first prep, following up a sensational debut win with an arguably unlucky defeat second-up behind smart filly Toorak Affair. Tuned up for this with two trials and won on debut over 1220m so should be right to go. Hasn’t seen really wet ground so that is a minor query, as is the inside draw if he misses the start like he did at his second run. Very hard to beat if he does everything right but a little wary he is still learning the caper at just his third start here.


Banca Dream (2) is a big strong gelding who also showed plenty of ability at his first preparation. Very strong here at his second run to win over this course, beating a handy mare in Lucky Option. Performed well at 1400m suggesting the 1200m fresh should suit with a trial under his belt. Drawn out probably suits him as he takes a bit to wind up. Big watch on the betting first-up.

Majestic Bow (3) won well over this course three starts ago in his first Tasmanian run before racing alright in Devonport at his past couple. In well again with Graham’s claim and should be suited drawn out sitting behind a good tempo. Should benefit from having a couple of runs in this grade and may improve getting back on the turf. Genuine each-way hope.

Westerly Haze (4) is a game on-pacer who won his maiden over this course comfortably before also placing in C1 grade at his next start. Past couple at Devonport have been solid and showed he was capable of taking a sit if the pressure is too strong. Should land in a good spot from a good draw and previous form at this track is good enough to be in the finish here.

Schillie Billie (8) ran a much better race when dropping back to 1200m last time, finishing a good 2nd behind runaway winner West On Broadway. Should appreciate a strong tempo again and has placed on all three starts on heavy ground in Victoria. Has only won 1 from 28 so hard to be confident in her winning chances but with a further 11 placings she holds obvious appeal on a place basis.

Next best Mona (7) (resumes from a spell with 3 trials under her belt so should be fit enough but runs into a tough C1).

Verdict: Fragment (1) looks a horse going places and is clearly top pick here but a little wary if he comes up very short as he still has a bit to learn. Think there are four genuine dangers who can be entertained if overlooked by the market.

STAKING STRATEGY: 4 units to win on Fragment (1).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 12x FRAGMENT Barry Campbell Boris Thornton (a0) 2 59kg  4 WIN
2 4133x BANCA DREAM Angela Brakey Sigrid Carr 12 58.5kg
3 53×359127 MAJESTIC BOW Adam Trinder Chris Graham 9 58kg
4 559×1336 WESTERLY HAZE Peter Luttrell Bulent Muhcu 5 57.5kg  
5 9×05844146 GEE GEE PUREBLONDE Leon, Dean & Trent Wells Yassy Nishitani 11 56.5kg
6 9x551x0 GLISTENING STAR Terence Evans Troy Baker 1 55.5kg
7 46x2136x0x MONA Monica Ryan Nathan Punch 13 55kg
8 26×2427372 SCHILLIE BILLIE Cameron Thompson Jason Benbow 3 55kg
9 272331226x TRIPPIN AWAY Leon, Dean & Trent Wells Daniel Ganderton 14 55kg
10 x2218x80x6 WHAT AN OPTION Chester Roach  David Pires 4 54kg  
11 23x13400x6 AIN’T THE WHISKY Mark Ganderton Anthony Darmanin 10 54kg
12 237x0648x9 GIVE US A WINNER Vern Poke Shuji Amano 6 54kg
13 98457069×0 GEE GEES SUPREME Leon, Dean & Trent Wells Georgie Catania 7 54kg
14 79×4589080 PARISIAN LUSH Vern Poke  Hayley McCarthy 8 54kg

Race 3 - 12:45PM Deloraine Hotel Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 3 – 12:45PM Deloraine Hotel Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Meteor Strike and Son Of A Fling look the leaders here. Our Queenie and Lads Curfew look to kick up from the inside, while Only Kiss and The Desperate may push forward from wider out. Pop A Lefty can be thereabouts also. Should be a solid tempo.

Son Of A Fling (3) did well to beat subsequent winner West On Broadway to break his maiden three starts back on soft ground before running two solid races in this grade and above since. Pires takes back the reins this time, having won on him at his last ride, and he should appreciate the genuinely wet ground. Should get a reasonable run near the lead but the last bit of 1200m looks the test. One of the leading chances and hard to beat if he runs the trip strongly.

