Winter Warms Up At Launceston

It may be looking like a cold winter ahead, but the racing scene is Tasmania is just warming up with many outstanding dogs clashing this week at Launceston.

After a great Country Oaks and Derby series at Devonport last month, the state’s best youngsters move on to the Mowbray circuit this Monday for the heats of the 2010 Tasmanian Oaks and Derby.

Sultan’s Swing is looking to make it back-to-back feature race victories, and drawing box two won’t hurt her chances one bit. After never missing a place at the track, she should start a deserved favourite, despite not always having the best box manners.

Kialdu Anna has drawn inside Sultan’s Swing, and although she is has definite ability, she is another who can be tardy at box rise. In saying that, those two look the obvious choices to make it through, along with the inexperienced duo Botox and Million Lomar, who both won at the first race starts.

Heat two looks a very open affair, with the main chances having to overcome awkward draws. Posh Emma is loaded with talent but does seem to struggle with consistency. Although drawn in box six, she will be getting some room to move early, courtesy of the vacant box five. On Posh Emma’s outside however, is the speedy Perfect Socks who is capable of winning by plenty on her night. After some recent placings in Invitation company, Perfect Socks will enjoy the class drop here.

Miss Glory has been racing very well of late and has drawn off the track in box eight. Although that alley doesn’t suit her at all, the Susan Gittus kennel keeps finding winners everywhere and Miss Glory may just catch punters by surprise if Posh Emma and Perfect Socks have off nights.

Regal Onyx, who has box two for this heat, must be mentioned after knocking off Miss Glory at the track last Monday. This was after a game second in Hobart and should be a nice value bet.

Onto the Derby heats now, where middle draws will dominate the market, especially in heat one. Regent Typhoon, Luke’s a Missile and Decembrist look the main three despite having draw four, five and six respectively. Regent Typhoon is usually a pretty reliable beginner and shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the front.

Luke’s A Missile has tons of ability and hammered the Devonport 599m record recently. He’s a real worry from box five over the sprint trip though, as he can bomb the start and seems to find a stack of interference over this 515m journey.

Decembrist, like Luke’s A Missile, is a hit-or-miss type. If he leads, which he has done over this journey before, the race will be all over very quickly and in slick time. But don’t be surprised if he gets way back and never looks in it though.

This heat really isn’t one for trifecta or first four players, as there are too many variables to be confident here, and a rough result wouldn’t shock. Jeannie’s Gift from box two has some ability and should start pretty good odds for those that want a nice each-way chance.

On the contrary to the above, Heat two of this year’s Derby looks a one act affair. All eyes will be on Damek to see whether he can bounce back from an unsuccessful Melbourne campaign. He just didn’t look the same dog when leading and fading twice on the mainland, and should romp home here if he’s 100%.

Presuming Damek is right, then Crowie Lomar (Box Seven) and Winklee Wonder (Box Seven) look the classiest of the rest and should run out the trifecta. Winklee Wonder has been very costly of late but should appreciate being back in age-restricted company.

Posh Larry has got the cherry exit here and may run a cheeky race, although faces a monumental class rice from the Juvenile races.

Monday night also see a tremendous Grade 4/5 race over the 600m. Recent Meadows victor Magpie Lomar tackles the likes of Posh Di, Hellyeah Benny, Indecision and Monster Prince, who returns from a nice stint in South Australia. The eight dogs between them have notched 18 wins and 13 placings from their 40 most recent starts.

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