Launceston hosted an 8 race card on Wednesday night on a Soft 5 surface which looked to suit the speed horses on the rail as the night went on. Adam Trinder took the training honours with a double, while David Pires extended his lead at the top of the jockeys’ premiership with a winning treble. Troy Baker notched up an early double, while apprentice Chris Graham finished strongly with a race-to-race double to end the night.
Totally Wicked found the lead pretty comfortably here and led at just a steady tempo before really slowing the speed down the side which helped those who were able to get into clear running and improve into the race. The overall time was quite slow but reflective of the tempo, with a few of these running very good late sectionals.
Mystic Spirit backed up from a win last week over this course and repeated the dose here. She was perfectly ridden by Bulent Muhcu, who was able to settle right behind the speed and then improve down the side when the speed slackened to take over on turning. Her last 600m was the 15th fastest of the night so she found the line strongly and did enough to get the prize. Only lightly raced, she has done a good job to put two together and while things will get tougher as she heads to benchmark grade she can continue to improve.
Matiano travelled up strongly as he tends to do and ran home well but was again beaten narrowly. Favourite Eastender ($3.30) settled back in the field and missed the boat when runs were made down the side before running home strongly when the race was over to grab 3rd. He ran the fastest last 200m of the night and will have lost no admirers from that effort. Westwood was very well backed ($7 to $3.50) and ran home reasonably well also but didn’t have the finish of Eastender.
Gee Gees Queenie bounced to the lead here but Clean Acheeva went quickly to go around and lead in an above average first section. The speed backed off down the side which turned the race into a sprint home, and resulted in a plain overall time.
Gee Gee Lanett was the class runner in the field, and she got the job done just as the market expected ($1.50 to $1.35). Baker let everything unfold in front of him and when he produced her in the straight she had clearly a better sprint than her rivals, running home in the 10th fastest last 400m of the night to score a soft win on the line. She proved herself over the carnival as one of the state’s better 2yos so it was no surprise to see her win again here.
Gee Gees Queenie ran a solid race in 2nd but was clearly no match for the winner, while Clean Acheeva was much improved to run a competitive 3rd. The gulf in class between the winner and the placegetters was evident, however.
Pop A Lefty drove through to hold the lead from Glory Blaze and the speed went out of the race when they settled into their positions. The overall time was quite slow and with only fair sectionals run off the slow pace the strength of this form must be questioned.
Pop A Lefty was a big betting drifter ($2.70 to $3.80) but enjoyed a good run in front and showed tremendous fight in the straight to hold on by a narrow margin to notch up Cameron Thompson’s first win as a trainer.. She has had a lot of racing but continues to try her hardest and she deserved to break through here. She may have been advantaged on the rail seeing how the later results panned out and the time was slow, so stepping up in grade is going to present a new challenge for her next time.
Glory Blaze was well backed to run favourite ($4 to $2.70) and had every chance racing outside the leader but was unable to run her down in the straight. Mystic Molly loomed up on straightening but couldn’t pick them up wider out in what may have been inferior ground, while the rest were only plain in a race which has little to recommend out of it.
Race 4 8:20pm Tassie Instant Marquees Maiden (1400m)
Acronym rolled to the lead here and was left alone to set a steady tempo. The overall time was quite slow here so the strength of the form is a query going forward.
Acronym was unsuited last time when the inside was inferior ground but this time she was very well suited leading and railing as that proved to be an advantage this time around. She was perfectly rated in front by Pires who was able to slip away on the turn and she had just enough in hand to hold on. Going up in grade will require improvement to win again and she has been up a while this prep but she makes her own luck in front which always helps.
Weekend Whisky was very easy in betting ($2.10 to $3.20) but did a good job to get as close as he did at the finish after coming off the bit down the side. His last 200m was his best work so he proved himself at this trip and he may even get out to a mile in time off that. French Connection was a well supported favourite ($2.80 to $2.30) and wasn’t far away in 3rd but had no real excuse after enjoying a good run, while the stablemate Striking Prospect was well backed at long odds ($51 to $16) and ran a very nice race to come from last and run into a close-up 4th.
Race 5 9:00pm What’s On In App Class 1 Handicap (1400m)
Loose In Vegas came out of the machines quickly and found the lead very easily, which allowed Pires to control the race in front. The overall time was only fair.
