Day At The Track

Weather wrecks plans to tackle Vicbred Series

05:00 PM 11 Jun 2016 NZST
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Ryley Major after his last 2YO win in Launceston last season
Ryley Major after his last 2YO win in Launceston last season
Peter Staples Photo

The horror stretch of wet weather that has bombarded Tasmania over the past fortnight has had a dramatic effect on the progress of some of the state's best pacers including Tasmanian Derby winner Ryley Major who was being aimed at the rich Vicbred series for harness racing three-year-olds.

Ryley Major was to have had his final hit-out in Tasmania in a Globe Derby (Sires Stakes) Prelude in Launceston last Sunday night which was to serve as the first of two runs he would have needed to tackle a Vicbred Super Series heat at Kilmore (Victoria) next week.

But when the Launceston meeting was abandoned because of rain and the state of the track it left the gelding's owner-trainer Rohan Hillier with no option but to scrap plans to head interstate.

"My horse could not have gone to Melbourne for the Vicbred series heat without having that run (Globe Derby Prelude) and one other," Hillier said.

"The weather has been so bad that I haven't been able to work my horse like he should have been because the tracks have been put out of play by the amount of rain we've had.

"I had originally intended running him in the Globe Derby Prelude as a conditioning run before the Vicbred heats and had no intention of running in the Globe Derby final but mother nature changed everything.

"When they rescheduled the Globe Derby Prelude to last night (Friday) in Launceston I had to run him. He was already getting fat because of the work he'd missed so now he will go into next Sunday night's Globe Derby final probably still a bit underdone but hopefully I can pour the work into him this week to have him good enough on the night.

"We will then concentrate on having a crack at the Breeders Crown series in Victoria in July-August," he said.

On Friday night in Launceston Ryley Major toyed with his rivals on his way an effortless win in the Globe Derby Prelude over 2200m.

Outsider Spot Eight led from the pole position but he quickly handed up to the second favourite Hillview Jake when he was sent scurrying around the field from the rear to take up the front running while Hillier was content to allow Ryley Major to drop out to last from his outside front-row draw.

Hillview Jake travelled well in the lead but when the pace slackened slightly Hillier sent his three-year-old around the field to face the breeze for the last lap.

The Tasmanian Derby winner was under a stranglehold turning for home and when Hillier released the reins the gelded son of Art Major he sped clear and went on to record a convincing win over Spot Eight ($41) with Timely Sovereign ($41) a close-up third ahead of Kwiatkowski ($12) that missed the start by 20 metres and did a good job to finish as close as he did.

Peter Staples

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