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Not a great race to kick off the card but NO.5 GALLOW GATE looks hard to beat off the back of a good run here at Launceston three weeks ago over the 1200m. Was put in a pocket and looked like he resented a lack of galloping room. He got out late (final 200m split was good) and hit the line well but just missed, suggest the 1420m will be much more to his liking and he'll roll forward from the awkward draw taking luck out of it. No.11 Songs 'N' Stories is racing well but has been given plenty of chances, thought her recent effort here over the 1400m was a career best. Gets in ok relative weights with the claim from Boris Thornton and draws to get a cart into the race. No.1 British looks like he might make a horse over a trip, hit the line strongly in the same race as our 2nd pick from an awkward position but just peaked on his run. Thought he might be looking for a mile now but if they go hard early he'll be swamping them late. No.6 Tomarata was a forgive effort three weeks ago at Launceston when ridden upside down, they'll be more positive from the wide draw early, good blowout hope.
Backing Gallow Gate (100 units) to win
Good race and I've been a big fan of the filly NO.1 TERIKI over the past six months. There's not a whole lot of her but she's got plenty of ticker. Was a month between runs when here at Launceston in early January and couldn't quite go with a flying machine in Silver Bolt, then turned around on the quick backup and didn't quite see it out when getting to the mile for the first time. Freshened and back to 1220m, this looks an ideal race for her. No.7 Jazzys Choice made good ground late at Hobart two weeks ago over the 1100m, had the second quickest last 400m in a race dominated by the leader. Extra trip looks ideal and she'll again be looking to hit the line over the top. If they're getting off the fence she might be in the 'A' ground. No.7 The Captain was ridden upside down in the same race as Jazzys Choice and never looked entirely comfortable, his win prior to that when leading over the 1100m at Hobart was good. No.2 Ariconte has the winkers come off and drops from 1600m to the 1220m. Has been quite fierce of late so with a more genuine midrace gallop he should settle much better, another who will be prominent early.
Top two are clear picks, quinella Teriki & Jazzys Choice (100 units).
NO.10 VIVA LA LERVE gets some much-needed weight relief and back to the 1420m, I expect him to be very hard to beat. With the benefit of the inside draw, it'd be great to see Thornton punch up and look to lead (not a whole lot of speed on paper) and control things. Last time at the trip, he was just edged out by Able Ken who'd run round at $1.40 in this. No.8 Into The Wind is racing well but is a slight query a month between runs. She's been competitive around some better gallopers than this of late and her best would see her go very close, awkward draw poses a few problems but if she can slot in and be handy enough to them she's a live chance. Forgiving of No.1 Lingo over 2200m in WFA company recently, his effort prior to that when 0.5 lengths off Up Cups (subsequent Hobart Cup winner) was excellent - big effort though asking to go 2200m back to the 1420m in the space of three weeks! No.3 Vandermeer has been getting back and hitting the line okay over the sprint trips, 1420m will see him run to his peak. Was good in a Newmarket Handicap late last year.
Backing Viva La Verde (70 units) to win, box trifecta 1,3,8,10 (30 units).
Leg 1) Field
Leg 2) 1,7
Leg 3) 3,5,7,8,10,11
Leg 4) 3,8,10
$100 = 30%