Day At The Track

Stablemates set to battle at first meeting

10:24 AM 11 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Stablemates,Harness racing

The Devonport Showgrounds was a happy hunting ground for last season’s leading trainer Ben Yole, with the north-west circuit supplying him with 40 of his 181 winners.

Yole is well represented across the six-race card on Friday evening including the two likely favourites in race five, the Hardings Hotmix Mobile over 2297 metres.

Artiflash has drawn barrier two, courtesy of the five-point concession claim for Samantha Gangell, who has driven the horse on five occasions for one win and three placings.

The gelded son of Artistic Fella comes into the race after a brave second to the in-form Similan Beach in Launceston on Sunday.

“You are stiff when you lead and go 1(minute) 56(seconds) and get beat, but I thought he had done a terrific job to run that time as when he first came to us we didn’t think he would be that sort of horse,” said Ben Yole about the performance.

Artiflash is a noted go forward horse early and the trainer believes that the winner of eight races will be hard to run down if he was able to find the lead.

“Especially on the Devonport track, they won’t get to him like they did at Launceston and I think he is near a good thing,” said the confident trainer.

Yole has another five runners in the race including Pink Ponder who has drawn barrier one.

She drew the pole in Hobart four starts ago where she wasn’t blessed with a lot of gate speed to race on the leaders back before taking advantage of the sprint lane to score at long odds.

The daughter of Ponder has been placed in two of her next three outings including a very unlucky fifth in Launceston last start where she settled three-back along the marker pegs and never got a clear run at them.

“She was very unlucky again last week in Launceston, she is racing well and is a very good sit sprint mare,” said Yole.

“I wouldn’t imagine she will be able to hold out a horse like Artiflash … if she is leaders back she will get every chance and I reckon the Devonport track will suit her,” the trainer explained.

Pink Ponder will be driven by Ben’s brother Mark who drove 13 winners on the Devonport track last season, three more than any other driver.

The eight-year-old mare is owned by Rosie Weidenbach who along with husband Paul have been very accommodating for Yole’s Victorian stable.

“They have been fantastic to us over there so it’s nice to have a horse down here for them that is earning a bit of money,” said Ben.

Ben gives Weerrook Harry a strong hope in the second event of the night, the John McKenna Race Night Vet Pace.

“He is always thereabouts, he tries his best but just lacks a bit of high speed,” Yole said about the gelded son of Artesian who has drawn barrier two.

“A few in the race can get out well but he doesn’t have to lead to win,” the trainer explained about the pacer who will be driven by Mark Yole.

The Devonport track has been resurfaced in late September and Friday’s card will be televised on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV’s live stream with the first race scheduled for 18:04.


by: Duncan Dornauf

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