Review – Devonport, Saturday 24 June

27 / 06 / 2017 Article by: Hannah Jenkins
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Racing at Devonport was on Saturday with a 9-race card providing plenty of competitive racing and winners at a range of prices. As usual, the track raced incredibly consistently, with horses able to win from in front or down the outside. The training partnership of Chris Crook and Imogen Miller took home a winning double, while three riders picked up two winners apiece – Bulent Muhcu, Siggy Carr and Boris Thornton.

Race 1 – 11:00 Tasracing Off The Track Maiden (1000 METRES)

Woohoo pushed on to lead here at a good clip with Kyogle Son to her outside and Bonjour Belle taking a sit. The overall time was fair for this grade, but with the winner scoring by 4 lengths the beaten brigade have run below average time.

Kyogle Son ($5.50 to $9 back to $5) dropped back to the 1000m trip here and was strong to the line after racing outside the lead to score a dominant win. He has always shown good early speed but the key to his improvement was the way he finished off – his last 400m was the 8th fastest of the day so he looks to have found the line stronger than he usually does. He ran decent enough time to suggest he can be competitive in C1 company at this trip and maybe with added maturity he can get back over slightly further in time.

Bonjour Belle enjoyed a good run behind the leader and stuck on reasonably well to hold 2nd just ahead of the well backed Princess Marauder ($6 to $3.70) who held her spot to finish 3rd. Purple Rider was an eye-catching run from back in the field, recording the fastest last 800m and last 200m sectionals of the day in a nice performance for something a bit longer.

Race 2 – 11:33 Lionhearted @ Grenville Stud 2YO Maiden (1150 METRES)

The Grey Crusader held the lead here from the inside ahead of Gwenville until Egalitarian worked around the field to challenge for the lead on turning. The pace was below average and the overall time was very slow, casting doubt over the strength of this form.

Windrider was sent out a firm favourite here ($2.70 to $3.30 back to $2.90) and scored a stunning win after everything went wrong in the run. He bungled the start in an incident which left leading rider David Pires with a lacerated knee and was forced to settle back in the field before working around the field, never racing closer than three-wide. The slow tempo probably helped his chances as he was able to be just behind the leaders on straightening and he proved far too strong in the run home to win convincingly. It was an incredibly courageous ride by Pires, who went to hospital after the race and couldn’t ride for the remainder of the day, and was the win of a horse who clearly has ability despite the poor overall time.

Gee Gees Liberty was well backed ($12 to $5.50) and ran a good race from her outside draw, working home nicely into 2nd but just finding the winner too good on the day. Gee Gee Saint Nik ran home well late to grab 3rd and looks a horse with a future, ahead of the first-starter Carmina who showed enough after racing behind the leader. Fiveandfurther made ground after making a mess of the start, while Egalitarian wasn’t the worst after working around the field to lead on turning but understandably tired late.

Race 3 – 12:03 Live Streaming @ Tasracing Benchmark 72 Hcp (1650 METRES)

Dalehill held out Don Reggio for the lead and continued to slow the tempo considerably once there. This resulted in Banca Dream taking off from back in the field to go up and sit 2nd in what was a race-winning move by Siggy Carr. The overall time was very slow for this grade but that was reflective of the lack of speed up front.

Banca Dream ($2.50 to $3) was racing well out of his grade here but he relished his first try over a mile to score a game win. After settling back in the field from his awkward draw, Carr was able to capitalise on the slow tempo to whip around the field and that gave him his chance to win. When challenged in the straight by Don Reggio he kicked back courageously and was getting away on the line to score by a length. His last 200m was the best part of his race, suggesting he may get out over even further in time, and he looks to be a horse with a big future.

Don Reggio ran his usual honest race here and was just worried out of it late after looking the winner halfway down the straight. Spihro chased hard but couldn’t quite pick them up, but his last 200m was the 5th fastest on the day and showed there was still plenty of merit to his run. Dalehill was next back in 4th and may have been better suited going at a stronger clip rather than being out-sprinted by the classier ones here.

Race 4 – 12:38 Alpine Eagle @ Armidale Stud Maiden (1650 METRES)

Amber In Paris bounced to the lead but handed up quickly to Argillite with Bastetani working up to sit 2nd. From there the tempo slowed immensely and stayed well under par until the last 400m, and this was reflected in an amazingly slow time which was about 16 lengths slower than the previous race.

Argillite ($6.50) controlled the race in front here and had a kick in the locker when challenged in the straight by Another Brother. It looked possible that Bulent Muhcu had slowed the tempo too much in front when she was under siege on straightening, but with his charge able to sprint home her last 200m in the 7th fastest split of the day the tactics proved successful. This mare has always shown ability and maybe it is the added distance which will allow her to realise her potential.

Another Brother ($2.80 to $2.35) settled at the rear and wasn’t suited by the tempo of the race but showed he still had a bit of dash in the legs to be involved in the sprint home to finish a close 2nd. Sorturo worked home nicely into 3rd after missing the boat on turning, as her cushy one-out and one-back position became the wrong spot when she was held-up when the pressure went on. Not much to recommend of the rest, with Amber In Paris possibly looking for a shorter trip after failing to run on.

Race 5 – 13:15 Dannebrog Class 3 Hcp (1350 METRES)

Ariconte found the lead pretty quickly with Tambro’s Game eventually working around Jerrazz to settle 2nd after being caught wide early. The pace was only fair which resulted in this becoming a sprint home and the overall time was a little below par for this grade.

Tambro’s Game ($8 to $9.50) again showed her love for this course with a comfortable victory. After working early to sit outside the leader she enjoyed a good run and this allowed her to sprint home her last 400m in the 9th fastest split of the meeting. After striking the front on straightening she was never in any real danger and she won by over a length. Being right down in the weights here, she can win again in this grade and should remain competitive in just about anything run over this course when she can enjoy a good run on speed.

