Review – Hobart, Sunday 23 April

25 / 04 / 2017 Article by: Hannah Jenkins
Angel of the Abyss (outside) gets up to defeat Gee Gee Double Dee in the $25,000 Crown Lager Autumn 3YO in Hobart. icon Click to enlarge

Racing on Sunday was in Hobart on a Soft 5 track which was affected by light rain in the lead up to the meeting. This resulted in horses avoiding the inside section of the track – especially down the back straight – but it wasn’t as necessary to be on the outside fence in the straight as it has been in past meetings. Scott Brunton extended his lead in the trainers’ premiership again with another 4 winners on his home track, while stable jockey David Pires landed a treble of his own.

Race 1 – 11:20AM Carlton Draught Benchmark72 Hcp (1400 METRES)

This Cat Rocks and Dangerpet took up the running here at a basic tempo which saw the field race in a bunch and this developed into a sprint home. The overall time was plain but reflective of the tempo as there were some good late sectionals.

Harvey Bay was a firm $2.10 favourite here and looked the winner a long way from home. Apprentice Chris Graham gave him a lovely run one-out and one-back, although he did cop a 2 meeting suspension getting him into that position. When allowed to come to the outside of the leaders on the home turn he sprinted away to score a dominant win. His last 200m was the 4th fastest of the meeting despite being given an easy time late so there is still plenty in the locker this prep. He was suited by the shape of the race but he was still quite impressive.

Livermore was unwanted in betting first-up ($4.80 to $9) but ran well to finish a clear 2nd after being caught in an awkward position behind the leader. The race was put to bed while he was trying to get into the clear but he found the line alright for next time. Dangerpet had a soft run in front but would have been better suited setting a stronger tempo rather than leaving himself open to being outsprinted, while Lazy Democracy hit his straps late with the 7th fastest last 200m of the day. This Cat Rocks was very well backed ($16 to $5) but raced like a horse needing further.

Race 2 – 11:55AM Bennett’s Petroleum Maiden (1200 METRES)

West On Broadway led at a good clip down the outside fence down the back, with Argillite, Berbent and Zipponet out there with him. Those four ran in the first 6 placings, highlighting the advantage that would become evident as the day went on. The overall time was above average for this grade, but with the winner winning by 6 lengths the rest of the field ran an overall time under par.

West On Broadway was backed as if unbeatable ($1.85 to $1.40) and that is basically how it played out, dominating the race from the front and racing away from the turn to win by over 6 lengths. It was a typical Pires ride, applying the pressure mid race and finding the right ground throughout, and favourite punters never had a moment’s worry. Both runs this prep have been very good and he looks like being competitive immediately in C1 grade.

Argillite was easy in betting first-up ($6 to $9) but did a good job to stick on for 2nd considering she did all the chasing and was entitled to tire late. Nahla ran a solid race again, especially considering she stayed nearer the inside down the back. Glory Blaze ran home alright after getting further back than usual to grab 5th but is overdue for more ground now.

Race 3 – 12:35PM Give Me 5 for Kids Maiden (1400 METRES)

West Burton led Arving with Geegee Blackprince just behind them and they went at a very fast tempo here. The placegetters all came from back in the field with the overall time being only fair considering the fast pace.

Striking Prospect had put the writing on the wall at his past couple of runs and relished a strong tempo here to score a narrow win. After missing the start clearly he was well ridden by Ganderton who continued to pick up ground steadily approaching the bend so he wasn’t left with too much to do in the straight. His last 200m was the best part of his race and looks further suited once he gets to the mile. A Maiden/C1 1600m looks perfect for him and he will take some beating if he goes to a race of that nature next time.

Fancy Danz ran a much improved race at $101 to be beaten by the narrowest of margins. She was suited by the tempo and cutting the corner on the turn but this was still a much better effort than she has been producing. Hirvonen showed his first-up run wasn’t a fluke with a good 3rd considering he covered much more ground on turning than the two who beat him home and arguably would have won with their run. The 2yo Geegee Blackprince was sent out a $3.80 favourite but didn’t finish his race off at all after racing much closer to the speed than he has previously and that may have been a valid excuse with the strong tempo.

Race 4 – 1:10PM Wolf Blass F&M Autumn Qlty (1200 METRES)

Galeocerdo missed the start again but she drove through to set a very strong tempo here for the small field of 4. The overall time was reasonable for this grade but was affected by the pace probably being too fast which resulted in some slow late sectionals.

Step The Pedal was another one backed as if she couldn’t lose ($1.65 to $1.40) and it turned out that way in the end. She was suited by the strong tempo but there were some hairy moments when she was held up for a run behind Teriki near the outside fence. Once she took the run back on the inside she picked them up pretty comfortably in the end, proving again she is one of the better mares in the state. With the tracks getting wetter from here she looks set to continue on her merry way while they keep her going.

Teriki ran a solid 2nd in the right part of the track but was no match for the winner, while Cyclone Jess ran an excellent race out of her grade to finish only 1.5L behind the winner. Galeocerdo can again be forgiven to some degree although her new habit of missing the start is going to make it nigh on impossible for her to show up in this grade.

Race 5 – 1:50PM Schweppes Autumn 2YO (1100 METRES)

Miss Smith and Gee Gees Queenie showed good early speed to run them along at a very fast clip. The overall time was very good for this grade, with even those outside the winner running above average time.