Meteor Strike (4) backs up from a good 2nd at Devonport over 1350m where he ran along at a good clip but couldn’t hold off the horse who had the suck run behind him. Has run a number of good races in this grade and should make his own luck on speed again. Major issue is the wet surface, with Ganderton noting he didn’t handle the shifty conditions first-up when 4th. His best is clearly good enough but some query over the ground with him.

Trusted Warrior (1) resumes after a Derby campaign which saw him place 3rd in the Listed Hobart Guineas. Won second-up over this course last prep and as a 2yo on this day last year he ran a close 2nd in the Sires Produce behind Hard Empire on wet ground. Will give them a big start but drawing out suits and if the fence is choppy already he looks a big chance swooping down the outside for McCoull. Definite chance.

Lads Curfew (5) won well here second-up over this course and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th horses from that have all won again since. Went to Devonport last time but was only plain, much like his trips there early in his career, so he may prefer racing on turf. Should get a good run from an inside draw providing the fence is holding up and while he hasn’t seen wet ground he is nice and fit to cope with it. Genuine each-way claims.

Next best The Desperate (8) (resumes from a spell with a trial under his belt, bolted in his maiden over this course on heavy ground and is drawn out with no weight for Graham, not the worst).

Verdict: Son Of A Fling (3) and Meteor Strike (4) may control this race from the front but not sure either will be totally strong through the line. Can entertain Trusted Warrior (1) for that reason and look for him to be finishing hard late.

STAKING STRATEGY: 2 units to win on Trusted Warrior (1).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 2x6166538x TRUSTED WARRIOR Chris Crook & Imogen Miller Brendon McCoull 12 59kg  2 WIN
2 31 CIMARRON’S HERO Barry Baker Hayley McCarthy 13 58.5kg
3 3x65x2173 SON OF A FLING Tegan Keys David Pires 7 58kg
4 x372x9x452 METEOR STRIKE Mark Ganderton Daniel Ganderton 5 57kg
5 7x5580x819 LADS CURFEW Ken & Tanya Hanson Anthony Darmanin 2 56.5kg
6 6150x MINNA LASS Kaye Milne Nathan Punch 10 55.5kg
7 8932221208 POP A LEFTY Cameron Thompson Boris Thornton (a0) 3 55kg
8 946x80007x THE DESPERATE Rowan Hamer Chris Graham 11 55kg
9 363218x00x ONLY KISS Paul Maher Georgie Catania 6 54.5kg
10 67021866×0 GEE GEES TALK FEST Leon, Dean & Trent Wells Sigrid Carr 9 54kg
11 x029086x79 BECERIKLI Leon, Dean & Trent Wells Sherry Barr 4 54kg
12 573498x09x OUR QUEENIE Adrian Duggan Troy Baker 1 54kg
13 7067087990 PLEASE DANCE (NZ) Vern Poke Shuji Amano  8 54kg

Race 4 - 1:25PM J G Pest Control Benchmark 62 Hcp (1600 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 4 – 1:25PM J G Pest Control Benchmark 62 Hcp (1600 METRES)

Should be good speed here with Dangerpet, Dalehill and Welcome Invader all rolling forward. Appmat and It’s A Battle can be handy, as can Follow My Dust and the emergency The Austrian Oak may push forward from wider out back onto the turf.

Follow My Dust (1) is racing very honestly, with a couple of solid recent runs following a win over this trip on wet ground in Hobart three starts ago. Proven at a level above this grade but has been given 61kg as a result. Interestingly the stable have elected not to claim and put Pires on top instead, suggesting they are not too concerned with the impost. Hard to win with the weight but has the right form and looks a leading chance in a wide race.

Welcome Invader (8) had been racing very well at this track before failing last time in Hobart so he may bounce back here. Wet ground holds no fears and his win four starts ago over this course was most impressive. Makes his own luck on speed but his winning strike rate of 3 wins from 42 starts is clearly a concern. Prefer him on an each-way basis for that reason.

Reann’s Diamond (14) was out of form for a long time but since getting to the mile two starts ago she has produced two very good runs. Won in C3 company two starts ago before going very close in BM68 class last time. Stays down in the weights and will do no work from a good draw for Baker. Very wet ground is a slight query but only has to maintain her current form to be in the finish again.

