The Tasmanian cups lead-up will begin in earnest at Hobart Racecourse this weekend for a number of gallopers facing off in the Tasmanian Stakes 2013.
A traditional stepping stone for horses on way to the Apple Isle’s summer cups races, this year’s $90,000 Listed Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) has drawn a final field of just seven hopes.
While numbers may be low the quality of contenders is very good with many of Tasmanian’s top stayers in the mix.
Heading the weight-for-age field in the number one saddlecloth is Stephen Maskiell’s Geegees Blackflash.
Two length winner of the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) in February this summer gone, the now seven-year-old son of Clangalang also won the 2012 Hobart Cup and the 2010 Tasmanian Derby.
Start number 49 for them this weekend and they are in as good as form as ever having run third to Rebel Bride last start on December 4 at Launceston.
Coming off a run in that same weight-for-age, 1400m race are also the likes of runner-up Black ‘N’ Tough and Prevailing who placed fourth.
Leon Wells‘ Tough Speed mare Black ‘N’ Tough boasts an ultra-consistent record of 12 wins and four minor placings from her 19 starts to date, her most recent win being a first-up victory over Bocuse in the Listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on November 20.
The only last stat winner in Tasmanian Stakes field this year meanwhile is the Julie Richards-trained Relentless Pursuit who won over the track and distance carrying 60.5kg on December 1.
They drop back to 59kg here and will again be ridden by David Pires.
The other big name hope in gate two with Darren Gauci to ride is then Mick Burles’ The Cleaner who is second-up here.
Third to Black ‘N’ Tough in the Newmarket Handicap in their resuming run, the Savoire Vivre six-year-old is back home after a stint in Melbourne with Robert Smerdon.
Winner of the Summer Cup this January, The Cleaner was also a good second to Hurdy Gurdy Man in the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) in February, the 2014 edition of which is likely on the radar for them again this summer.
On Saturday they defend their Tasmanian Stakes title having won the race by a blistering four lengths over Geegees Blackflash 12 months ago.
Check out the full Tasmanian Stakes 2013 field and barriers below then make sure you’ve got an account open at Ladbrokes.com.au to get in on the weekend’s racing and betting action when markets open.
2013 Tasmanian Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Hobart Race 8 – 3:35pm (AEST) – 21/12/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||413112×243||GEEGEES BLACKFLASH||John Luttrell||Stephen Maskiell||6||59kg||107|
|2||27x10530x3||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Darren Gauci||2||59kg||100|
|3||5x87470x34||PREVAILING||David & Scott Brunton||–||4||59kg||92|
|4||15059×8069||LANGRIDGE STREET||Michael Hibbs||Jarrod Fry||7||59kg||84|
|5||342126×805||PENGALAS GEE GEE||John Luttrell||Ms Sigrid Carr (a)||5||59kg||83|
|6||721544×341||RELENTLESS PURSUIT||Julie Richards||David Pires||3||59kg||84|
|7||112x111x12||BLACK ’N’ TOUGH||Leon Wells||Brendon McCoull||1||57kg||101|