Gallow Gate was well backed at longer odds ($15 to $8) and returned to form with an honest 2nd here. Fragment was sent out the $2.80 favourite but had to make his run wide on turning and couldn’t bridge the gap from there on in, despite running the 10th fastest last 400m of the day. Of the rest, Barjeel did enough but really wants the extra trip now.

Race 6 – 13:49 Wordsmith @ Gee Gee Horse Stud Benchmark 82 Hcp (1350 METRES)

Cyclone Jess found the lead surprisingly easily and was able to dictate at a below average tempo for this grade as The Captain and Steel Moon were both ridden to sit off the speed. The overall time was also below average as a result but that is no knock on how these went as some of the late sectionals were very quick.

Killin Falls was sent out an easing favourite ($2.60 to $3) but made it three wins in a row this prep with a determined last-stride win. He was ridden back as has been his pattern and then had to make his run widest before letting rip down the middle to pick them up in the nick of time. His sectionals from the 600m mark were top 3 on the day which allowed him to overcome the tempo that suited the on-pacers. He continues to be successful as the bar keeps getting raised and deserves his chance in the upcoming Sprint series through August.

Lord Farquaad also ran home in top 3 sectionals from the 600m mark after a typical gun 1350m ride from Ganderton and went agonisingly close to making it three wins on the trot himself. He is another who keeps stepping up to the task this prep, but on the back of some perfect runs in transit. Cyclone Jess battled strongly to run 3rd after dictating from the front, while Geegees Classicboy is getting close with a close-up 4th. Steel Moon may have been better suited allowed to run along but also finished close-up, while Magnasa is just about ready after running out of room late when beaten just over a length and he recorded the fastest last 600m and 400m sectionals of the day.

Race 7 – 14:29 Birdcage Tavern Functions Benchmark 62 Hcp (1880 METRES)

Sir Marmaduke led here with It’s A Battle to his outside but Hayley McCarthy slowed the pace so much that Carr was off again, this time taking Toakio Tower to the lead down the back straight. The overall time here was slower than average, in part due to the tempo, but the late sectionals were plain also so there may be a query over this form.

Storm Gust ($9 to $15) had his first run here for Peter Luttrell and produced a really strong performance to get the prize. He came from back in the field and went widest on the turn, which is always hard to do here, yet was still able to run down the leaders in a race dominated by the on-pacers. The overall time was nothing to recommend but the fact he was able to win with the run he had suggests he may have a bit more of a future than it looked before Luttrell got hold of him.

It’s A Battle was sent out a firm favourite ($3.20 to $2.80) and had every chance racing outside the lead but had no answer to the winner’s finishing burst. White Hawk ($7 to $5.25) had a nice run back on the inside but was held up on turning which may have cost him the race – once clear he finished well in the straight but had too much ground to make up. Had he been able to get into the race earlier he would have taken plenty of beating. Toakio Tower battled on for 4th after a mid-race move to take up the running in another honest effort, and those four finished well clear of the rest.

Race 8 – 15:09 Simons Design Centre Class 2 Hcp (1150 METRES)

Jacques flew the lids to find the front, crossing in front of Happy Halloween, with Loose In Vegas pushing forward from her outside draw to sit outside the lead. The tempo was only average which helped the on-pacers and the overall time was just fair for this grade.

Jacques had little support in the market ($8 to $13) but after a fast start he was able to control the race in front and showed good fight to hold off the Happy Halloween challenge in the straight. This is his second win from three runs over this course since having the blinkers applied and his rich vein of form seems to coincide with his improved early speed. While he had every chance here, this looked a solid C2 and he should be immediately competitive as he moves into slightly higher grades.

Happy Halloween ($2.80 to $3.20) was slower to begin than he usually is and had to settle behind the lead as a result. He challenged the leader in the straight, producing the 5th fastest last 800m of the day, but was unable to pick him up and had to settle for 2nd. Leconte was well ridden by Toker to pinch runs through the inside and he ran a quick middle section to put himself into the race on turning, but that effort took its toll and he was only fair to the line to hold 3rd. Rougeau had to come right down the outside from his wide draw and ran home nicely for 4th with the 4th fastest last 400m of the day, while Written Addiction did enough to say he has a future in this state. Ty Dash ($7 to $3.80) was well beaten but was forced to race three-wide without cover near the lead and couldn’t finish her race off as a result.

Race 9 – 15:49 Luxbet Class 1 Hcp (1350 METRES)

The pace was on here with Weekend Whisky, Divine Strategy and Overplay setting a good clip early before What An Option and Arving put even more pace into the race, striding forward to the front after being caught wide early. The overall time was slower than expected considering, but the late sectionals were slow enough to suggest the field were very tired late and the fast pace was detrimental to the overall time of the race.

Pura Vida was well supported to make it two in a row ($12 to $7.50) and she did the job narrowly after a lovely ride from Bulent Muhcu. She was able to sit in behind those vying for the lead and then followed Weekend Whisky through on turning, which gave her the chance to pick him off late. This was clearly a career-best effort as she proved herself in a fast-run race for the first time, and she looks to have found a niche for herself at this course.

Weekend Whisky again ran well but couldn’t hold off the winner who had the trail behind him. Proving himself on this surface gives him further options and he again confirmed his liking for this distance range. Gee Gees Cool Gal was well backed ($12 to $6) and worked home into 3rd but was never a realistic threat. Overplay had a very tough run, forced to race wide without cover throughout, so his effort to stick on for 4th was excellent. Not much to say for the rest other than the early leaders were entitled to knock up as they did.