Day At The Track

Tasmanian Harness Highlights

01:36 PM 24 Dec 2020 NZDT
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The Shallows, Harness racing

It was a great night of racing in Launceston on Saturday night, headlined by the Group 3 Faithful Park Stud Tassie Golden Apple, won brilliantly by The Shallows.

The race saw the five fastest individual last half miles recorded on Tasracing’s Calculated Sectionals since they were recorded in December 2015. Lip Reader at 55.02s held the previous quickest individual last half mile on 20 September.

There is also some Tasmanian interest in many semi-finals during the week, with many proceeding into Group 1 finals in Victoria on New Year’s Eve. We will touch on them in next week’s edition.

This week there is plenty to keep an eye on with King Island on Saturday afternoon, Carrick Park on Sunday twilight and Devonport on Tuesday evening.

The Stars

The Shallows – gave his trainer-driver Heath Woods his most significant success in the industry when he scored an impressive win in the Group 3 Faithful Park Stud Tassie Golden Apple. The Shallows is the first horse Woods has trained since returning to the harness game after spending a few seasons away from the sport. He purchased the four-year-old as an unbroken two-year-old, and now they will head to next month’s Hobart Pacing Cup.

Sharmey – had to be seen to be believed when winning his rating 30 to 49 event on Saturday, he settled four-back the pegs, driver Rodney Ashwood found clear racing room out five and six wide on the final turn to storm home and win. The pacer will head to Victoria to chase his Vicbred bonus before returning to the state to contest the Tasmanian Derby in March.

Conor Crook – had a weekend out finding the winners stall on six occasions with four wins as a driver and two as a trainer. Crook has a one-win lead in the state driver’s premiership but will be missing from the sulky for the final two meetings.

Laid Back Kenny – the Geoff Smith-trained pacer returned from a Victorian campaign when recording a half neck victory in Launceston when coming from a midfield spot for driver Todd Rattray.

Premiership Watch– As mentioned, Conor Crook has a one win lead on the state drivers title. However, as he is missing from the season’s final two meetings, it is still anyone’s race with Rohan Hillier and Gareth Rattray equal second on the table, and it was great to watch all three drivers demonstrate their talent last weekend.

Multiple Winners

Burnie – Friday evening
Rohan Hillier – driving double; Artyboy Glenwood and Gone and Forgotten.
Conor Crook; trained Gone and Forgotten and drove Tisu Spirit.

Launceston – Saturday evening
Conor Crook – driving treble Somehowsomeway, Racketeers Boy and Southern Gnp, he also trained Loch Ness Franco.

Calculated Sectional Standouts

Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action.
Burnie – Friday evening

Launceston – Saturday evening
From the Tassie Golden Apple; Ignatius 54.39s, Ryley Major 54.67s, Lip Reader 54.83s, The Shallows 54.89s and Sea Double Ugrant 54.91s.

From the remaining races, Believe In Forever 56.28s, Hez The One 56.43s, Proficient 56.71s, Sharmey 56.83s and Giftofjoy 57.02s.

View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here.

Tasracing Official Price

Burnie – Friday evening
Hit’s: Kabibi $1.70 into $1.28, Gone and Forgotten $3.30 into $2.90 and Heza Rummage $12 into $9.50,

Defied The Drift: Artyboy Glenwood $3.70 out to $4.20

Missed: Ozzie Major $5.00 into $3.20, Nikks Pick $14 into $8.50, The Deal $3.10 into $2.80 and Karalta Dazzler $13 into $7.00

Launceston – Saturday evening
Hit’s: Loch Ness Franco $2.70 into $2.35, Laid Back Kenny $9.50 into $8.00, The Shallows $6.00 into $4.80, Racketeers Boy $2.50 into $2.10, Southern Gnp $31 into $18 and Rocket Blaster $15 into $9.50.

