Review – Launceston, Sunday 2 July

04 / 07 / 2017

Racing in Launceston on Sunday was on a Heavy 8 surface with the outside fence the place to be. Bill Ryan and John Blacker both prepared winning doubles, while the senior riders Brendon McCoull and Anthony Darmanin showed the younger jocks how it is done with two winners apiece.

Race 1 – 12:05 Hesketh McCrimmon Maiden (1220 METRES)

Egalitarian found the lead comfortably from the outside draw and set a solid tempo under no real pressure. The overall time was considerably slower than the later 1220m races but they were good class races so no surprise there.

Egalitarian was well backed to run a clear favourite ($4.60 to $3.60) and his backers had a pretty easy watch as he dominated the race from the front. His last 400m was the 11th fastest of the day which points to the breather he was able to get mid-race and he was never in any real danger of being run down. Time will tell whether he beat much but he is a 2yo who continues to improve and his early speed will give him every opportunity as he moves into stronger races.

Drinks At Rosie’s ($26 to $61) ran a much better race at her first run for the Peter Luttrell stable to run home into 2nd, ahead of Adam Trinder newcomer Om Nom who worked home in the best going out wide after bombing the start. Candlepins worked home as she usually does into 4th but there wasn’t a lot to recommend from the beaten brigade with the winner being the best performance in the race.

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Race 2 – 12:40 McCrimmon Insurance Services Maiden (1420 METRES)

Dragonbite went forward and set a good tempo ahead of Trophy Legs with favourite Fearless Filou on their back. Despite the good speed the overall time here was only fair in comparison to the later 1420m events, but reflective of this grade.

Valerius ($5.75) was very good first-up in Devonport and went on with it here to record a tough win. He was well ridden by Muhcu, who was sure to put him into the race after being back midfield early and he was there to challenge Trophy Legs who had got to the right part of the track. His strong last 200m was impressive given he was only second-up and he finally broke through for a well-deserved victory. He looks suited at the slightly longer trips and is still relatively lightly raced so he has shown enough to suggest he can make a nice horse in time.

Trophy Legs ran another honest race after being perfectly ridden by McCoull but again found one better on the day. Her time should come eventually. Tiloka worked home alright into 3rd and looks well placed to tackle the mile now, and those three finished well in advance of the rest. Favourite Fearless Filou ($2.80 to $2.25) was gone on turning with Siggy Carr reporting she didn’t handle the track conditions.

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Race 3 – 13:15 Betta Milk Benchmark 68 Hcp (2150 METRES)

This Cat Rocks was ridden aggressively early by Catania to take up the running and he set a fast pace throughout. As a result the overall time was quite good and the beaten margins were considerable.

 

Broadway Velvet was a very firm $1.90 favourite but she was forced to pull out all stops to win by the narrowest of margins. She relished the strong tempo and had travelled up from back in the field to hit the front on straightening but had the fight of her life to hold off Geegees Lillybet in the straight. She ran the 11th fastest last 200m of the day which was impressive following such a strong tempo at this trip and reinforced her ability to stay at such an early stage of her career. She is doing a great job in her first racing preparation and continues to look a stayer with a future.

 

Geegees Lillybet is racing in very good form and went within a whisker of landing a well deserved win. She went just as well as the winner, running home in the 10th fastest last 200m of the day, and will surely improve on her poor winning strike rate sooner rather than later. Hushama ($12 to $7) was comfortably held by the first two at her first run over this trip but did a good job to run a clear 3rd on her preferred ground. There was a big gap to the others, with the on-pacers deserving a level of forgiveness given the fast clip.

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Race 4 – 13:50 Governor’s Plate Benchmark 72 Hcp (1420 METRES)

D’inzeo and Box Of Frogs settled in the first two comfortably here and controlled a steady tempo throughout. This resulted in a sprint home and this race was one of the faster times of the day.

Stella Etoile landed in a lovely spot one-out and one-back for McCoull and proved far too good here. She got to the right part of the track approaching the turn and then let rip with her customary big finish, producing top 4 sectionals for the meeting from the 800m to the line. She will be competitive in just about anything around this distance range at this time of year on her preferred turf surface, but with an extended run of Devonport meetings coming up she may not have many more runs before preparing for the carnival next season.

Box Of Frogs was sent out an easing favourite ($1.80 to $2.25) and was no match for the winner despite being given every chance by Steph Thornton on his favoured heavy ground. Olly’s A Star ran home nicely first-up to grab 3rd, with his last 200m being the 4th fastest of the day, just ahead of Kool Kash who was honest back on the inside. D’inzeo was well backed ($4.20 to $5.50 back to $3.90) but didn’t handle the conditions and was well beaten.

