This is the biggest meeting of the year at Launceston with the running of the Launceston Cup on a giant ten-race program.
Trainer Darren Weir has booked top Victorian jockey Damian Lane to ride Northern Hemisphere import Andrea Mantegna in the Cup and he looks a safe bet on 55kg – which is a kilo above the limit. The stayer ran a slashing second to South Australian-trained mare Pretty Punk to narrowly miss winning the Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 11.
The five-year-old stallion meets Pretty Punk on superior weight terms and looks hard to hold out in a full field of 16 runners.
Weir also has Bondeiger to give him a good second string. Bondeiger will be ridden by the inform Group 1 winning jockey Regan Bayliss and the stallion is on the limit on 54kg.
Rain is forecast for Wednesday so the track may be downgraded from its Good 4 (Monday).
The False rail will be at the three-metre position for the entire circumference.
QUADDIES (races 7,8,9,10)
Skinny Play: 2,5 – 1 – 3 – 1,2
Wide Play: 1,2,3,5 – 1,2 – 1,3,5 – 1,2,5,9
BEST BET: R8 – 1. HELLOVA STREET
Next Best Bet: R4 – 6. BREATHTAKING
Best Roughie: R7 – 10. THE CAPTAIN
No7 KATHONIOUS back down to maiden class after being trapped deep and running on well over 1600m at Hobart on February 11. Previous two starts ran on for second in this class.
No4 THE LAST GODFATHER resumed from a 43-week spell with a promising third over 1200m at Hobart on February 11. Hit the line hard that time and top Victorian jockey Dean Yendall rides.
No12 LEVISSI narrowly beaten in a 1400m maiden at Hobart two starts ago before finishing a strong fourth over 1200m maiden at the same track on February 11. The wide gate in 15 is a drawback.
No2 IVORYMAN Resuming from a 13-week spell and form on country tracks in New South Wales was fine. Having his first start for a new stable and goes well fresh with two seconds at four starts. Top rider Craig Newitt is on top.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 IVORYMAN
No1 IT’S A BATTLE was the $3.40 favourite when finishing a good third over 2100m here on February 25. Gets top rider Dean Yendall to guide in a close back up here and he has been inside the money at his past five starts.
No3 MATIANO was having his second start back from a spell when finishing a strong second over 1600m at Hobart ion February 18 as a $4.20 favourite. With the 2kg claim drops 2kg to 56kg here.
No2 KALALO comes into this race with a smart win over 2150m here on February 14. Was heavily backed into a $2.60 favourite that day and drops a half-kilo to 58.5kg. The wide alley in 14 is a setback.
No10 LOVELY LADY has won and been placed twice from past three starts. Latest she ran a strong second over 2100m at Hobart on February 18. She goes up a kilo to 56.5kg and rates strongly.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 LOVELY LADY
No6 BOLTOUTOFTHEBLUE is something of a track specialist with four starts here for three wins. Had to dig deep to win narrowly over 1420m here on February 14. Drops 1.5kg to 57.5kg and looks to be a strong chance.
No4 BARJEEL showed his rivals a clean pair of plates with a strong 2 length win over 1600m at Hobart on February 18. He gets top rider Dean Yendall to partner and gets the luxury of a 1.5kg drop in weight to 58kg.
No9 SPEEDONOVA has been in great form with two wins from past three starts. Had a trial over 1400m, which he won well, at Hobart on February 20 to top him off for this assignment from a four-week break.
No5 BISCAY BARB was concluding with a strong run along the rail to snatch third over 1400m at Hobart on February 18. Drops a 2kg with the 2kg claim of the apprentice to 55.5kg and rates highly.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 BISCAY BARB
No6 BREATHTAKING (NEXT BEST BET) has had a flying start to career with a win and two placings at three starts. Converted an easy trial win to the racetrack with a flawless 4 length win over 1220m here on February 14. He was strongly backed into a $2.20 favourite that day. He only goes up a half-kilo to 56.5kg and gets top Tasmanian jockey Craig Newitt to partner from gate 10. Hard to go past here.
No1 BANCA BOY has not finished further back than fourth at past five starts and looms as a danger.
No3 THEWORDSOUT broke his maiden status with an effortless 2 length win here on January 31. Respect.
No10 GEEGEES CASH COW was making strong ground to finish fourth last start at Hobart. Must respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 THEWORDSOUT
No1 MISTER SONGMAN resumes from a six-week spell here and last start ran a good fifth in the Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) at Hobart on January 12. He has a perfect record at this track of four starts for four wins.