Loose In Vegas was easy in betting ($3.30 to $4) but won this race in the first 200m as Pires found the front from the wide draw and dominated the race. She was well rated, rolling along at just a steady tempo and that gave her the chance to use the turn of foot she displayed in her maiden win also. She looked suited at this trip with the slower tempo agreeing with her and will be competitive up in grade when she finds the right race she can control near the lead.
Millmount was well supported ($12 to $6) and ran a solid 2nd after being given every chance from the inside draw by Baker. He continues to race honestly and looks close to another win. It’s A Battle poked through to grab 3rd, just ahead of Quiet Wonder who may have been flattered by running home along the fence. Vallegrande was an eye-catching run, coming down the outside to make good ground in the straight. Schillie Billie was strongly backed to run a clear favourite ($5 to $3.30) but over raced when caught facing the breeze outside the leader and folded up in the straight accordingly.
Race 6 9:30pm Tasmanian St Leger on 21 May Benchmark 82 Handicap (1600m)
Pires drove Cheryl’s Horse underneath Hyperbole to hold the lead here and had things to his liking throughout. He clicked up the tempo down the side which ensured strong last 800m sectionals and the overall time was very good in comparison to the rest of the night.
Cheryl’s Horse bounced back into the winner’s circle with a typically dominant front-running display. Sent out a $1.90 favourite, he was able to get clear on turning and the straight would have been a very easy watch for his backers. He ran home in the fastest last 400m of the night so it is no surprise they couldn’t get near him, and that suggests a win full of merit which the times can support. The overall time was the fastest of the night so he can continue to be super competitive in these type of races as Winter approaches.
Beaufort Lad was forced to race behind Hyperbole who couldn’t take him into the race so that made his job hard and he was left with too much to do to chase home the eventual winner. Hyperbole battled away honestly as she does to hold 3rd, while the rank outsider Cosmic Angel wasn’t far behind the two placegetters in a good run for easier grade.
Race 7 10:00pm Great Northern Beer Class 3 Handicap (1200m)
Nielson found his favourite role of leader very comfortably here in below average time for this grade through the first 400m. He then lifted the tempo down the side which turned this into an 800m sprint for the line and the 6 fastest last 800m sectionals of the night were recorded by the 6 runners of this event. The overall time was alright considering the soft tempo early.
Nielson races very well fresh and found a perfect spot to resume here – a race with no other leader and a bias towards the fence. Combine that with a very well rated ride by Graham, who made full use of his speed rather than wait for those with a better sprint to be close enough to run him down, and it resulted in the most comfortable of victories. He ran the 3rd fastest last 800m of the night making it basically impossible for the rest to run him down. The strength of this win is somewhat hard to gauge as there is no doubt the stars aligned for him here, but there is no doubt he is a fast horse capable of capitalising when he finds his right race.
Love Magic was a very firm favourite ($2.10 to $1.85) but simply had too much to do to run down the leader. He ran the fastest last 800m of the night so his run was full of merit but both the tempo and the pattern were against him here. Seajamm ran an honest race in 3rd but was never a winning hope, while Shiralee caught the eye running home in the fastest last 600m of the night for something a bit longer.
Race 8 10:30pm City of Launceston Class 1 Handicap (1200m)
The speed was on here in the last as some jockeys were aware of the pattern that had emerged but it was Liffeybeau who had the speed to cross and take up the running. He kept up the pace through the middle stages which resulted in a solid overall time, with the slower late sectionals due to the strong tempo throughout.
Liffeybeau was heavily backed ($7 to $4) and rewarded those punters with a dominant all the way win. The apprentice Graham has shown he isn’t scared to set a strong tempo in the lead and that suited this horse perfectly, getting his rivals off the bit chasing down the side and he was never in any danger. The firmer track helped him turn around from his disappointing first-up run, as did the advantage of leading on the rail, but he does look a strong type of horse who is still on the up and may have a bit of a future.
Almost Art was an easing favourite ($2.10 to $2.50) and ran home into 2nd despite never threatening at any stage in what was the best run outside of the leader. Jacques and Scuttlebutt had their chance in the run, while Kryptonian was unfancied in betting ($6 to $7.50) and did little from back in the field.