Day At The Track

Tasmanian Harness Highlights – Thursday, 29 October

07:20 PM 29 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Melnrowley,Harness racing

It was a night north-west coast participants won’t forget for some time in Hobart on Sunday.

Agouda Ruler scored in the Dandy Patch and ended an eight-year drought for the north-west coast horses in Sires’ Stakes finals, in fact, you have to go back to the mid to late 90’s to find the last two-year-old Sires’ Stakes winner from the north-west coast.

The north-west coast didn’t have to wait long for their next Sires’ Stakes winner when Melnrowley led all the way to score in the Evicus just over an hour later.

The wins were a part of five winners for driver Gareth Rattray on the night, with Rattray and his fiancée Melissa Maine welcoming their new son Kayden into the world at 11am on Saturday. At 2am on Sunday morning Maine foaled down a half-sister to Agouda Ruler, part of a big weekend for the family.

In other news, Kasey Kent, daughter of former north-west trainer Ian Kent, is the latest participant to join a long list of young Tasmanians in Victoria, and she prepared her first win as a trainer at only her second start in Shepparton on Monday afternoon with former New Zealand pacer Reckon Im Smart.

The Stars

Melnrowley – delivered the first sires’ stakes win for trainer, part-owner and breeder Craig Hayes when the daughter of Heston Blue Chip led all the way in the Group 2 Evicus. The filly was kept honest in the middle stages and proved too tough in a two-year-old fillies record in Hobart of 1m 57.5s when notching up her fifth career win at start six.

Agouda Ruler – also delivered a first sires’ stakes win for his owner-breeders Larry and Liz Nichols and her trainer John Castles. The gelded son of Betterthancheddar settled on the back of the $1.28 favourite Rocknovertime before utilising the Nutrein Ag Sprint Lane to record the quickest last half-mile of the meeting in 56.40s. The win took the pacers prizemoney earnings pass $50,000.

Gareth Rattray – not only did the master reinsman drive both Melnrowley and Agouda Ruler to victory but he also drove another three winners on the 10-race card. It was the third time Rattray has driven five winners on a single program after achieving the feat in Launceston on 29/11/09 and Burnie on 19/01/14.

Racketters Boy – had won five of 53 starts in New Zealand before impressing at his Australian debut in Hobart on Sunday. He was driven by his trainer Troy Hillier, who has a good eye for a kiwi import. Hillier indicated that the horse had been working well before the win and that he is considering a start in Sunday week’s $12,000 Danbury Park Cup in Launceston.

Nine Diamonds – was one of four winners on the Hobart card for trainer Ben Yole and the filly continued her progression through the national rating system with a dominant win in a race that was effectively a rating 42 to 61 event. It was the Auckland Reactor fillies fifth career win at start 20 and given her recent form there looks to be many wins left in her.

Multiple Winners

Hobart – Sunday evening
Gareth Rattray – driving quintet; Baccarat, Agouda Ruler, Melnrowley, Bettabrown Tiger and Karalta Dazzler,
Ben Yole – training quartet; Baccarat, Nine Diamonds, Got The Goods and Karalta Dazzler,
Marc Butler – training double; Spooky Girl, Bettabrown Tiger,
Troy McDonald – driving double; Nine Diamonds and Got The Goods.

Calculated Sectional Standouts

Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action.
Hobart – Sunday evening
Agouda Ruler 56.40s, Racketters Boy 56.67s, Rocknovertime 56.86s, Taurisi 56.98s and Hez The One 57.03s.

View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here.

Tasracing Official Price

Hobart – Sunday evening
Hit’s: Racketeers Boy $2.40 into $1.80 and Melnrowley $1.30 into $1.14.

Defied the Drift: Baccarat $5.00 out to $5.50, Spooky Girl $7.00 out to $9.00, Agouda Ruler $4.00 out to $8.50, Kardesler $2.70 out to $3.20, Got The Goods $4.40 out to $4.80 and Karalta Dazzler $3.80 out to $4.80.

Missed: Micton Aroha $2.90 into $2.60, Rocknovertime $1.35 into $1.28, Live For Peace $15 into $7.00, Betterbsweet $3.60 into $4.00, My Celebrity $3.20 into $2.60 and Jeans Mattjesty $12 into $6.00.

Trial File

Carrick Park – Monday evening
Despite being a rating 71 to 89 trial staged at Carrick Park on Monday, star pacer Ryley Major somehow found himself in a trial where his three rivals were rated between 44 to 49.

As you would expect the 120 rated pacer won the trial under a stronghold by his trainer-driver Rohan Hillier when coming from last at the 600-metre mark to defeat Queen Of Diamonds, who raced very erratically throughout, by a neck.

The mile rate was 2m 2.0s, but this season’s Tasmania Cup winner did start several lengths out of position and his individual time would have been quicker.

Other winners included his half-brother Tommy Hillfigure (2m 4.0s), Giftofjoy (2m 8.7s) and The Floyd (2m 3.5s).

You can view the weekend’s replays by clicking here.

Week Ahead

The two-year-old Sires’ Stakes is done and dusted and now the series rolls on to the three-year-olds in Launceston on Sunday where two heats of the Bandbox and Globe Derby will be held.

The second heat of the Bandbox looks to be a pre-final clash between Tasmanian Oaks winner A Spanish Dance, who is first-up with no recent trial, taking on in-form mare Blame It On Me who has won two starts back from injury.

As for the Globe Derby, the second heat sees Tasmanian Derby winner Micton Mouse return to the state and the John Nicholson pacer has drawn well in barrier three, with Kivik the highest-rated pacer in the race by one-point drawing barrier seven.

The first heat sees Watchmylips return from a spell after winning his previous three starts with the race featuring last year’s Dandy Patch winner Colby Sanz and second placegetter Kohanah with both horses out to recapture some of their best form ahead of the Group 2 Final next week.

Race One is scheduled for 17:22 and will be on Sky Racing 2, with the final nine races on Sky Racing 1.

Trainer Geoff Smith has sent recent Devonport winner Laid Back Kenny interstate this week, and he is one of two Tasmanian pacers doing battle over the next few days at metropolitan venues including;

Melton – Saturday Night
Race 4 Horse 4 Laid Back Kenny,

Menangle – Saturday Night
Race 2 Horse 1 Shelby Bromac (Emg)


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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