The punters may be rallying around the Victorian-trained defending champ for Friday night’s Bow Mistress Trophy 2016 at Hobart Racecourse but local horseman John Blacker is confident his mare Erin’s Element is prime for an upset.
There are fourteen mares now in the mix for the $125,000 Group 3 Magic Millions Bow Mistress Trophy (1200m) after the early withdrawal of Nadeem Lass (17) and Miss Steele (15) from Hobart Race 7 at 6:23pm (local time).
Red hot favourite in Bow Mistress Trophy betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the John Salanitri-trained I Love It from Melbourne who travelled to the Apple Isle last season to win this race 12 months ago.
She hasn’t been first past the post in another event since, but is rated the $1.95 odds-on favourite to go back-to-back in the weight-for-age sprint.
Drawn a treat in barrier four with Stephen Baster riding, I Love It is worthy of her short price according to a confident Salanitri.
“I trialled her at Caulfield last week and I couldn’t be happier with how she performed,” he told Tas Racing.
“We came to Tassie for the race last year on a short preparation but this time we have had a year to prepare for the race.”
Out to stop I Love It from joining Rebel Bride (2012-13) in securing successive editions of the Bow Mistress is Blacker’s Shaft four-year-old Erin’s Element.
She jumps from gate eight with Damien Thornton in the saddle again after he guided the in-form Longford-trained mare to victory over 1100m at the track on January 24.
Erin’s Element hasn’t finished worse than third in her five most recent runs dating back to last November and is currently paying $7, backed in from $7.50, to keep the Bow Mistress Trophy on home soil.
“Erin’s Element has never raced better and to be honest I am not overly concerned about any of the mares that have come from interstate,” Blacker said.
“My mare was placed second in the Newmarket Handicap and that’s considered the state’s most prestigious open sprint race and she’s placed behind Geegees Doublejay in two quality sprints so that alone is good enough form.
“But the way she won the Lady Lynette last start proved she has what it takes for a race such as the Bow Mistress.”
Along with the favourite I Love It and Erin’s Element there are three other hopes under $10 for the win with mare mover Our Harmony ($5.50) for Mornington’s David Brideoake, the Robbie Griffiths-trained Summoned Stakes third placegetter behind Solicit back in November Mossbeat ($6.50) and yet another mainland raider Nautical ($8.50).
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