He made it three in a row by winning the Dr Fiona Duggan Grade 5 (515 metres) event at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night and is shaping up as one of Tasmania’s most promising chasers.
Since debuting with a win at the Devonport Raceway in November, Tree Bandit has won seven of 17 outings and according to his trainer is only just starting to comprehend what the caper is all about.
“Tree Bandit only turned two in January and has taken time to find his racing legs, but from here on in it is full steam ahead,” the Moorleah based Russell Watts declared this week.
“He is probably my fastest dog, but early in his career he was inclined to be tardy away and invariably drew an unfavourable box – in fact he has drawn the five or the six box on seven occasions to date,” he explained.
On Monday night it was a different story, Tree Bandit drew the red box and gave his rivals a galloping lesson, eventually scoring by six lengths in a slick 29.74.
The chaser is raced by a syndicate which includes leading Victorian trainer Darren McDonald and media personality Mark Hunter and they are known to have a very high opinion of him.
“Darren thinks that he will develop into a very good distance performer and with that in mind will probably take him back to Victoria – it will be decided in the next few weeks,” Watts explained.
“He is paid up for the Warrnambool Classic and that would be his first mission if he was transferred back to the McDonald complex.”
Tree Bandit was due to contest the Heat 5 of the Glenorchy City Council Easter Plate (461 metres) at Tattersalls Park on Thursday night where he was opposed to the very good Zavance Man (Head Bound – It’s A She) from the Ted Medhurst kennel.
It has been a busy week for trainer Watts, who raced at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night, the Devonport Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, before venturing to Tattersalls Park last night and back to the Devonport Raceway this evening for the NWGRC’s twilight meeting.
Meanwhile the very good Jethro (Head Bound – It’s A She) failed in his bid to win the $9,200 Launceston Veterinary Hospital Breeders Classic Final (515 metres) at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night.
The Butch Deverell prepared chaser was gallant in defeat, but had to be content with second placing behind the flying bitch Emerald Lee (Paddy’s Flame – Inbetween Days).
Suited from the red box, the Debbie Cannan prepared bitch flew the lids and recorded a best-of-the-night time of 29.58 in defeating Jethro by a length.
Emerald Lee made it four in a row by winning the prestigious event and enhanced her lifetime record to six wins and three placings from nine outings and stakes of in excess of $14,000.