Storm Gust (6) blew the start by 5 lengths first-up and while he was well beaten he produced some very good late sectionals. Goes quickly to a mile second-up but did win second-up here on heavy ground last prep, albeit over 1420m. The blinkers come off here (much like the winkers coming off the day of that win) and McCoull now takes the ride. Strong staying type who should improve sharply here and is in the mix.

Speckie (4) has been up a long time but continues to finish close-up in his races, including last time when only beaten half a length when 4th behind Matiano. Races well here and generally finishes in the mix when dropped back to this grade. Another with a poor winning strike rate but has placed on heavy ground and can show up without surprising.

Next best It’s A Battle (2) (tough win in Maiden/C1 grade last week in Devonport over the mile with blinkers on, on the up but this is harder) and Impulsive Lager (10) (ready for the mile now and suited drawn out, knockout chance if swoopers are featuring).

Verdict: Very open race this with many chances. Going to stick with Welcome Invader (8) on an each-way basis but there are easier races on the program.

STAKING STRATEGY: 1 unit each way on Welcome Invader (8).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 x277733135 FOLLOW MY DUST Scott Brunton David Pires 16 61kg
2 26×9153431 IT’S A BATTLE Barry Campbell Chris Graham 10 59.5kg
3 0826354385 DANGERPET Adam Trinder Nathan Punch 3 59kg
4 52663×3454 SPECKIE Marion Dalco Hayley McCarthy 11 59kg
5 263×647568 ASH FOR CASH Barry Goodrick Georgie Catania 13 58.5kg
6 x3162219x9 STORM GUST Adam Trinder Brendon McCoull 8 58kg
7 9054082145 STRATHALBYN John Blacker Jason Benbow 17 58kg
8 59×0041520 WELCOME INVADER John Blacker Shuji Amano 14 58kg  1 EACH WAY
9 1165890×65 APPMAT Brendan Mcshane Bulent Muhcu 2 57.5kg
10 23118×2676 IMPULSIVE LAGER Cameron Thompson Sigrid Carr 12 57.5kg
11 48218×0896 LIFE’S QUEST Marion Dalco Anthony Darmanin 5 56.5kg
12 163312×520 DALEHILL Rowan Hamer Daniel Ganderton 9 55.5kg
13 4135×98349 ISLAND TIGER Tammy Mollross Sherry Barr 1 55.5kg
14 7800660613 REANN’S DIAMOND Leon Laskey Troy Baker 6 55.5kg
15e 29257×3790 THE AUSTRIAN OAK (NZ) Cameron Thompson Boris Thornton 15 56.5kg
16e 5537×64249 QUI SAMER Chris Crook & Imogen Miller   4 56.5kg
17e 0695812224 GRAND FAITH Kelvin Southey   7 54kg


Race 5 - 2:02PM Meander Valley Council Tas Sires Produce (1400 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 5 – 2:02PM Meander Valley Council Tas Sires Produce (1400 METRES)

With 2yos getting out to 1400m there can often be horses going forward that haven’t done so previously so caution with the map is advised. On exposed form there doesn’t look to be too much pressure at the front end with Gasnier likely to take up the running. Gee Gee Lanett and Gee Gees Liberty can be handy while Geegee Blackprince may be ridden a tad quieter after failing on speed last time.

Gee Gee Lanett (7) is a quality, professional filly who comes here looking for the hat-trick after winning the two lead-up events in Hobart. Was dominant on both occasions and strong at the finish, suggesting the step up to 1400m will suit her just as much as any of these. Inside draw may be tricky if the fence is chopping out but she has the speed to go forward and with little pressure up front she may be able to get away from the inside pretty comfortably. Wet ground hasn’t been an issue and both runs this track have been good. Clearly the one to beat.

Geegee Blackprince (4) returns to race his own age after a pair of runs against older horses over this trip. Good effort two starts back behind Weekend Whisky before racing too close to a strong tempo last time with winkers on and battling to the line. Winkers come back off and he has had a trial to keep him up to the mark. Hasn’t seen genuinely wet ground but his famous half-brother Geegees Blackflash revelled in it. Is the new blood here with the knockout chance.

Geegee Rock’n’run (1) looks to be crying out for the 1400m after a couple of runs in Hobart. Ran a good 2nd two starts back behind Gee Gee Lanett and can be forgiven for his last run when he got a long way back on a track which has difficult to make ground on. Both runs at this track were very good and Darmanin sticks with him. Expect a better effort here and looks a strong place chance at least.