Gee Gee Lanett ($2.15 favourite) had the form on the board going into this and ran right up to her latest effort against the older mares, winning by a big space. She appreciated the fast tempo and was all set to travel into the lead on turning but had to wait until straightening to angle underneath the leaders to get into the clear. Once she did she put the field away in a few bounds and her ability to run the 7th fastest last 800m of the day off a strong tempo is a great sign for her future. Her time matched the 3yo race that followed which was run with a similar tempo so there is no doubting she is above average.

Geegee Rock’n’run ($3 to $5.50) is looking for further and may have needed the run going off the betting but he ran home alright to grab 2nd from Gee Gees Can Tell who ran another honest race. Of the beaten brigade, Iron Throne stayed closest to the inside but ran a reasonable race for a maiden and he looks a horse with a future.

Race 6 – 2:30PM Crown Lager Autumn 3YO (1100 METRES)

Another race run at a very strong tempo with Angel Of The Abyss, Son Of A Fling and Chillout leading up the field. Despite the fast pace there were also the best late sections of the day run here and the overall time was very good.

Angel Of The Abyss was sent out at $31 and the longest priced of Scott Brunton’s three runners but belied her price with the gamest of first-up victories. She did it the hard way on speed the whole way and looked a sitting shot at the 200m when Gee Gee Double Dee came alongside her but she fought on tremendously well for a great win. She ran the 5th fastest last 800m of the day and was there to be beaten so this was arguably the best performance on the day. She is clearly a very good filly fresh so it will be interesting to see how long she can maintain this level through her prep with 3yo races over 1200m and 1400m coming up.

Gee Gee Double Dee again ran well after being ridden a bit further off the speed than usual but just couldn’t get past the winner. Producing the 2nd fastest last 800m of the day shows she has gone about as good as she can go but was beaten by a better one on the day. Frog In A Pond was excellent attempting this grade for the first time, running into a dead end in the straight before finishing hard to grab 3rd on the back of the fastest last 200m of the day. The usual suspects Mariah’s Magic and Chillout were close up again, while fresh one on the scene Savs Finale was disappointing after appearing to have every chance in the run. Rank outsider Goodbye Lonesome showed a bit for later on, producing clearly the best sectionals of the day from the 800m mark after struggling to keep in touch early, while Weekend Whisky can be forgiven after Luttrell lost his irons at the start.

Race 7 – 3:05PM Australian Racing Tours Class 2 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Chelsarli led clearly on the outside fence here at a genuine clip but nowhere near as fast as some of the other races on the program. The overall time was rather plain and with horses spread across the track this looks a tricky race to follow from a form perspective.

Tough Missile had good support at longer odds ($14 to $8) and rewarded her backers with a very gutsy last stride win. Apprentice Nathan Punch had her in a good spot but got shuffled back on the turn as horses were improving underneath her and she didn’t get clear until halfway down the straight. When she did however she hit the line as hard as she ever has, running the 9th fastest last 200m of the day to get the prize right on the line. She arguably should have won a little easier so there was enough merit to say she can remain competitive as she goes slightly up in grade next time.

Nissky had the blinkers on for the first time and looked all over a winner at the 100m but was nailed right on the post. He was suited saving ground through the inside but the blinkers might have switched him on enough to start finding the line a little more this prep. A Choice Scotch was game in 3rd after having to do a lot of work mid-race to drive through underneath the field, while Qui Samer also did plenty of work circling the field on turning and finished hard in the 6th fastest last 200m of the day.

Race 8 – 3:40PM Cascade Draught Autumn Open Hcp (1600 METRES)

The first-up stayers Geegees Goldengirl and Gladstone set a very fast tempo here ahead of noted leader Cheryl’s Horse and the tempo did not let up at any stage. This resulted in an extremely fast overall time in what was the fastest race of the day.

Cheryl’s Horse was sent out a clear $2.50 favourite and he got the job done with an incredibly tough win. He sat right behind what was a very fast pace and where Pires won the race was by maintaining that tempo around the bend by taking over the lead rather than allowing the backmarkers to pick up cheap ground approaching the straight. He was entitled to be beaten in the straight but with the fitness edge over most of the field and the ability to run time he was about to tough it out to the line to hold off those who had a more comfortable run back off the speed. Whether he can get out to the longer trips is a query but his form over the mile is very good for this time of year.

Demons Run ran up to his first-up effort with another very good effort but he just couldn’t get past the winner, while King Manu ran home well into 3rd. Beaufort Lad was only fair but had to do a lot of work approaching the turn to get into the race and that may have told, while the stayers Geegees Goldengirl and Gladstone went far too fast in the lead and hopefully haven’t affected their preparations as they head to the St Leger.

Race 9 – 4:15PM Luxbet Class 3 Hcp (1600 METRES)

Streak On and Flash Missile found the lead pretty comfortably but set a strong tempo throughout, which resulted in a solid overall time for this grade.

Reann’s Diamond ($34) caused a major boilover here and no doubt knocked plenty of people out of the quaddie. Her form had been pretty plain leading in but got to the mile for the first time this prep and appreciated racing back off a strong tempo. Her 1600m form has always been respectable so expect to see her sticking to this distance a bit more in future. Having only won 4 of 40 starts she has been hard to catch but this effort was good enough to show up in similar benchmark races if she can maintain her form.

Geegees Lillybet had support ($13 to $8.50) and worked home alright to grab 2nd ahead of Flash Missile, who was game after racing outside what proved to be a fast tempo. Not much to say for the rest of the beaten brigade who had their chance as both backmarkers and leaders were able to figure amongst the placegetters.