The major cup races of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival are now calling Leon Wells’ star mare Black ‘N’ Tough after her narrow win in the Tasmanian Stakes 2013 at Hobart’s Tattersall’s Park over the weekend.
The five-year-old daughter of Tough Speed posted her 13th win at career start number 20 on Saturday when she held off a top field of local stars in the $90,000 Listed Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes (1600m).
One of the top chances in the seven horse field she enjoyed her second stakes victory following a first-up win in the Listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Launceston back in November.
Improving on a last start second to stablemate Rebel Bride, dual winner of the Group 3 Bow Mistress Trophy, in a weight-for-age 1400m feature on December 6, Black ‘N’ Tough ($3.80) jumped from the inside alley for her first test at a mile.
Elevating herself from a sprinter to a genuine staying hope she handled the distance test at the right time of year.
Jockey Brendon McCoull settled her just off the pace in third behind disappointment of the race short priced $2.20 favourite The Cleaner who tore away to lead before fading to finish six lengths away 12th.
Despite a late challenge from Geegees Blackflash ($3.20) on the straight, Black ‘N’ Tough held on and rose to the challenge for a long neck win.
Finishing off the winning Tasmanian Stakes trifecta a distant four lengths further back in fourth was then interstate raider Langridge Street ($18.60) from the Cranbourne stables of Michael Hibbs.
“That was a terrific battle in the straight and a super effort from my mare to hold out Geegees Blackflash because he is such a great horse,” Wells told Tas Racing after the win.
Wells and connections including part-owner Chris Wickham are now looking ahead to the Apple Isle’s major staying races with Black ‘N’ Tough.
“We learned today mate she’s got a big motor and a bigger heart,” Wickham said on Saturday.
“We’re still learning with her…this was a learning curve today.
“We knew she could sprint so we stepped up against the quality milers.”
Possible assignments for the progressive mare this summer include the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 9 and $225,000 Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) a fortnight later at Tasmania’s other major track.
“We might have a think about things and have a talk to Brendon,” Wickham added.
“She could end up being a Hobart, Launceston Cup horse you don’t know.
“They don’t know what their breeding is but her breeding says she’ll stay all day, and she’s a quality sprinter…and she’s a good stayer with a turn of foot.”
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2013 Tasmanian Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Hobart Race 8 – 21/12/2013
|1||7||BLACK ’N’ TOUGH||Leon Wells||Brendon McCoull||–||1||57kg||$3.80|
|2||1||GEEGEES BLACKFLASH||John Luttrell||Stephen Maskiell||0.2L||6||59kg||$3.20|
|3||4||LANGRIDGE STREET||Michael Hibbs||Jarrod Fry||4.2L||7||59kg||$18.60|
|4||3||PREVAILING||David & Scott Brunton||Tyson Buck (a)||6.5L||4||59kg||$23.60|
|5||6||RELENTLESS PURSUIT||Julie Richards||David Pires||7L||3||59kg||$19.70|
|6||2||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Darren Gauci||11.8L||2||59kg||$2.20F|
|7||5||PENGALAS GEE GEE||John Luttrell||Ms Sigrid Carr (a)||28.6L||5||59kg||$103|