Champion trainer Graeme Bate has qualified five of his kennel for the $57,000 A Total Car Rentals Launceston Cup (515 metres) to be conducted at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night.
Members of his team contested seven of last night’s heats, with only Joshua and Irma Bale failing to progress to the rich final.
The trainer will be represented by Xylia Allen, Schroder Bale, Fully Advanced, Xenos Bale and Imry Bale and fellow interstate trainer Peter Hunt has qualified Pop’s Max.
Tasmania will be represented by the Ted Medhurst prepared Rob Pines and the Gary Johnson prepared Justin’s Dream.
The Bate kennel commenced proceedings on Monday night in a blaze of glory, when Xylia Allen, a daughter of Turanza Bale, set a new track standard in defeating local champ Rewind by six lengths in a sizzling 29.35.
The previous record for the journey was held by the classy local chaser Damek, which recorded 29.40 back in April 2010.
Rewind began like a rocket from the green box and established an early break, but was run down by Xylia Allen in the concluding stages.
On the strength of that performance and despite the fact that she has drawn the yellow box in the final, the bitch has been installed a raging $2.50 favourite in early markets on the prestigious event.
One of the best chasers to have raced in Tasmania in recent years, with earnings in excess of $209,000, Rewind’s career may very well be drawing to a close.
The Maurie Strickland prepared chaser will be four on February 27 and connections will no doubt be considering a stud career.
In December he had to be content with another second placing in the Hobart Thousand behind Blackalls Boss, last month he succumbed to Allen Benji in the Devonport Cup and now he has failed to qualify for the third of our annual prestige events.
Irma Bale, which was probably the best credentialed of Bate’s Launceston Cup contestants, failed by just under two lengths to qualify for the event.
The daughter of Bartrim Bale ran on strongly, but could not run down Rob Pines, which had snatched the lead from the tearaway Everywhere on the turn.
Rob Pines, a son of Bombastic Shiraz and the winner of 20 races, has competed successfully down the eastern seaboard and will prove to be a worthy Tasmanian representative.
Justin’s Dream, a son of Paddy’s Flame and the winner of nine races, is one of the most inexperienced runners to qualify for the Launceston Cup and will be facing his toughest assignment to date.
$57,000 A TOTAL CAR RENTALS LAUNCESTON CUP
(515 METRES) – TOTE RACING CENTRE ON MONDAY NIGHT FEBRUARY 11.
1.Schroder Bale 2. Imry Bale 3. Fully Advanced 4. Justin’s Dream 5. Xylia Allen 6. Rob Pines 7. Xenos Bale 8. Pop’s Max 9. Rewind (Em 1) 10. Irma Bale (Em 2).
MARKET: $2.50 Zylia Allen, $6 Schroder Bale, $7 Fully Advanced, Imry Bale, $9 Pop’s Max, $11 Xenos Bale, Rewind, $13 Rob Pines, $15 Irma Bale, $21 Justin’s Dream.