Gasnier (2) did a good job last time when going from a 900m Devonport maiden win to run 3rd behind Gee Gee Lanett in Hobart. Now goes to 1400m at his 3rd start which may be an ask if particularly heavy ground but his ability to go forward looks an advantage here. May have been suited last time being able to race forward but still looks one of the better chances outside the favourite.

Bosporus (3) is a strong type of colt who found the line well last time behind Gee Gee Lanett when first-up. Has raced well at this track in good 2yo races over the carnival and looks ideally suited to 1400m. Is always finding the line so the tougher this is the better for him and he is yet to run a bad race. Might not have the sharpness of the better ones here but will be strong late.

Next best Pennstock (6) (showed ability at trials then not bad on debut, better for that and looks a horse in the making but tough ask again here second-up) and Jubilance (9) (has the form at this trip with a win at 1350m last time against older horses but this looks tougher).

Verdict: Gee Gee Lanett (7) continues to dominate her opposition and think she can do so again here.

STAKING STRATEGY: 8 units to win on Gee Gee Lanett (7).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 4x413x29 GEEGEE ROCK’N’RUN Stuart Gandy Anthony Darmanin 2 56kg
2 13 GASNIER Adam Trinder Chris Graham (a) 10 56kg
3 436×5 BOSPORUS Brendan Mcshane Bulent Muhcu 4 56kg
4 7×236 GEEGEE BLACKPRINCE Stuart Gandy Troy Baker 7 56kg
5 4 DOUBLE YOU TEE John Blacker Jason Benbow 8 56kg
6 6 PENNSTOCK Barry Campbell Brendon McCoull 5 56kg
7 2×3411311 GEE GEE LANETT Stuart Gandy Sigrid Carr 1 55.5kg  8 WIN
8 27×234 GEE GEES CAN TELL Leon, Dean & Trent Wells Georgie Catania 3 54kg
9 741 JUBILANCE Barry Campbell Nathan Punch (a) 6 54kg
10 43×33 GEE GEES LIBERTY Leon, Dean & Trent Wells 9 54kg


Race 6 - 2:37PM Brooklyn Park 3YO Classic (1400 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 6 – 2:37PM Brooklyn Park 3YO Classic (1400 METRES)

Limited speed here, much like the 1200m lead-up a fortnight ago. Angel Of The Abyss probably takes up the running, with Chillout, Count Montagu and Mariah’s Magic most likely to settle handy. Without much pressure those landing on speed should get their chance.

Chillout (1) is a wonderfully consistent gelding who comes here having beaten his rivals last time in Hobart with 59kg. Much better treated under the weight scale here and won his only try at 1400m, albeit in a four horse field. Has the tactical speed to get a great run for McCoull and has won here on wet ground. Ticks a lot of boxes and is the one to beat.

Angel Of The Abyss (10) has been very good at both runs this prep, the latest a narrow 2nd behind Chillout in Hobart. Should get a great run on speed again and while she failed at her only try over 1400m she was immediately spelled and was talked up as an Oaks style of filly earlier in her career. Won her maiden by a space on wet ground so the rain poses no issues. Has a great each-way chance again.

Frog In A Pond (8) was fancied last time after a good 3rd at 1100m but after being slowly away he was left with too much left to do in a race dominated by the on-pacers. First go out to 1400m but looks suited by the extra trip. Yet to see really wet ground but his half-brother Box Of Frogs is a duck so he may appreciate it. Has measured up in this grade already and looks a definite hope here.

Zatacla (3) is a Guineas placed colt who was a run behind the others last time when finishing midfield behind Chillout over 1200m. Will enjoy the step up in trip and at his only look at ground wetter than Soft 5 he won in dominant fashion over a mile. Capable of settling a bit handier if the tempo is muddling and like Ganderton getting back aboard. Expecting sharp improvement and he is right in the mix.

Count Montagu (4) ran a game 3rd last time behind Chillout and Angel Of The Abyss but was no match for the first couple. 1400m form is quite strong with a C1 win and a C3 2nd at his two attempts so he should appreciate the step up in trip. Hasn’t seen genuinely wet ground but handles sting out alright. Should be thereabouts again.

