Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - POSITIVE PRESS (8) has the runs on the board in a field made up largely of first starters. Tested on debut at Listed level, she was best of the rest last time behind one that looks above average. She should be on speed from a low draw, and it's hard to see her not figuring in the finish. BEAUY'S BOY (1) was on the pace in his 3 November trial, that time a couple of lengths quicker than the one taken out by DELAMERE (4) on the same day that also featured ELEGANTLY WRITTEN (5), among others in this race. The debutants have a mixed bag with the barrier draws, and the market is always a strong guide. GEE GEES BROTHER (2) hasn't raced for a couple of months, but the form out of that maiden has proven to be strong.
RACE 2 - ADA WAY (1) was brave in defeat last time after covering ground and having a chequered passage on the home turn. The trifecta gapped third in that race. LIGHTMEUPJAZZ (13) was never on the track resuming in a fast-run affair in a performance that's easy to dismiss. She draws much lower and has a senior rider as well as the blinkers being applied. ZONNA VERDE (12) comes via the same race and was seemingly looked after in the straight. The market may provide a guide on whether a different level of intent will be evident here, particularly with the stable having two in the race. STRATOJACK (7) was at the head of the market in Hobart but was no match for one that had a softer run nearer the speed. He'll need a good ride from the draw. ROWING POWER (6) ran up to a big market drift resuming and now has the blinkers applied.
RACE 3 - Both ARAYA SUNSHINE (7) and HYPERCUBE (12) come out of the fast maiden won by Periwinkle and the form can be franked in the previous race. Araya Sunshine drove hard late to miss, while Hypercube was gassed early to cross from a wide gate and sit outside the hot speed. SMART ARTIE (6) returns with the blinkers on, something he had applied when narrowly winning his trial a fortnight ago. He was firm in the market on debut where he couldn't obtain any cover from a wide draw. MISS CHICA MALA (9) drifted alarmingly in Hobart and was subsequently very plain. Her racing pattern will be suited if the track races as it did for the last meeting. OXY BOLT (5) was beaten out of sight in the Elwick Stakes but was tipped straight out and trialled well for the new stable.
RACE 4 - CRAFTY BOSS (7) jumped the $2.90 well-supported favourite in the Melbourne Cup Day opener, where Pires lost touch with the winner approaching the home turn. Clear top pick. McCouill showed his class aboard WHERE YOU FROM (5) to win a slowly run affair last start. Visors replace winkers and he wasn't far off Crafty Boss when they met two starts ago. MR ROUQUIN (3) hasn't been far away in similar races of late and draws for another good run. BORN A WINNER (1) will need a good ride from the draw but is going a bit better than the form reads on paper.
RACE 5 - Good race. SHARMA'S LAST (6) returns with some hype after dominating his home track in Devonport through winter. It will be interesting to see what the market does with him off a trial that was underwhelming on face value, particularly resuming over 1400m. JUST A NEEDS (7) also brings last season's hot 3YO form. She's better suited at this distance rather than the 1100m of last start where she just lacked the turn of foot of the two that finished ahead of her. JUST A TRIBUTE (5) comes via the same race, and while plain on face value as $2.60 favourite, he had little chance with how the race was run. KING ISLAND (2) chases his fourth win on the bounce, a horse that rider Chelsea Baker knows particularly well. He's up 5kg on his open handicap win last week, and there does appear some pressure in the race. The 9yo STREET TOUGH (1) continues to hold form well and should get a nice transit from the inside draw.
RACE 6 - The clock backed up the visuals for RED SPHERE (3) on debut in Devonport, which saw him jump in the red at start two, but sitting outside a hot speed, he was a touch plain. He'll strip fitter. D'ORO STAR (2) ran up to his impressive trials at his only start, winning by a space. He needs to replicate that on the grass, but both he and BINE (9) trialled like horses that can go on with the job when they recently met in Launceston. NGAPALI BEACH (5) had her maiden win two starts ago franked, and she finished ahead of subsequent winner Geegeeluckystar last time in BM60 company. She looks a key player. BETTER THAN BANKSY (4) raced well in better grade prior to a freshen but is likely to be giving a decent start away over 1100m.
RACE 7 - A winner of two from 31, MR FREEZE (1) tests the punters patience but looks a strong chance again. He jumped $2.20 favourite at the track and distance two starts ago and struck a BM60 last start that looks stronger than this field. GEE GEE GOLDENLASS (7) arrived at the right time in Hobart, to grab ELMAJAY (6) on the line. Given the narrow margin, a 2.5kg rise in weight isn't insignificant for the winner. A watch on the track pattern is important for Elmajay, a noted front-runner. LADY JOKER (4) won first up at a similar time last year and has won two from four at the track and distance. In contrast to Elmajay, she'll be back and giving a start, so how the track is playing will also be important for her. AMANCAYA (5) resumes for a new stable and has trialled against horses far better than this grade. The market may provide a lead.
RACE 8 - ROYAL AND TOUGH (2) showed his class to win first up at the track and distance, lugging 62.5kg in the process. A bit of weight off his back helps but he may also already be looking for further. WARICA (4) was favourite in this class last start but was wide for the trip in a field of five. That run can easily be forgiven and the race was owned by the leader. CHOSEN EAGLE (6) barely put a bad one in last campaign, and while beaten a long way, his most Devonport trial was won in scorching time. GEEGEES HISWORD (5) is better suited with a senior rider on but resuming over 1400m, and running over 1200m second up, doesn't look ideal. GEEGEE LUCKY JESS (8) didn't have a lot of luck behind Royal and Tough two starts ago and was solid in a subsequent run when much shorter in the market.
RACE 9 - CHEEKY WORD (4) was a black book run first up, but the presence of a short favourite last start ensured those that followed received a nice return. It's a tricky draw, but out to 1400m third up looks ideal. GENERAL ASSEMBLY (1) has good ability and interestingly returns at 1400m without a public appearance. As a result, some faith must be put into Angela Brakey, and his first campaign wasn't always orthodox in terms of placement. LONDIANI (5) gave plenty of cheek in front in Hobart. The leader has dominated the final race in Launceston of recent times, that trend continuing would help his chances. Barring one victory, CHICANE (3) has been a good horse for bookmakers since arriving in Tasmania. He seemingly struggled to see out the mile last start, so dropping to 1400m may suit. PERKINS (9) never wins but is certainly in contention for multiples.