Day At The Track

Hector in form ahead of Tas Cup Heat

05:30 PM 22 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Call Me Hector, Harness racing
Call Me Hector pictured here in a previous win
tasracing.com.au Photo

Art Major gelding Call Me Hector warmed up for this Sunday’s heat of the Tasmania Cup when recording his second win of the season in Hobart on Sunday night in the Max Pulford Memorial.

Trainer-driver Matthew Cooper took the $3.40 chance straight to the lead from barrier seven in the mile event, where he was able to find the top in a 29.0s first quarter.

With his two main rivals Izaha and The Shallows settling back in the seven-horse field, Call Me Hector was always going to be hard to beat after getting the front cheaply, and he proved too good for his rivals to notch up his second win in a row in a mile rate of 1m 57.0s.

“He never lets me down, and he always tries, and with the two big guns out of the state at the moment, it has made it a lot easier,” said Cooper post-race.

The two big guns being Ignatius and Ryley Major, who are both continuing their preparations interstate.

“Hector is a good horse, but those two are great horses,” said Cooper.

The original plan for the Oatlands-based trainer, driver and owner was to miss the Tasmania Cup series with Call Me Hector, which gets under away with a heat this week, but Cooper has decided to now tackle the state’s premier race.

“My plan was to miss the Tasmania Cup and go to the Henry Pullen Memorial on Tassie Cup final night (13 March), as I knew he was going to get 30 metres in the Cup, but when I went back and had a look at his standing starts, I noted that he did win off 30 metres once before in the same time as what Ryley Major recorded in the cup last year,” explained Cooper.

“So I will go in the heat this week, then have a week of and hopefully then into the final,” added the trainer-driver.

Another pacer that warmed up for the Autumn Carnival was the Juanita McKenzie-trained Helikaon, who scored in the final event of the night.

Sent out as the $2.00 favourite, driver Ricky Duggan was happy to lead up the running line over the final 1200 metres and proved too good for his rivals.

The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding was first-up from a break and will likely be aimed at the Tasmanian Guineas on 7 March ahead of the Group 3 Tasmanian Derby on 13 March.

 

Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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