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Longford-based Tassie trainer Bill Ryan has declared his in-form mare Sh’Bourne Spirit as “hard to beat” in the feature race at Hobart Racecourse on Friday evening, the 2015 Bow Mistress Trophy.
While the meeting is referred to as Tasmanian Derby Day, the twilight line-up features just the one Group race with a class field of 15 fillies and mares set to face off in the $150,000 Group 3 Tasracing.com.au Bow Mistress Trophy (1200m).
Seven of the final Bow Mistress acceptors are interstate raiders including six mares that make their Tasmanian debut under the lights at Tattersall’s Park.
Leading the interstate charge is the Stephen Theodore-trained Lady Lakshmi who boasts close to $300,000 in prize money to date over 23 starts.
It’s been a while between drinks for the five-time winner however who hasn’t been first past the post since a success over 1400m at Bendigo in October last year.
There is plenty of class among the local contingent however who will also be out in force looking to keep the Bow Mistress Trophy on home soil in the Apple Isle.
One of the headline Tasmanian-trained mares in the mix is Ryan’s Savoire Vivre six-year-old Sh’Bourne Spirit after her second win on the trot who is in prime form according to her dedicated horseman.
“I couldn’t be happier with Sh’bourne Spirit going into this race,” Ryan told TasRacing.
“Everything has gone like clockwork since her win in Launceston.”
On January 25 she won her first race of the year with a successful half-length effort over Miss Middleton in the $25,000 Lady Lynette Plate (1100m) where she was blocked for a run near the 200m mark.
Sh’Bourne Spirit had a nice barrier two draw with Anthony Darmanin in the saddle for her last start win and while her hoop stays on for the Bow Mistress she’s drawn wider in barrier nine.
“While she’s drawn a bit wide I’m confident her in-form rider Anthony Darmanin can secure the right spot and if that happens she’ll be very hard to beat,” Ryan said.
Friday will also be the mare’s first time in Group company and just her second black-type start following a disappointing seventh, albeit beaten only three lengths by the winner Hellova Street, at Launceston in the Listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on December 3 last year.
Ryan also saddles-up Liluka Belle, a Luke Currie mount who suffered an early blow in the outside gate of 15.
The West Quest six-year-old is a three-time winner at the distance and comes off a fifth to Wonzee in a Class 4 over 1200m at Launceston last month.
“Liluka Belle has been working sensationally this past week and had she drawn better than barrier 15 I would have rated her equally with Sh’bourne Spirit,” Ryan said.
Other notable local hopes include the Barry Campbell-trained Arenzano who has won four times at the track and comes off a fourth in the weight-for-age Tatts.com.au Stakes over 1200m at Launceston, her stablemate Miss Middleton doing well after a stint with Bart & James Cummings and the Tegan Keys-rained Wonzee coming off an impressive win from January 21.
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