The second day of the Tasmanian Summer Carnival kicks off this afternoon with the running of the Hobart Cup (2400m).
Melbourne’s champion trainer Darren Weir has taken over USA import Andrea Mantegna for a crack at winning the Cup. Weir has booked his major big-race partner Damian Lane to ride the stayer, who gets a mammoth drop of four-kilos down to the limit on 54kg on his tear-away win over 2250m at Morphettville on January 27.
Weir has sent a strong team across for the Friday and Sunday meetings at Hobart and he is strongly represented in the feature races today, with his fillies Pleasuring and Maheera holding strong claims in the Strutt Stakes (2100m). The race is restricted to three-year-old fillies and is run under set-weight conditions.
The False Rail will be shifted to the three-metre position and the track is rated as a Good 4 (Friday).
Rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday but the weather is tipped to clear for the running of the Hobart Cup. It will be a cool day with a maximum of 20C.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 1- 1,4 – 7 – 1,2
Wide Play: 1,4 – 1,4,8 – 1,7,8 – 1,2,4,7
BEST BET: R6 – 1. HELLOVA STREET
Next Best Bet: R8 – 7. ANDREA MANTEGNA
Best Roughie: R7 – 8. MAHEERA
No10 LEVISSI faces a moderate field where there is likely to be many scratchings, with plenty of these runners also engaged in a maiden here on Friday. Gets top country Victorian rider Nikita Beriman to ride after running a smart second here over 1400m on January 28.
No12 GEE GEES LIBERTY faces a meek bunch in this maiden where there is limited exposed form. The filly is from a top stable and she ran a solid fourth over 1200m maiden at Launceston on December 13. She has been placed at five of her 10 starts.
No2 NEGREANU has been transferred to Tasmania after racing for Team Hayes in Victoria. He begins his new quest with a critical gear change with the blinkers coming off for the first time. He was placed second in a 900m trial at Hobart.
No6 SPEEDY ILLUSION having his first start for a new stable after running 10th over 1200m maiden at Warrnambool on January 7. Has been placed at four of 11 starts and is a chance here with the blinkers coming off.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 NEGREANU
No10 KATHONIOUS has been placed twice at four starts and strikes a mild field today. The three-year-old showed he was close to breaking the ice with a strong second over 1350m at Devonport on January 10. Gets top rider Brenton Avdulla.
No4 WESTWOOD was working home strongly to claim fourth over 1400m at Launceston on January 31. Gets former top apprentice Beau Mertens to ride for the first time today and is now fully fit.
*SCRATCHED* No5 TALE OF THE FOX ran a great third over 1400m at Launceston on January 31. That was his fourth start back from a spell and is a three-year-old at his peak. Anthony Darmanin goes back on here.
No2 PATERANGI ran a good third in similar company over 1600m at Launceston on January 24. With the 3kg claim of Teagan Voorham will carry 56kg – a drop of 3kg on last start.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 TALE OF THE FOX
No6 NORTHERN SOUL has the blinkers going off and the visors going on. Last start hit the line hard when finishing a luckless ninth over 1600m at Launceston on January 31. Strikes moderate opposition today and gets his chance.
No7 LOVELY LADY has the blinkers going off and the ear muffs going on pre-race. Was impressive at winning over 1600m at Launceston on January 24. That was in a lower grade but did the job super well.
No8 STRATHALBYN narrowly missed the major prize last start over 1600m here on January 28. She actually drops 2kg to 56.5kg and keeps top jockey Craig Newitt on top. Will have admirers.
No2 VOLCAN DE FUEGO has a superior second-up record to fresh record. Was first up when finishing 13th over 1600m at Launceston on January 31. Prepared to forgive and go on his three placings at four starts second-up.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 VOLCAN DE FUEGO
No1 GEE GEE RED PRINCE has abundant speed to use from good alley in three and with the 1.5kg claim will carry 60kg. He has been placed at three starts back this campaign and looks ready to break the ice.
No3 ISSAWI could not have been more impressive than when steaming to a 3.5 length win in a 900m trial here on January 3. Trial jockey David Pires keeps the race ride and goes super well fresh with two wins and three placings at seven starts.
No4 TERIKI has been placed at three of six starts this season but has yet to win. However rates with claims on last-start third over 1100m here on January 28. The five-year-old has gate two and Craig Newitt.
