Review – Devonport, Sunday 14 May

16 / 05 / 2017 Article by: Hannah Jenkins
icon Click to enlarge

Devonport again produced a wonderfully fair surface on Sunday for a competitive 8-race card where horses could win from anywhere if they were good enough. Barry Campbell took the training honours with a winning double, while jockeys Ismail Toker, Chris Graham and Daniel Ganderton all rode two winners of their own.

Race 1 – 12:00PM Live Streaming @ Maiden (1150 METRES)

Divine Plan led at a below average tempo from Divine Strategy with Silver Road caught three wide facing the breeze. The pressure didn’t go on until straightening, so the overall time was rather slow but some reasonable late sectionals were recorded.

Silver Road landed some bets at good odds ($26 to $11) with a much improved effort at his second race start. He had no favours in the run, forced to race wide facing the breeze outside the leaders, but the slow tempo helped him tough it out and he was too strong for the two favourites who enjoyed better runs. A 2yo being able to beat the older horses is always a good sign for the future but as strong as he was here he is yet to show he can run time so that is his next challenge.

Amber In Paris ran well again after racing wide with cover, making ground to run 2nd off the back of the 7th fastest last 600m of the day, and has her hoof on the till. Divine Strategy ($2.90 favourite) had every possible chance racing outside the leader but was beaten home by two horses who had tougher runs so was a little disappointing despite finishing 3rd. Normandy Rock was the eye-catcher after knuckling at the start and copping a check, rattling home from last in the 2nd fastest last 600m of the day to run a close-up 5th.

Race 2 – 12:40PM Tasracing Off The Track Maiden (1350 METRES)

One Before You Go kicked up underneath Century Arrow to make him work before finding the lead mid-race, resulting in a good early tempo. Ganderton backed off the tempo once he found the front but the late sectionals were quite plain considering. The overall time was also on the slow side so there is a query over the strength of this form.

Jubilance was another 2yo beating the older horses and did what not many horses can do here – come widest from last and win over 1350m. She was still last on turning and covered more ground than any other horse doing so, but finished off in a last 600m which was almost 4 lengths faster than any of her opponents. Her last 200m was her best but was only the 18th fastest of the day so she may have been a touch flattered by the others only grinding to the line. This form may not prove to be strong but the winner produced clearly the best performance of the race and looks to have a future.

Century Arrow was sent out a $3.20 favourite and ran a solid race again on speed to record his third second placing from as many starts. He makes his own luck on speed and did a bit of work early here so his day should come eventually. Pura Vida stuck to her task to run 3rd, just ahead of Sorturo and Argillite, but finished a clear margin behind the first two who appear the ones to follow from the race.

Race 3 – 1:20PM Maiden/Class 1 (1650 METRES)

Parisian Lush led at a strong tempo here which spread the field out considerably. Despite that strong tempo the overall time was plain, with the slow late sectionals probably reflecting the amount of chasing horses back in the field were asked to do.

It’s A Battle ($5 to $4.50) was always firm in betting with the addition of blinkers and he was able to outstay Vallegrande to the line after being headed by that horse in the straight. Graham was able to land him closer to the lead than last time which appears to have suited him as he was still relatively strong on the line considering the strong tempo. He moves to benchmark grade now which will present new challenges but being able to race forward and run a strong mile should hold him in good stead in the winter months here.

Vallegrande ($3.80 favourite) looked all over a winner when he struck the lead at the 200m but he died on his run late and went under by a head. He should remain very competitive in this grade. Polizei ran an improved race to run home into 3rd, ahead of Pelagia who again made ground but was never realistically a winning hope. Those finishing behind were well beaten and did little to recommend for next time.

Race 4 – 1:55PM Devonport Mothers Day High Tea Benchmark 72 Hcp (1350 METRES)

Ash For Cash took up the running after the notified change of tactics and went at a fast clip before weakening from the turn after getting his tongue over the bit. The strong tempo resulted in a good overall time.

Lord Farquaad ($4.80 to $6.50) settled back in the field as he usually does before getting a glorious run through on the inside turning for home and he always looked the winner from that point forward. With the field fanning on straightening he made up ground very quickly and charged away in the straight to score a dominant win. It was a clever, patient ride from Ganderton and he was duly rewarded. With his racing pattern he always requires luck in running but he showed once again how capable he is when things go his way.

Tambro’s Game reiterated her love for this course with a game 2nd and is ready to win in easier grade, while Blaze Forth ($7 to $4.60) continued battling to the line despite racing three wide without cover for much of the race under 60kg. Sphiro ($3.30 favourite) didn’t get the best run but was just fair, while Steel Brom can be forgiven after being slow into stride and then racing wide throughout.

Race 5 – 2:35PM Alpine Eagle @ Armidale Stud Class 1 Hcp (1350 METRES)

Meteor Strike led and with Please Dance applying pressure they went at a very fast tempo throughout, resulting in quick overall time for this grade and the fastest of the three 1350m races on the program. With that in mind it is not surprising that the placegetters all came through on the fence on the turn.

