Day At The Track

Next superstars of Tasmanian harness racing

07:59 AM 16 Jun 2016 NZST
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Rocknroll Turbo, driven by Rohan Hillier
Rocknroll Turbo, driven by Rohan Hillier, wins the Debutante Stakes at Mowbray.
Greg Mansfield Photo

Two horses still in the infancy of their careers but already billed as potential superstars will contest feature harness racing in Tasmania over the next two weekends.

Three-year-old gelding Ryley Major has been described by successful trainer Rohan Hillier as “the best horse I’ve had for a long time” and “lengths better” than his mother Shez Ryleymak who won 23 races and was a Tasmanian horse of the year.

Two-year-old colt Rocknroll Turbo is raced by successful owner-breeder Charlie Beadman who says he’s been told that the youngster could surpass all his other top horses.

Ryley Major will run in the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes final at Mowbray on Sunday night and Rocknroll Turbo in the $30,000 Dandy Patch Stakes final in Hobart on Sunday week.

Hillier has his sights on the rich Breeders Crown final in Melbourne in August with Ryley Major, who is unbeaten in seven starts this season and is likely to have a run in Victoria before he contests the Tasmanian heat in Hobart on July 8.

The Art Major gelding has drawn barrier 3 for the Globe Derby final and will be at unbackable odds.

Rocknroll Turbo has raced only twice for a win in the Debutante Stakes at Mowbray in January and an impressive victory in the Dandy Patch prelude last Sunday night.

He is a half-brother to star four-year-old Jerrys Jet, also owned and bred by Beadman, who has won 15 of his 19 starts.

This time last year Beadman said he thought Jerrys Jet might turn out to be the best horse he has ever owned or bred – better than Thomas Magnum (18 wins including the Tasmanian Championship), Jurassic Jack (25 wins),  Whisky Regal (24 wins) and Ultimate Girl (13 wins including the Tasmanian Oaks).

Then, more recently, he revealed that trainer Paul Hill had told him that Rocknroll Turbo might be better than Jerrys Jet.

“But we’ll wait and see – it would be hard for him to do any more than Jerrys Jet has done,” Beadman said.

Hill himself is on the verge of a unique feat.

Last year he won the two-year-old sires stake double – Dandy Patch and Evicus – with Hillview Jake and Chica Bella.

Next week he will be a short-priced favourite to repeat the double with Rocknroll Turbo and Playing Arkabella.

No trainer has completed the double in successive years since the Evicus was first run in 1990.

Hill also has Chica Bella in Sunday night’s other feature race, the $30,000 Bandbox Stakes final, and she is the likely favourite despite an ordinary draw (barrier 10).

The filly, winner of 10 of her 18 starts, was odds-on in last week’s prelude but met early interference which unseated driver Ricky Duggan.

By Greg Mansfield

Reprinted with permission of the site

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