Thursday Night at Hobart sees four heats of the Tasmanian Gold Cup being staged. With the Group 1 Hobart Thousand just around the corner, there’s plenty of high class runners looking to find peak form.
The series opens up with last year’s Hobart Thousand winner, Little Spaniard drawn box five. Its been a slow and steady journey for him recently, after battling to win at Grade 5 level first up from a lengthy injury-forced layoff. Trainer Mick Stringer has done a great job getting this speedster to improve, and after three nice wins in lesser company, it’d be nice to see the son of Firefly Boy and Barcelona Babe back performing in feature races again.
Hilton Sage, drawn box one in the same race, is desperate to break through after narrow defeats his past few outings in good company. Keyger Rocket looks a chance too after surprising last start at Launceston beating the fancied Eagle Eye.
Eagle Eye will be looking to avenge that defeat, drawing the red box in heat two. Normally a faultless beginner, Butch Deverell’s speedster has been costly for punters in recent outings, but in a race that looks to lack early speed, he does look the one to beat.
Others likely to push for a final berth include Trilogy Mission for Donna Goodluck and Pure Thirst who won at his first Tasmanian start last week. Cradoc Park is an interesting runner resuming after back-to-back wins at the track in August, and has drawn box two.
Over to heat three where the box draw has made things very hard to predict. Stylish Monty has been flying of late and looks the form greyhound on paper. But normally he likes to get off the track, and his box one draw may be cause for concern. Also drawing poorly is NSW visitor Disintegrate for Charlie Gatt, in box four.
Making this an even more difficult affair is the placement of High Choice. Being between both forementioned runners, she would have to begin on the bunny to avoid the traffic, but is more than capable of doing just that.
The final heat is an even affair with a host of chances, but Fisherman will be likely favourite. Hobart is not the favourite track of Fisherman, having won only two from thirteen attempts, but his dashing win at Launceston on Monday will do him no harm. Beijing Bond has drawn box five, and has relished his return home after a stint in WA having won the last three. Crime Fighter is a handy type racing consistently, and has never missed a place at Hobart. Akka Boy is also a chance, and will be looking to add another feature race final in the twilight of his racing career.
The series really has once again brought out some great local talent this year, but there are two obvious names missing. Big Moose unfortunately broke his hock last week and has subsequently been retired to stud, and Topline Doovee will be representing the state proudly in the prestigious Group 1 Melbourne Cup Heats at Sandown.