Day At The Track

Tasmanian Harness Highlights – Wednesday, 17 April

05:14 PM 17 Apr 2019 NZST
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Easter Cup heat night once again had plenty of action on and off the track in Launceston on Friday.

A power issue off track caused a lengthy delay with credit to the Office of Racing Integrity stewards and participants for ensuring the meeting was able to proceed after a 90-minute delay.

On the track, it was a great night of racing with Gavin Lang dominating the night in the sulky with a treble, including a heat of the Easter Cup with Franco Tristan. The other heat of the cup was won by Illegal Immigrant who came home well to win courtesy of a well-timed drive by Troy Hillier.

Ben Yole extended his lead on the state’s trainers’ premierships with a treble in Devonport on Sunday.

This week we see the first ever harness race meeting in Australia on Good Friday when the Tasmanian Trotting Club plays host to the tier two meeting of the week before the Launceston Pacing Club conduct their premier night of racing on Saturday, featuring the Group 2 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup.

The Stars

Gavin Lang - produced three excellent drives to put on the tape to be played at the junior driver's school when he won the first three races on the Launceston card. The main purpose of Lang’s Launceston mission was to qualify Franco Tristan for Saturday night’s Group 2 Easter Cup, and the six-year-old gelding was the first horse to qualify for the final with an effortless win in the opening heat when he scored by four-metres over Scooterwillrev and The Aussie. Lang also trained and drove Castle Retreat to victory as well as driving Art Frenzy to his third win of the season.

Illegal Immigrant - caused a minor upset when he stormed home late to defeat Ryley Major by 1.9 metres in Heat Two of the Easter Cup. Trainer-driver Troy Hillier settled the American Ideal gelding three-back along with the marker pegs and was able to be driven conservatively off a solid tempo that saw the last three quarters all run in under 30 seconds, Illegal Immigrant had too much speed late to record his fifth win of the season.

Kohanah - “I think he’s pretty good,” was the quote from his trainer-driver Todd Rattray after the son of Sweet Lou took out the Launceston Pacing Club Golden Slipper. Kohanah flew home in the final 100 metres to pick up the short-priced favourite Topzavski to record his second win at only his third race start. The colt is the first foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Benediction.

War Dan Delight - Victorian-trained pacer who looked a class above his rivals on paper in the C0 Pace and he won accordingly. Driver Greg Sugars was forced to do a little bit of work when finding the spot outside the leader in the middle stages of the race, the Dean Braun-trained colt wasn’t out of second gear when winning by 9.8 metres.

Black Ops - after finishing in the second spot of five consecutive occasions the Ben Yole-trained pacer is now finding the winning post first winning three of his last four outings, including wins in Launceston on Friday evening and again in Devonport on Sunday night.

Multiple Winners

Launceston – Friday evening

Gavin Lang - driving treble; Art Frenzy, Franco Tristan and Castle Retreat,

Gavin Lang - training double; Franco Tristan and Castle Retreat.

Devonport – Sunday evening 

Ben Yole - training treble; Black Ops, Ready To Fire and Blacklist.

Calculated Sectional Standouts

Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action.

Launceston – Friday evening

Harjeet 55.49s, The Aussie 55.73s and All Style Sammy 55.79s. Outside of the Easter Cup heats; Castle Retreat 56.40s, Reign Of Pain 56.52s and El Jays Mystery 56.54s.

Devonport – Sunday evening 

Mostly Spirit 59.34s, Karalta Moondance 59.40s, Lille 59.45s, Navua Pixie 59.55 and My Girl Pearl 59.56s.

View all available Tasmanian Sectional Data by clicking here.

Tasracing Official Price

Launceston – Friday evening 

Hits: Nil

Defied The Drift: Art Frenzy $3.70 out to $4.00, Franco Tristan $2.70 out to $3.60, Castle Retreat $2.40 out to $3.40, Illegal Immigrant $12 out to $21, Kohanah $3.70 out to $4.80 and Redason $3.70 out to $3.90.

Missed: Maybe Jack $9.00 into $7.50, Mister Magic Man $3.70 into $3.30, War Dan $3.20 into $2.40 and Beam Me Up Chopper $3.20 into $2.35.

Devonport – Sunday evening 

Hits: Karalta Moondance $3.80 into $2.80, Ready To Fire $9.00 into $4.40, Blacklist $26 into $14 and Flashy Ruler $12 into $6.50.

Defied The Drift: Black Ops $3.20 out to $3.60.

Missed: Lille $4.60 into $3.60, The Lemondrop Kid $3.80 into $2.90, El Jays Monet $31 into $15, Jetcract $15 into $11 and The Diamond King $15 into $7.50.

Trial File

Carrick Park - Saturday morning

The Melissa Maine trained two-year-old Better Amour recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the four trials conducted when she recorded 2m 7.0s for the 1670-metre distance.

Driver Gareth Rattray positioned the daughter of Betterthancheddar behind the leader at the bell before defeating He Got Rocked by one metre with the early leader Badrick a further metre away in third position.

Other winners at the trial session included; Its All Bliss (2m 21.1s), Sermac (2m 9.6s) and Levi Jimmy (2m 13.2s).

Hobart - Monday evening

Tasmanian Derby runner up, Resurgent Storm recorded the fastest winning mile rate of the session in Hobart when the Betterthancheddar colt ran a mile rate of 2m 1.6s.

From barrier two driver Zeke Slater had the Roger Whitmore-trained pacer behind the leader at the bell and was able to hold off handy three-year-old filly Still Hungover by one metre, with the third place getter Dee Bee Bobby 99 metres away in third placing.

The last two quarters were recorded in 30.8s and 28.5s.

Remaining trials were won by; Finn Mac Kee (2m 3.9s), Sweetimnot (2m 3.6s), Brystabella (2m 6.2s) and Dasher Houli (2m 6.7s).

Week Ahead

Star Tasmanian Pacer Ignatius is back at the track on Thursday night when he lines up in the Group 2 Renshaw Cup at Penrith.

The James Rattray-trained and driven pacer is first up since mid-February and was an impressive trial winner at Menangle on April 9 when recording a time of 1m 53.8s for 1609 metres.

Ignatius will start from inside the second row over the 2525 metres event that is scheduled to start at 20:03.

Friday afternoon the Tasmanian Trotting Club will stage the first-ever harness race meeting in Australia on Good Friday.

The meeting will be telecast on Sky Racing 1 and Tasracing.com.au’s Live Stream.

The Launceston Pacing Club will stage their premier night of racing on Saturday night, with the $75,000 Group 2 Dakin Refrigeration Easter Cup the main event of the 10-race card.

You can make a strong case for almost half the field in the Cup including Victorian-trained runners Franco Tristan and War Dan who will take on Tasmania’s best headlined by Ryley Major, Harjeet, Scooterwillrev, The Aussie and Illegal Immigrant.

The Cup is set down to commence at 20:10.

Other highlights on Saturday night include the Kevin Gillies Memorial, where Izaha looks the one to beat, and the Elders Insurance Launceston Easter Plate, where the Gavin Lang trained and driven Castle Retreat will be chasing back to back wins on the Launceston track.

The first of ten races in Launceston is scheduled for 18:17 and you can catch all the action on Tasracing’s Live Stream Service and Sky Racing who will televise races one and two on Sky Racing 2, with the remainder of the meeting on Sky Racing 1.

 

Duncan Dornauf

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