Next best Mariah’s Magic (9) (racing well in this grade and ran a close 2nd to Chillout over 1400m earlier this prep).

Verdict: Even race again with not much between these 3yos. Chillout (1) appeals as the obvious under the weight conditions and will take some beating but going to try Frog In A Pond (8) who will appreciate the extra trip and should like the conditions.

STAKING STRATEGY: 2 units each way on Frog In A Pond (8).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 1227212151 CHILLOUT Barry Campbell Brendon McCoull 8 57.5kg
2 4x214135x0 BARJEEL Marion Dalco Bulent Muhcu 2 57.5kg
3 x1923143x7 ZATACLA John Blacker Daniel Ganderton 4 57kg
4 5481435203 COUNT MONTAGU Terence Evans Troy Baker 9 57kg
5 6131224×90 MULLEY’S IDOL John Blacker Chris Graham (a) 11 57kg
6 65311 THE FINANCIER Kath Kennedy & Kirstin Whelan Hayley McCarthy (a) 1 57kg
7 4790221×85 GOODBYE LONESOME Royston Carr Sigrid Carr 10 56kg
8 1335 FROG IN A POND Scott Brunton Anthony Darmanin 7 56kg  2 EACH WAY
9 7003022144 MARIAH’S MAGIC John Blacker Nathan Punch (a) 5 55kg
10 6x31160x12 ANGEL OF THE ABYSS Scott Brunton David Pires 6 55kg
11 x5517x5866 JANSZ Rowan Hamer Georgie Catania 3 54kg

Race 7 - 3:12PM First National Real Estate Deloraine Open Hcp (1400 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 7 – 3:12PM First National Real Estate Deloraine Open Hcp (1400 METRES)

My Paige Three and O’Lonh Star look most likely to take up the running here with Blaze Forth, Ollie’s Gold and Harvey Bay taking up positions near the lead. Should be a genuine tempo.

Step The Pedal (9) is racing in great form, having won her last four starts, and looks well in under the set weight conditions here. Ready for this trip again after two 1200m wins and her only run over this course was a super 4th in the Vamos Stakes. Pires sticks with her and she loves the wet so heavy ground would only be a further advantage. Suited by the likely genuine tempo and appeals as a clear top pick.

Harvey Bay (5) is another in excellent form, having won three of his past four starts, all over this trip. Dominant at his past couple and wide draw may turn out an advantage by this stage of the day. Ran 2nd to Blaze Forth here last year on wet ground when early in his career so should handle conditions. Looks one of the main dangers to the favourite.

Blaze Forth (2) continues to race honestly in slightly easier grade and loves this distance range. Won on this day last year in the 3yo Classic on wet ground in dominant fashion and this will be his first look at a genuinely rain-affected track since. Should get a good run stalking the lead and has raced well against most of the better chances in this. Has a good each-way hope.

My Paige Three (10) is a good mare who will be much fitter here after a plain first-up run behind Step The Pedal in Hobart. Loves this distance range, having won all five starts, and looks much better placed with the opportunity to take closer to the lead at this trip. Has won on wet ground so no issue there but won’t want the inside chopping out too much having drawn barrier one. Well weighted so look for a much improved effort this time.

Beaufort Lad (6) has been freshened since three runs over 1600m. Showed with a 3rd on Cup day behind Lord Da Vinci he is right up to this grade and he loves wet ground. Has won twice at this distance range and drawing out should suit him. Another who has a genuine hope in a competitive race.

Next best Livermore (7) (good 1400m horse better for the first-up run and up to this grade), O’Lonh Star (8) (tough on-pacer suited by the rise in trip but this is toughest ask yet) and Steel Moon (4) (in great form at Devonport but very capable this track, 1400m may test).

Verdict: Hard to go past Step The Pedal (9) with her favoured heavy conditions expected. Can’t forget Blaze Forth’s (2) win last year under similar conditions however so want to have something on him also.

