New Season commences

01 / 09 / 2017 Article by: Shane Yates
Harness Racing returns to Luxbet Park Hobart tonight. icon Click to enlarge

The 2017/18 harness racing season gets underway tonight with an exciting nine-event card at Luxbet Park in Hobart.

The David Medhurst Memorial over 2090 metres is the opening race and sure to be a keenly contested affair for the claiming novice drivers.

Conor Crook has the chance to further establish himself in the Ben Yole operation when he drives Ultimate Courage. The six-year-old gelding has hit a purple patch of form winning its last two starts in impressive fashion and will be highly fancied for the hat-trick despite the tricky draw of five.

It’s a case of full speed ahead for Todd Rattray as he attempts to start the new season in the same fashion as he finished the last. The reigning Tasmanian premiership reinsman has welcomed the recent addition of seven-year-old gelding Full Speed Ahead to his Longford stables. The newcomer to the state was heavily supported into $1.90 at its Launceston debut and was desperately unlucky not to have finished closer than fourth to Strange Conduct, beaten 5.2 metres, after being held up all the way up the home straight. Full Speed Ahead has drawn two on the front line of the stand in race three the C2 or better pace, and given a safe getaway it should be a matter of throttle down and head for the judge.

Marc Butler’s Jilliby Gigi is a winner of two of its last three outings and again has the services of Gareth Rattray in race two. Jilliby Gigi defeated Olwen Jaccka in a tight finish in Hobart before the vanquished went on score brilliantly in Launceston on Sunday night, coming from last. The five-year-old mare will take on the Paul Ashwood trained and driven Williamtell, which has drawn perfectly in three and is likely to run popular pick.

Midair Meltdown ran an eye-catching fifth in Launceston last week, forced to go to the line hard held by Rohan Hadley when beaten 8.6-metres by Ultimate Courage. The Ben Yole gelding is in search of its first Tasmanian victory and although facing stiffer opposition tonight and a poor draw from six may well be worth throwing into your exotics at current odds of $34.

Catch all the action from the opening meeting of the season, commencing at 18.36, on the live stream service at tasracing.com.au

Watch Jilliby Gigi stave off the powerful burst of Olwen Jaccka when they clashed on August 20:

Race Replay

Meeting Dashboard

Tasracing.com.au’s Meeting Dashboard for this meeting is now available, it includes race previews, tips and more.