Day At The Track

Tasmanians doing battle on the mainland

11:53 AM 09 Apr 2020 NZST
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Tasmanian Harness action,Harness racing

There may be no racing in Tasmania at present, but there is plenty of ex-pats of both the human and equine variety doing battle on the mainland this weekend.

Duncan Dornauf has the thoughts of a few participants and who they rate as their best chances across the weekend.

Melton – Thursday afternoon

Race 6 Horse 1 Bar Naar Naar – is trained by Westbury-based Michael Laugher, his son and Victorian stable foreman Jack Laugher, who also owns the pacer is hopeful the five-year-old mare can take full advantage of her pole draw in the 46 to 51 rated race.

“She’s an honest little horse, and she should be able to take advantage of her good draw and hopefully run somewhere in the money,” said Jack.

“She is racing out of her class, but I think she’s up to most of them,” he added.

Darby McGuigan will drive the mare who has won two out of her last five-starts while Jack is on the sidelines due to suspension.

Bendigo – Thursday night

Tasmanian born driver Alex Ashwood has six-drives on the program where he rates Lay The Smack Down as his best winning chance in race three despite drawing outside of the front row over the 1650 metre trip.

“He has shown a lot of promise at the trials and finds a winnable race here,” said Ashwood.

Lay The Smack Down finished third on debut at Echuca on 3 March and has won a Bendigo trial since that effort where he ran a mile rate of 1m 57.2s and a slick 56.6s last half mile.

Ashwood’s Book 

  • Race 1 Horse 7 Whata Rockstar
  • Race 3 Horse 7 Lay The Smackdown
  • Race 4 Horse 9 Armbro Hugh
  • Race 5 Horse 1 Wotchawaitingfor
  • Race 6 Horse 7 Well Defined
  • Race 8 Horse 10 Surbiton Heartbreak

Also at the Bendigo meeting former north-west coast trainer, Dylan Marshall is represented on the card with Barbie Mattgregor in race eight. The seven-year-old mare has been placed in three of her last five outings, and she has a wide draw to overcome.

Penrith – Thursday night

Race 1 Horse 5 Rossini – is prepared by dual Inter Dominion winning trainer James Rattray who also takes the drive on the four-year-old gelding. Rossini has won three of his 21 starts and has been placed in three of four tries this preparation.

Former Raider Stakes winner and Tasmanian bred pacer Timely Sovereign lines up in race five.

Cranbourne – Sunday

Josh Duggan is another Tasmanian driver who has done an outstanding job in Victoria and he has five drives at Cranbourne on Sunday afternoon.

He rates Dreamee as his best winning chance in race four.

“He meets a pretty even field and was a good run last start after galloping out. Hopefully, he’s on his best behaviour on Sunday and should be thereabouts,” said Duggan about the Alison Alford trained trotters chances.

Duggan’s Book 

  • Race 2 Horse 2 Tauto Jane
  • Race 4 Horse 9 Dreamee
  • Race 6 Horse 1 Brandlo Prince
  • Race 7 Horse 3 Call Me Henry
  • Race 8 Horse 6 Rock On Playboy

Robert Walters is another Tasmanian trainer-driver participating at the meeting with Heza Braxton in race one and Hollys Miss Molly in race five.

Shepparton – Sunday

Race 5 Horse 2 Blingittothemax (emergency). Despite being placed in four of his last five starts, the Mick Maxfield owned pacer is an emergency for the Caledonian Hotel Easter Cup at the Echuca meeting that is being staged at Shepparton, with the significant field restrictions and horses being restricted to their local area in the state, as such Harness Racing Victoria have revised their field selection process for the short term.

Expect several Tasmanian horses to step out in the coming week or two with a few trainers electing to send horses from their stables to interstate trainers.


Duncan Dornauf

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