STAKING STRATEGY: 6 units to win on Step The Pedal (9) and 2 units to win on Blaze Forth (2).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 x98304372x OLLIE’S GOLD Gary White Nathan Punch (a) 3 59kg
2 8713764173 BLAZE FORTH John Blacker Anthony Darmanin 2 58kg  2 WIN
3 579548×136 GEEGEES SOPRANO Stuart Gandy Sigrid Carr 4 57.5kg
4 5113324×11 STEEL MOON Adam Trinder Brendon McCoull 8 57kg
5 8892231311 HARVEY BAY Adam Trinder Chris Graham (a) 10 57kg
6 2133103124 BEAUFORT LAD John Blacker Jason Benbow 9 57kg
7 90x14698x2 LIVERMORE Brendan Mcshane Bulent Muhcu 6 57kg
8 951612×116 O’LONH STAR John Keys Troy Baker 5 57kg
9 3346341111 STEP THE PEDAL Scott Brunton David Pires 7 55.5kg  6 WIN
10 41121111×5 MY PAIGE THREE Tegan Keys Boris Thornton (a) 1 55kg


Race 8 - 3:50PM Deloraine Community Tas St Leger (2400 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 8 – 3:50PM Deloraine Community Tas St Leger (2400 METRES)

Little speed here on paper. Look for Geegees Goldengirl to roll forward, as may the roughie Geegees Lillybet. Son Of Faith and Accounted Four can be handy to the speed, but the majority of these like to settle down midfield or worse. Getting to 2400m means there may be a surprise runner going forward but in general those settling on speed will get every chance.

Demons Run (2) won this race last year on wet ground and looks likely to get conditions to suit again. Racing in great heart with three placings leading in and his last effort when 3rd behind Cheryl’s Horse suggested he was spot on for this. Pires jumps back on here for what looks his grand final. Hasn’t won since last year’s St Leger but is very well placed and looks hardest to beat.

Geegees Goldengirl (1) is the class runner of the field but has to give the rest 4kg as a result. Ran two game races over 2400m in the major Cups and two lead-up runs have been alright. All three heavy track runs have been good and she should get a nice run near the lead. Has been found out by a testing 2400m previously, albeit in harder grade, so a little query there but still rates highly in this company.

Eastender (7) is the intriguing runner of the race – a highly promising 3yo stayer making a big leap in grade from BM62 company. Very impressive Maiden/C1 2130m winner here three starts ago and not suited by last couple on tighter track over shorter trip. Should love this trip and will appreciate big weight drop but the step up in class is the obvious query. Runs time that suggests he is more equipped to make the step than your average galloper. Big ask but can’t underestimate.

King Manu (4) is going super, running home strongly at his past couple of starts behind Cheryl’s Horse and beating home many of his rivals in this last time. Ran 2nd in this race last year although comprehensively beaten, but was a tad disappointing over 2450m back in November. Barrier is no help but loves wet ground. Comes through the right form line so has an each-way chance despite the little distance query.

Accounted Four (3) is a really strong stayer who hasn’t quite put it together in two starts since a spell. Gets to 2400m quickly but crying out for the trip and is well performed on heavy ground. Won twice impressively at this track last time in over 2100m and is capable of landing handy to the speed if the tempo is muddling. A big form turnaround would not surprise out to this trip and he can win.

Next best Divine Denona (6) (not far away last time, Benbow had good association with her in Victoria and will relish 2400m), Matiano (8) (no match for Eastender two back before good win last time, big jump in grade but very good wet and can find a place) and Son Of Faith (5) (racing well but query getting to this trip).

Verdict: Demons Run (2) should get the wet conditions he loves here and he can make it back-to-back St Legers. Very even race however with many of these capable of filling a place at least.

STAKING STRATEGY: 6 units to win on Demons Run (2).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 7475146×54 GEEGEES GOLDENGIRL Stuart Gandy Sigrid Carr 3 58kg
2 078408×223 DEMONS RUN Scott Brunton David Pires 6 54kg  6 WIN
3 x511110x77 ACCOUNTED FOUR Scott Brunton Boris Thornton 5 54kg
4 1333107532 KING MANU (NZ) Tegan Keys Troy Baker 11 54kg
5 4272533415 SON OF FAITH Dylan Clark Hayley McCarthy 4 54kg
6 4254031126 DIVINE DENONA Scott Brunton Jason Benbow 7 54kg
7 74×413127 EASTENDER Barry Campbell Anthony Darmanin 1 54kg
8 x721423221 MATIANO Ray Worbey Bulent Muhcu 9 54kg
9 7640×45356 SHIRALEE Gary White Shuji Amano 2 54kg
10 001228 BROADWAY VELVET Bill Ryan Georgie Catania 8 54kg
11 4415844426 GEEGEES LILLYBET Rodney Seymour Nathan Punch 10 54kg