Missed: Lucky Pats Son $26 into $10, Oneofthelads $11 into $7.00, Pur Dan $14 into $7.50, Pink Ponder $7.00 into $4.00, Postal Run $10 into $4.40, Got the Goods $14 into $4.80 and Star Rocker $3.80 into $2.10.

Trial File

Hobart – Monday evening
Monday night saw five trials held in Hobart where Ryan Backhouse and Mitch Ford had their first trial drives and another bunch that have progressed from the mini-trots.

Island Rocknroll and Star Chamber both recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the session in 2m 2.3s.

Island Rocknroll, a four-year-old mare by A Rocknroll Dance, settled behind the leader before driver Dylan Ford utilised the sprint lane to pick up the leader Eye See Double in the home straight to score by two-metres.

The Bianca Heenan-trained Star Chamber only had one other rival in his trial, Finn Mac Kee, where driver Mitch Ford settled on the back of the leader before peeling out at the 300 to go on and score by 6.7 metres.

Other winners included Be Major Threat (2m 9.4s). Helikaon (2m 5.4s) and Starofremembrance (2m 2.7s).

Devonport – Monday evening
Three trials were staged on Monday evening where the Ben Yole-trained Our Quinn recorded the quickest winning mile rate of 2m 3.4s for the 1930-metre trip.

Driver Gareth Rattray found the lead at the mile mark and dashed home in quarters of 28.8s and 29.4s to record an 8.2-metre victory over Flushed and Blissful tom.

The other two trials were won by Jimmy Smalls (2m 8.3s) and Im Quite American (2m 7.0s) who both led all the way to win their respective trials.

You can view the trials held on mainland Tasmania by clicking here.


My Ultimate Romeo
After catching the eye hitting the line nicely in the home straight in Hobart on 11 December, this pacer then went to Launceston on Saturday night. He settled one-out and two-back, and when the three-wide line commenced at 900-metre mark driver Troy McDonald elected to drive for luck through the field and he simply got none and went to the line hard held. He is currently rated at 46 and should be picking up a lowly rated race in the coming weeks.

Week Ahead

It is a new look Boxing Day for Tasmanian harness racing this weekend.

The last double-header race meeting was held in the state on Boxing Day in 2003 when there was racing at the Royal Showgrounds in Hobart and harness racing that night in Devonport.

It was a regular slot on the Tasmanian harness calendar to have those two meetings along with a combined meeting on the turf gallops track at Spreyton Park to make three meetings on the one day in the state, and four meetings when you add King Island into the mix.

There was no harness racing on Boxing Day in 1993, as racing on Sunday’s hadn’t commenced then.

This year the only Boxing Day meeting in the state is the non-Tab fixture on King Island where the John Rhodes-trained Karalta Kruise will be aiming for a hat-trick of wins.

The pacer will be driven by Wade Rattray who will be looking for a unique feat at Carrick Park on Sunday when he drives Rockandahardplace in the Cressy Transport Country Championship.

It will be the second time in this extended season where the C.P.P.C’s feature three-year-old race will be held.

Rockandahardplace finished second to Soho Senna in last years’ version. This year, he has drawn wide where he takes on kiwi import Kuyomi for trainer Conor Crook and recent Launceston winner Star Rocker.

The meeting also features the Maxfield Drilling Meander Valley Cup and the Bramich Bulldozing Trainers Incentive Final.

Race one on Sunday is currently set down for 15:25 with the first four races on Sky Racing 2 and the final five races on Sky Racing 1, all races will be shown on Sky Racing 2.

Tuesday evening, we head to Devonport for an eight-race card on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV.

The Kevin Redpath North West Plate Final is the feature race on the card with Artyboy Glenwood and Gone and Forgotten winning the heats in Burnie last week.

The race sees all runners starting of the front mark, and as a result, Good Feelings will start from the third row off the front mark.

Tuesday’s meeting commences at 18:27.

This is our last Harness Highlight’s before Christmas, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers all the best for the festive season.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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