No3 CITY OF DREAMS resumed from an eight-week spell with a strong second over 1400m in the Magic Millions over 1200m here on February 14. Was the $2.05 favourite that day and from gate four gets a soft run.
No2 GEE GEE LANETT she was working home the best when posting a narrow win over 1100m at Hobart on February 9. She loves this track with a win and three placings at her six appearances.
No6 UBER ED the blinkers come off and the winkers go on here. Last start ran a good third to Gee Gee Lanett over 1100m at Hobart on February 9. That was first-up from a spell and has yet to miss the money at three starts.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 UBER ED
No5 MYSTIC JOURNEY can’t fault this two-year-old’s form with three starts for three wins. She defied an ease in the betting as a $2.90 favourite to win well over 1100m in a Listed race at Hobart on February 11.
No1 GEE GEE SECONDOVER will wear winkers for the first time. She is out to end a spate of seconds here. Latest was runner up to Mystic Journey over 1100m in a Listed race at Hobart on February 11. The main danger.
No6 OUR LONG SALI has not done anything wrong at two starts. Was a strong favourite when cruising to a 2 len win over 1220m in the Magic Millions here on February 14. That win was off a three-week break, but drawn wide in 11.
No7 MELVEEN sustained a long run before narrowly getting the upper hand for a win over 1200m at Sandown on February 14. Victorian filly brought across for this and she is down 2kg to 55kg under the setweights.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 MELVEEN
No5 TERIKI was a massive 3 length winner over 1100m at Hobart on February 11. Gets top Tasmanian rider Craig Newitt to ride again and will be on the limit on 54kg and is drawn well in gate seven. Good chance here.
No3 GEE GEE DOUBLE DEE had won three on end before last-start fifth over 1200m in a Group 3 at Hobart on February 9. The four-year-old mare can bounce back here with Sigrid Carr to retain the ride.
No1 GEE GEE RED PRINCE pay to overlook last start when dropped out from the start and never participated when last of eight over 1100m at Hobart on February 11. Loves this track and would include.
No10 THE CAPTAIN (BEST ROUGHIE) with the scratching of leading chance Life On The Wire gets his chance on strong third when attempted to lead throughout over 1200m at Hobart on February 9. Makes each-way appeal.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 THE CAPTAIN
No1 HELLOVA STREET (BEST BET) loves this track only missing a placing twice at 14 starts. Underlined he was primed for this with an outstanding 2 length win in a Listed 1400m race at Hobart on February 11. He looks suited under the weight-for-age conditions on 59kg and he is second-up from a seven-weeks spell. Has two wins and three seconds at seven attempts second-up.
No8 GOGO GRACE the form of this mare on the mainland and in Tasmania rates her as a chance here.
No3 COUNT DA VINCI was second up in a Listed race over 1400m at Hobart last start. Has claims.
No2 ROYAL RAPTURE has Victoria’s leading big race rider Damian Lane riding for top trainer Darren Wear. Respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 ROYAL RAPTURE
No3 ANDREA MANTEGNA with Darren Weir training and Damian Lane to ride rates as a big chance. Dived late to just miss winning the Hobart Cup (2400m) as a $3.50 favourite on February 11. He looks suited under the handicap conditions on 55kg.
No2 PRETTY PUNK narrowly held out Andrea Mantegna by a lip in the Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 11. The South Australian trained mare jumps up 2.5kg for that win to 58kg, but must rate highly on form.
No1 BERISHA comes to Tasmania off a good second in the Colac Cup (2000m) on February 11. Carried 62.5kg in the Cup and drops to 59kg here but he is up in class. The red hot Victorian rider Mark Zahra rides here.
No9 EASTENDER was a smart winner of the Brighton Cup (2100m) at Hobart two starts ago before finishing a steady seventh in the Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 11. He is again on the limit on 54kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 EASTENDER
No1 LOVE MAGIC loves this track with two wins and two seconds at four starts. Latest did lay in before finishing a strong fourth over 1200m at Hobart on February 9. That was first-up from a spell and second-up record is as good.
No2 KAFOO was a clever winner over 1200m here last start on January 24. Was given a hit out over a 700m trial at Longford where ran a solid second on February 20. Has a perfect record of one start for one win at this track.
No9 GEE GEE SPITFIRE has not finished further back than fourth at past five starts. Latest ran a good second over 1200m here on February 14. Drops 3kg to 57kg and is drawn in gate three.
No6 SON OF A FLING was forced to work very hard before finishing a sound fifth over 1200m here on February 25. That was his third start back from a spell and is on the quick back up. Goes well at this track.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 GEE GEE SPITFIRE