Race 9 - 4:30PM Blair & Sons Sawmill Class 4 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Click here for Tristan Heffernan's Preview

Race 9 – 4:30PM Blair & Sons Sawmill Class 4 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Should be good speed here. Nielson probably looks to carve across from his wide gate while Apriano should be right in the firing line. Lady Jane, D’inzeo and Happy Halloween are all capable of being right amongst the leaders also, with Gallow Gate settling handy from the good draw. Every horse should get their chance.

Apriano (1) continues to race very consistently and comes here off a game 2nd in Open company last time behind the flying Step The Pedal. Loves this course, with his last three attempts here returning two wins and a nose defeat. Capable of carrying weight and has won on heavy ground in Victoria. May cop some pressure up front but showed three starts back he is able to take the sit if required. Looks the one they have to beat.

Nielson (3) is a fast galloper in good form and stays down in the weights with Graham’s claim. Was well in the market two starts back when 4th behind O’Lonh Star and Apriano so he has the right form lines. Races best when able to dictate from the front so the pressure here is a query but wide draw will probably suit late in the day. One of the better chances.

Happy Halloween (5) showed himself to be a bit of a Launceston specialist over the summer, scoring two wins from five starts without missing a place. Showed he can run time and won the 3yo Magic Millions over this course. Should get a lovely run from a middle draw near the lead but the wet ground looks a concern as he is yet to prove himself on it in limited tries. Taking on the older horses but looks to have each-way claims.

Winston Wolfe (4) has been freshened since failing here on a funny night of racing behind Lord Farquaad. All runs in the state have been over 1400m but broke his maiden at Moonee Valley over this trip. Not sure he is well suited getting back from an inside draw here and this is his toughest test to date. Should appreciate the pressure up front and if swoopers are featuring late in the day he is one who holds appeal.

Gallow Gate (6) resumes from a short spell here after a successful summer campaign which saw him win on two occasions. Races very well here and has run well on heavy ground. Yet to prove himself in this grade but has good form around a number of the lesser chances in this. Inside draw will be track dependent – if the fence is chopping out it may be a disadvantage but if it is ok he looks to get a nice trail. In with a hope.

Next best D’inzeo (2) (up to this grade but better suited at 1400m), Charlemagne’s Girl (9) (races well here and might be drawn right spot) and Qui Samer (12) (up in grade but better suited back to 1200m and likes wet).

Verdict: Very open race to finish and very dependent on track pattern. Winston Wolfe (4) may be the one suited by the pressure up front but a very hard race to finish on.

STAKING STRATEGY: 1 unit to win on Winston Wolfe (4).

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Staking Strategy Stapes’ Top 4
1 4424113242 APRIANO John Luttrell Troy Baker 9 59kg
2 554x34152x D’INZEO Gary White Nathan Punch 10 57kg
3 x12220x142 NIELSON Adam Trinder Chris Graham 14 57kg
4 x10361416x WINSTON WOLFE Scott Brunton David Pires 2 56.5kg  1 WIN
5 37282113×5 HAPPY HALLOWEEN Stuart Gandy Sigrid Carr 6 55.5kg
6 1x5211575x GALLOW GATE John Blacker Jason Benbow 3 55kg
7 6x6337396x LADY JANE Royston Carr Shuji Amano 7 54kg
8 x234022101 ALMOST ART Barry Campbell Anthony Darmanin 11 54kg
9 x045165244 CHARLEMAGNE’S GIRL Peter Luttrell Bulent Muhcu 13 54kg
10 21372×7858 CRYSTAL FLAME Troy Blacker Georgie Catania 5 54kg
11 8471799x0x SAVRAJETTE Michael Trinder Sherry Barr 12 54kg
12 5537×64249 QUI SAMER Chris Crook & Imogen Miller Boris Thornton 4 54kg
13 0740697278 REARVIEW Cameron Thompson Hayley McCarthy 1 54kg
14 6318935490 COMMANDING DASH John Blacker 8 54kg
15e 09204×9690 RUBY’S WU Vern Poke Shuji Amano 15 54kg