12 January 2018 | Shane Yates
The field for this evening’s Longford Equine Clinic Free-For-All may lack quantity but it more than makes for it with quality.
There appear to be four major players in the fast-class race on the nine-event card, Destreos, Queens Advocate, Remember Joe and Fernco Bobby Gee.
The Matty Dwyer-trained Queens Advocate (pictured) returned to the winner’s list for the first time this season courtesy of a paralysing burst of speed to capture the C6 to C7 in Hobart last week over 2579-metres.
The eight-year-old Mcardle – Genes West mare was taken back off the arm by Gareth Rattray and allowed to settle back before making its move out three-wide on the track with cover at the bell.
When Rattray released the ribbons on the home turn the race was over in the twinkling of the eye, the mare sprinting home in 56.98 seconds, the quickest last-half of the night, to win by 8.6-metres and putting pay to a frustrating run of three seconds in a row for connections.
Gareth Rattray switches back to steer Destreos this evening, the Ken Rattray-prepared 14-year-old gunning for win 99.
Destreos, the veteran of 444 career starts, was a winner three runs back proving too good for Mister Lennox and Roger Ramjet with Mr Lennox franking the form by scoring a sensational victory for Juanita McKenzie and Ricky Duggan in the Triple M Hobart Pacing Cup on Sunday night.
The Sally Stingel-owned equine cult-hero was then forced to give away a 30-metre Handicap at its next two outings, finishing second to Dapper Dana in Launceston and fourth behind The Majority at Carrick but is back to the more suitable mobile conditions in tonight’s Free-For-All.
Remember Joe turned in a courageous effort to finish sixth in the Hobart Pacing Cup last week after doing all the work leading the three-wide train last week in the Cup, to finish less than 10-metres from its stablemate Mister Lennox.
Fernco Bobby G is another in contention for trainer-driver Mark Yole after being placed behind Destreos this season and finishing fourth to Im Barney Rubble in the Doug Martin Danbury Park Cup and again just missing a place in Launceston behind Dapper Dana.
In the opening race on the twilight card we get our first glance at the two-year-olds for the 2017/18 season in the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes.
The Kent Rattray-prepared Sunny Sanz is a Carrick trial winner three weeks ago finishing 40 metres ahead of two of its rivals on debut, Jardee and Karalta Moondance and will enjoy the services of regular stable driver John.
Last week’s Hobart winning duo Juanita McKenzie and Ricky Duggan combine with the Cool Water Paddy, which qualified for its debut run with a trial in New Zealand at Rangiora, where it ran last in a four-horse field.
See this evening’s Launceston Pacing Club meeting via the live stream service at tasracing.com.au commencing at 16.52.
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