A thrilling finish to one of the pre-Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival features occurred at Launceston overnight, John Luttrell’s Clangalang gelding Geegees Blackflash beating home the resuming Socks by the bob of a head in an upset Tasmanian Newmarket Handicap 2011 result.
In a brave performance five-year-old Geegees Blackflash ($16.80), last seen running second in the Clarence Cup back in August and ridden by Victorian jockey Peter Mertens, held off a the fast finishing George Blacker-trained Socks ($6.40), having their first start in over 10 months, to win the $90,000 Listed 112th Country Club Tasmania Newmarket Handicap (1200m) by less than a nose.
Finishing off the winning Tasmania Newmarket Handicap Trifecta was then race favourite, the David and Scott Brunton-trained Punctuate ($4.10F) who was only a quarter length off the winner, their stablemate Life To The Full ($8.80) another quarter length back for fourth.
Wednesday night’s win was Geegees Blackflash’s second stakes success adding to their Group 3 Tasmanian Derby victory of 2010.
They have now won seven of their 30 career starts for over $300,000 in prize money, a figure that could likely have been much higher had Geegees Blackflash not suffered a bleeding attack last season, subsequently being sidelined for a major part of their four-year-old year.
Brighton-based Luttrell was thrilled with the win by his former Derby victor, naming Geegees Blackflash as the best horse he had ever trained.
“This horse is an absolute ripper – the best I’ve trained,” he said.
“His work leading up to this race has been exceptional and after he galloped last Saturday I was confident he would be a big chance in this race.”
Luttrell is now eyeing off the riches of the major Cups during the 2012 Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival including the $300,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2200m) on February 12 and the $225,000 Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) a fortnight later.
“He will go from strength to strength now and if everything pans out as we hope he’ll contest the major Cups,” he said.
Geegee Blackflash’s well-known owners Paul and Elizabeth Geard were also over the moon with Wednesday’s victory and were quick to credit Luttrell for all of his work and patience with the horse.
“John has done a great job with this horse and if this is an indication of what he’s capable of over 1200 metres we can hardly wait until he gets up to a more suitable distance later in the season,” Paul Geard said.
The next black-type feature to take place in Tasmania this year is the $90,000 Listed Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) at Hobart on December 27.
Before then, however, punters have plenty of summer racing action to enjoy in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney including the final Group 1 of 2011, the $500,000 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 3.
Ensure you don’t miss out on a minute of the action by bookmarking us here at Races.com.au, and also ensure that you don’t get ripped off on the Tote by opening your online betting account with Luxbet today to receive an instant $400 bonus bet simply by entering the promo code BONUSBET when you make your first deposit!
2011 Tasmania Newmarket Handicap Finishing Order
Launceston Race 7 – 23/11/2011
|1||4||GEEGEES BLACKFLASH||John Luttrell||Peter Mertens||–||5||57kg||$16.80|
|2||12||SOCKS||George Blacker||Kelvin Sanderson||0.1L||1||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$6.40|
|3||14||PUNCTUATE||David & Scott Brunton||Jordan Mallyon (a)||0.4L||3||54kg||$4.10F|
|4||1||LIFE TO THE FULL||David & Scott Brunton||Brendon McCoull||0.7L||4||60kg||$8.80|
|5||6||WESTERN WAGER||Leon Wells||Shuji Amano||1L||12||55kg||$25.60|
|6||13||DASH FOR MAGIC||Vicki Rhind||Lee Smith||1.2L||14||54kg||$16.10|
|7||5||SILVER BULLION||Michael Trinder||James Nevin||2.2L||6||56.5kg||$27.40|
|8||7||LYELL||Barry Baker||Jarrod Todd||2.7L||9||54.5kg||$16.50|
|9||2||MOTSPUR||Charlie Goggin & Luella Meaburn||Stephen Maskiell||3.1L||7||59kg||$12.60|
|10||10||FAYE COMMANDS||David & Scott Brunton||Ronan Keogh (a)||3.2L||2||54kg||$35.50|
|11||3||OBSTINADO||David & Scott Brunton||Michael Guthrie||4.5L||11||57.5kg||$8.50|
|12||11||LIGHTLY SPICED||David & Scott Brunton||Edward Brennen||5.3L||10||54kg||$44.40|
|13||8||TESTA GRANDE||Mark Ganderton||Cameron Quilty||6.6L||13||54kg||$49.90|
|14||9||MR FASHION||Leon Laskey||Luke Currie||8.4L||8||54kg||$7.30|