The Financier ($3.90 to $4.60) was given a great run by McCarthy to win his maiden a fortnight ago and she made full use of barrier 1 again here to give him the same behind-the-leader run to make it two wins in a row. His ability to hold his position despite a much stronger tempo this time around was key to his win and McCarthy was able to push through outside the leader on turning to maintain his momentum when he started to pick up into the race. He looks an improving 3yo with a genuine future but having enjoyed the right run at both wins he still has a bit to prove as he goes up in grade form here.

Meteor Strike was well backed to run favourite ($4.80 to $3.20) and gave a big sight in front but just couldn’t hold off the horse who had his back in the run. Miss Bluegrass rattled home to run 3rd off a smart ground-saving ride by Toker, running the 10th fastest last 800m of the day in the progress. White Hawk was also a good effort first-up and he continued to find the line despite covering ground around the turn chasing the strong tempo. He may be getting ready to deliver on his staying promise as he approaches his 4yo season.

Race 6 – 3:10PM Birdcage Tavern Class 2 Hcp (1150 METRES)

Chelsarli crossed at a genuine tempo to lead from Jacques with Jo Anconi taking the sit behind them. The overall time was ok for this grade.

Killin Falls was well supported first-up ($6 to $3.80) and produced one of the performances of the day to record a dominant win. He settled back in the field but after following Ty Dash through he let rip with the 3rd fastest last 400m of the day, and his last 800m was the fastest of the meeting. He raced away in the straight to win by 2 lengths in a performance which suggests he has returned better than ever. Having shown the ability to get out to a mile last prep, he looks set to go to a new level this time in and should be immediately competitive in higher grade.

Ty Dash ($9 to $6) ran home nicely and beat the rest comfortably but was no match for the winner and had to settle for 2nd. Global Squire had a good back on the inside and battled home well to grab 3rd, ahead of Gemini who flashed home from the back off the 5th fastest last 800m of the day. Early favourite Jo Anconi ($2.90 to $5.75) was a big drifter and didn’t finish her race off after setting in a good spot behind the leaders.

Race 7 – 3:46PM Simons Design Centre Benchmark 72 Hcp (1150 METRES)

Gee Gees Blondie began fast to cross but was happy to sit behind the leader as Gee Gees Style worked across to lead. Steel Moon sat 2nd and they went at a basic tempo, really easing off as they approached the turn before sprinting home from the 400m mark. The overall time was only plain for this grade as a result but many of the fastest late sectionals of the day were recorded here.

Steel Moon ($3.20 to $4.40 back to $3.70) enjoyed a good run outside the leader before letting down in top 4 sectionals of the day from the 800m mark to prove too strong for his rivals. He loves this surface and rarely runs a bad race with the ability to put himself right on the speed from the outset. He is just about weighted out of this grade now with this win but has shown the talent to be competitive in higher grade so there is no reason he won’t continue successfully through the winter.

Gee Gees Blondie was beautifully ridden by Carr and had every chance but couldn’t run down the winner in the straight. King’s Spirit was probably suited by the slacker tempo as he was able to settle within 4L of the lead and he charged home into 3rd by recording the fastest last 600m, 400m and 200m splits of the day. His racing pattern makes it so difficult to win in the higher grades but there is no doubt over how well he is going. Gee Gees Style had every chance in front and battled away, while the firm favourite I’m Wesley ($3.20 to $2.80) was forced to race wide with cover after over racing and could make no impression in the straight as a result.

Race 8 – 4:21PM Luxbet Benchmark 62 Hcp (1880 METRES)

Dangerpet found the front here from Like The Wolf and they were able to set a very leisurely tempo before picking up the tempo from around the 800m mark. This turned the race into a sprint home which suited those who settled in the front half of the field. The overall time was very poor for this grade due to the tempo but the late sectionals were decent enough to suggest the race isn’t a total write off.

Don Reggio ($10 to $8.50) enjoyed a good run behind the leaders on the rail and then saved ground on the turn to score a pretty comfortable win despite carrying the 60kg. He couldn’t have been ridden better by Ganderton, responding with an above average last 800m and he hit the line full of running off the 13th fastest last 200m of the meeting. He showed here he is still capable of showing up in this type of race when he gets the right run and BM72 grade isn’t beyond him under those circumstances.

Golden Kiss had a similar run to when she won last time but had to cover ground on turning to make her run and that may have proven the difference as she couldn’t run down the winner who had the rails run. Toakio Tower ($41 to $18) ran into 3rd but was no match for the first two, while the $2.90 favourite Eastender was not suited at all by the tempo and couldn’t get into the race from back in the field when the sprint went on. He’ll be much better suited back on a bigger track, as will Broadway Velvet who can be forgiven after racing wide for much of the race.