Day At The Track

Tasmanian Update with Peter Staples

06:01 PM 27 Jun 2016 NZST
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Usain Jolt (James Austin) wins the Dandy Patch Stakes in Hobart on Sunday night..jpg Finn Mac Kee (Paul Hill) about to forge clear of his rivals in a C2 at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night.jpg Playing Arkabella (Ricky Duggan) avbout to roll to the front in the $30,000 Evicus Stakes final in Hobart on Sunday niht.jpg
Usain Jolt (James Austin) wins the Dandy Patch Stakes in Hobart on Sunday night
Peter Staples
Finn Mac Kee (Paul Hill) about to forge clear of his rivals in a C2 at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night
Peter Staples
Playing Arkabella (Ricky Duggan) avbout to roll to the front in the $30,000 Evicus Stakes final in Hobart on Sunday night
Peter Staples

One of the most impressive winners on the nine-event harness racing program in Tasmania at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night was the Tommy Jackson-trained Finn Mac Kee (Stonebridge Regal-Scarlett Finn) who led throughout to easily win a C2 event over 1609 metres.

It was Finn Mac Kee’s fifth win from only 13 starts but arguably his most impressive. The four-year-old is expected to have one more start in a C-2C3 in Launceston in a couple of weeks before being sent for a spell.

“I’ll most likely give him one more start and then spell him but when I bring him back I’ll get him qualified from a standing start because I’d like to aim him at a few of the country cups over the Christmas-New Year period next season,” Jackson said.

Finn Mac Kee has been a model of consistency this season winning four and being placed as many times from his 11 starts this time in.

“I said early on that this horse could be the best I’ve had and he’s done nothing to change that opinion.

“I don’t think he’ll have any problem with qualifying for standing start races and if I’m right he will be very compeitive in a few of the country cups. I’m not saying he’s up to the best but he is improving all the time and he loves to race,” he said.

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Veteran Tasmanian harness racing trainer Paul Hill has always had a knack with producing top flight young horses and this season has been no exception with his star filly Playing Arkabella scoring an emphatic win in the $30,000 Evicus Stakes final over 1609 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night.

Hill won the race last year with his filly Chica Bella and while she was impressive throughout her two-year-old season there was as much to like about how Playing Arkabella went about her business in the last major feature juvenile race of the season.

With Ricky Duggan aboard, Playing Arkabella ($1.50) was forced to work hard early from her outside front-row draw but eventually she was sent around the field to face the breeze outside of Harshali with the well-tried El jays Mystery on the back of the leader.

When Duggan called on his filly for the big effort in the home straight she sped clear and went on to score by over 10 metres from El Jays Mystery ($7.80) with Harshali ($7.70) a short half-head away third.

It was the filly’s fourth win from eight starts this season and she filled minor placings at her other four starts with this prizemoney from this latest win taking her career earnings to almost $46,000..

Hill prepared the favourite Rocknroll Turbo in the Dandy patch final but he had to settle for second to the highly promising Usain Jolt, depriving Hill of a record of preparing the winner of the Dandy Patch and Evicus two years in succession as he trained Hillview Jake to win last season's Dandy Patch.

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A Tasmanian harness racing star may have emerged at UBET Park Hobart last night when Usain Jolt, a well-bred two-year-old prepared by astute horseman Tony Petersen, delivered a brilliant performance to win the $30,000 Dandy Patch Stakes over 1609 metres.

Usain Jolt (James Austin) went into the race having not won from four previous starts while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo was aiming to keep his unbeaten record intact having won at his only two outings, including an effortless win in the Dandy Patch Prelude two weeks earlier.

But Petersen was able to iron out a couple of little problems that were impeding the gelding to race truly and it made all the difference.

Harjeet showed brilliant early speed to lead but he was then taken on by the second-favourite Williamtell (Gareth Rattray) that rolled to the front and set a slid tempo while the favourite Rocknroll Turbo faced the breeze.

Rocknroll Turbo hung badly throughout the race and that didn’t help his cause but when Ricky Duggan gave Usain Jolt his head racing down the back the last time he loomed as a genuine contender.

But when the gelded son of Village Jolt balanced for the run home he powered past the leaders and went on to defeat Rocknroll Turbo by eight metres with a similar margin to Williamtell.

“This horse has always shown us good ability but he’s just been a little bit wayward in is action but I sorted that out leading up to this race,” Petersen said.

“He is very well bred and his breeding goes back to Chamfer Star and that’s really solid.”

Austin was thrilled with the win and predicts a bright future for gelding.

“The way this horse ravelled into the race tonight he was never going to lose. Tony has been able to straighten him out and I reckon there’s still plenty of improvement in him,” Austin said.

Usain Jolt is owned by Jacinta Webb, Deb Carlton and life partners Tammy Carlton and Sam King.

Peter Staples

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