No5 SUPER FUN has been handed down by Team Hayes to new trainer here. He is resuming from a 13-week spell and he usually goes well fresh with a win and four placings at seven starts. Not out of his realm.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 SUPER FUN
No3 MYSTIC JOURNEY has been impressive at her two starts in juvenile races here winning both by a total of 1½ lengths. Latest she led from the front and kicked away to a comfortable .75 length win over 1100m at Launceston on January 24.
No1 GEE GEE SECONDOVER was unable to respond to Mystic Journey’s sprint but did a good job to finish runner up over 1100m at Launceston on January 24. Carries the same weight on 57kg and Craig Newitt sticks.
No7 DU WELL is a Cranbourne-trained juvenile, who made a promising debut in a class field when seventh to Lady Horsepower in the Listed Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on January 27. Superior draw in two is a bonus.
No2 GEE GEE PENGALA has yet to put a hoof wrong at two starts and will sport blinkers for the first time. Scored a smart win over 1100m in a maiden here on January 12. He was plunged into $1.85 favourite that day.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 GEE GEE PENGALA
No1 HELLOVA STREET (BEST BET) is a high class Tasmanian galloper who underlined he was primed for a big assault with a cruising second over 900m in a trial at Hobart on January 30. He has a first-up record of four wins and two thirds at seven starts. His form in the spring at Melbourne was tops with a Group 3 win over 1400m at Flemington on November 9. Has won six times and been placed twice at eight starts here.
No4 LORD DA VINCI embellished three successive placings with a clever win at Launceston last start.
No3 GEEGEES DOUBLEJAY claimed a win over 1150m at Devonport three starts ago and is consistent.
No6 VALIANT WARRIOR scored his second win this season over 1400m here last start. Respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 VALIANT WARRIOR
No4 PLEASURING gets the bonus of top Victorian jockey Damian Lane to ride for top trainer Darren Weir. She was plunged into a $1.65 favourite when breaking the ice over 1600m in a maiden at Ballarat on January 14. She then ran a great second over 1600m at Sandown on January 31.
No1 PATEENA ARENA fought hard to beat Gee Gees Queenie in the Thousand Guineas over 1600m at Launceston on January 24. She was plunged from $2.05 into a white hot $1.65 favourite that day. Top jockey Luke Currie rides.
No7 GONE GIRL has been an exciting winner at her past two starts. Latest she was easy at $9.50 before flourishing home to win by .4 length over 1620m at Launceston on January 17. This is her first test at a distance, but is promising.
No8 MAHEERA (BEST ROUGHIE) is the stablemate to the favourite Pleasuring. She has the drill with a close fifth over 1912m maiden at Kilmore on February 1. With three runs over the middle distances under her belt now she is tough.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 MAHEERA
No7 ANDREA MANTEGNA (NEXT BEST BET) is one of the big guns from the Darren Weir camp with an explosive 5.3 length win over Spy Decoder over 2250m at Morphettville last start on January 27. Harry Coffey is replaced by the big race winning jockey Damian Lane and the stayer plummets down from 58kg to the limit on 54kg here. The US-bred stayer is on the crest of a wave now and should coast home an easy winner again today.
No1 DEE I CEE is the highest rated horse in the Cup and cops top weight on 59kg. He is hardy.
No8 EASTENDER won the Brighton Cup over 2100m here last start. He is young with an upside.
No2 PRETTY PUNK racing in peak form and she looks to have good claims again in the Cup on 55.5kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 PRETTY PUNK
No1 BY THE POUND was first up from a 14-week spell when ran home strongly to finish under 2 length adrift of Boart in an 1100m hcp here on January 28. Has Craig Newitt and gate seven and goes well second-up.
*SCRATCHED* No2 KAFOO has claimed two wins and three placings at seven starts this season. Comes here with a brilliant win over 1200m at Launceston on January 24. Had to dig deep to win and gave all to rider Daniel Ganderton.
No7 IL REGALO showed the way until the final 100m when challenged strongly and fought hard to finish fourth over 1100m here on January 28. Goes up 1.5kg to 56.5kg but Singrid Carr retains the mount.
No4 KUUSELA has had two wins from four starts this season and would draw a line through her first-up start when running last over 1000m here on January 28. Can improve sharply here.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 KUUSELA