Day At The Track

Golden Apple and Youngbloods Challenge night

12:59 PM 13 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Tasmanian harness highlights,Harness racing
tasracing.com.au

The heats of the McKillop Insurance Brokers Tassie Golden Apple and the last two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge make up four of the seven races in Launceston tonight.

The Tassie Golden Apple heats have attracted a rare mix of free-for-all pacers, horses that are just in the next group down, claimers and horses that appear to be destined to head to the country cup carnival over the summer.

The mix is seen in heat two where Illegal Immigrant will start race favourite from his 30-metre handicap.

One pacer in the race who’s performance will help their trainer determine on what path they go down over the summer months is the Mark Reggett trained Dasher Houli in heat two.

The gelded son of Stonebridge Regal is first up since contesting a heat of the Tasmania Cup in early March where he finished in the back half of the field, and the trainer is happy with the pacers recent trial performances.

“His first trial he had a decent blow, he needed the hit out but I was really happy with his last trial where he went to the line really good,” said Reggett about the 25 November trial in Hobart.

“He will take some benefit from the run but he is ready to run a good race first-up,” added the trainer.

Reggett was concerned about where the pacer was going to be when harness racing in Australia moved to a new national rating system on 1 July but he is happy with where the pacer is rated at with the conversion.

“I wasn’t sure about the rating system but he is at the lower end of the free-for-all class which is good with the number of standing starts coming up,” explained Reggett.

 Illegal Immigrant winning in Hobart earlier this year.

 

The Brighton based trainer rates the 30-metre backmarker Illegal Immigrant as the hardest to beat.

“Illegal Immigrant is the hardest to beat so we need to capitalise on the front row draw,” Reggett said.

Dasher Houli is yet to win a standing start race in four tries but the trainer was pleased with his manners in a recent trial.

“Taylor (Ford) hunted him away in his last standing start trial and he got away real good,” said the trainer who has given Ford the drive tonight.

Tonight’s assignment will help the trainer work out where he goes next with the seven-year-old gelding.

“If he performs well in the series we will aim at some of the better races this season, if not we will just look for races that will be suitable for him.”

Heat one of the Golden Apple is race three on the card where Ryley Major will start a short-priced favourite.

Ryley Major is arguable the best pacer racing in the state at present and despite a 30-metre handicap, the race does appear to be a drop-in class for the talented pacer who has won 21 of his 31 starts.

His trainer, Rohan Hillier will take the reins once again in tonight’s event.

The first six horses past the post qualify for the $30,000 final that will be held in Launceston on Saturday night 21 December.

The Launceston card tonight also sees the final two heats of the 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge.

The series for the states best young up and coming drivers have seen heats staged in Devonport and Hobart in recent weeks and it is a tightly contested leader board.

Andrew Freeman heads the points table on 40 points with Ben Woodsford and Taylor Ford on 39 with Charlie Castles heading the rest on 22.

Races two and five are the final two heats of the six-race series.

 

Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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