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Race 5 – 14:27 Steve’s Liquor Benchmark 62 Hcp (1620 METRES)

Give Us A Winner was able to lead out on his own here and ran along at only a basic tempo ahead of the favourite It’s A Battle. The overall time was alright for this grade considering the conditions but not a great deal can be drawn from it.

Mulley’s Idol ($5 to $3.10) has always shown himself to be a 3yo with ability and he broke through after a 6 month drought with a dominant win. He was ridden perfectly by McCarthy, landing in a good spot just off the speed before getting to the right part of the track on straightening. From there he was clearly too strong for his rivals and he won comfortably. He is unbeaten at two runs over the mile now and looks to have plenty ahead of him as he continues to mature.

Give Us A Winner gave a cheeky sight out in front and ran a clear 2nd at big odds ($61 to $34). It’s A Battle ($2.20 to $3.20 back to $2.65) wasn’t suited racing nearer the inside but had his chance in 3rd, while Aljazmic found the line well late to run into 4th. Hirvonen was totally unwanted in betting ($2.65 to $5.25) and raced accordingly, with rider McCoull reporting he may have come to the end of his preparation.

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Race 6 – 15:05 Cressy Chaff Cutters Class 1 Hcp (1220 METRES)

By The Pound drove through from his inside draw to lead and he dominated the race from the front at a good clip. The overall time was good for this grade in comparison with the following race, and was somewhat reflective of the quality of the placegetters and the tempo of the race.

By The Pound ($4.20) was a newcomer to the David Brunton yard and he did the job impressively at his first run in the state. He showed excellent early speed to lead but Carr had to deal with a slipped saddle throughout. There looked to be a bit of depth here so his win was full of merit, recording the 9th fastest last 800m of the day in a strong display of sustained speed, and he should be competitive immediately as he moves into C2 or Benchmark grade.

Lads Curfew had his supporters at longer odds ($12 to $7) and again ran well here on wet ground to find the line and run 2nd. Newts was a very heavily backed favourite ($3.90 to $2.25) but had to settle for 3rd after missing the start and being forced to make his run nearer the inside. He ran the 5th fastest last 800m of the day so he couldn’t have gone much better but wasn’t suited missing the start. Of the rest, Khatun found the line well but the rest were somewhat plain.

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Race 7 – 15:40 Brooklyn Park Class 4 Hcp (1220 METRES)

The Master Speed rolled to the front here in a bunched field and set only a basic tempo early. With the cheap first section behind them the pressure went on picked up down the side and the overall time turned out to be the fastest of the day.

Love Magic ($4.60 to $3.90) has barely done a thing wrong since arriving in the state and he relished the wet ground and a perfect ride by Darmanin to win convincingly here. With the aid of the outside barrier he was able to settle just behind the speed and get to the right section of the track down the side, allowing him to work into the race and be poised to pounce on straightening. He raced away in the straight and recorded the fastest last 800m, last 600m and last 400m sectionals on the day. Possibly flattered by the run he had, but a dominant win and he hasn’t reached his level yet.

Scrutineer returned in good style here, running home into 2nd on the back of the 2nd fastest last 800m of the day despite being forced to make her run nearer the inside in inferior ground. She picked off the favourite Winston Wolfe ($3.60 to $2.90) on the line, who had to settle for 3rd after also racing nearer the inside from his inside barrier. They finished clear of the rest, who all appeared to battle on the wet ground and many of those will be better suited on firmer tracks.

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Race 8 – 16:15 Launceston Mitsubishi Class 2 Hcp (1420 METRES)

Pura Vida was able to lead at a steady tempo here ahead of Kelly’s Diva with Special Shot settling much closer than usual. The pace resulted in a plain overall time for this grade but the late sectionals were rather quick.

Trusted Warrior was a very firm favourite after his big win last time out on this track ($1.65 to $1.55) and he repeated the dose. He was perfectly handled by McCoull who had him poised to pounce against the outside fence on turning and he sailed on past with his customary big finish. He hit the line full of running, recording the fastest last 200m of the day, suggesting he can be even better again once he gets out to the mile. He is a 3yo who has always shown plenty of talent and while he didn’t beat much here, he put them away rather impressively.

Kelly’s Diva ($61 to $34) found some form to stick on well into 2nd here, just ahead of the early leader Pura Vida. Not much to say for the rest, with the main danger to the favourite Flying Geepee failing to handle the ground according to Darmanin. A smart winner but a race of little substance.

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