The main racing action in the state at the weekend was in the greyhound code where Victorian greyhound Pantera Nera won Monday night’s Launceston Cup, capping off a big month after winning the Devonport Cup in January (the fifth greyhound to achieve the double).
On Saturday night, Chief Jetpilot was named the 2016 Tasmanian Greyhound of the Year at the A Total Car Rentals Launceston Cup and Greyhound Annual Awards Presentation Dinner. Owned by John Tindall and trained by Ted Medhurst, Chief Jetpilot won 14 races and was placed 20 times from 38 starts in 2016 – all in Tasmania – being unplaced on only four occasions.
In other awards presented on the night, Anthony Bullock was named leading trainer, Debbie Cannan was announced as the leading owner, Miss Roman Nose was the leading breeding female and Collision was the leading sire.
The Luxbet Hobart Cup meeting held on Sunday 5 February – that forms an integral part of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival (TSRC) – was an outstanding day for Scott Brunton who trained five winners from 10 races, including Hobart Cup winner Count Da Vinci.
The gelding is now set for the Luxbet Launceston Cup, chasing the $100,000 Cups Double Bonus offered by Luxbet for any horse that can win both cups in the one year. Of course, Up Cups, trained by Scott’s father, David, won the bonus last year thanks to wins in both cup races by Up Cups.
The carnival does attract significant local and interstate interest. That has again been the case this year, but Tasmanian thoroughbreds have more than held their own to date.
Another highlight for the local industry was the victory of Pateena Arena who won the Elwick Stakes providing local stallion Needs Further with his first stakes winner. The timing could not have been better. Looking forward to the Magic Millions Yearling Sale at the Inveresk Showgrounds in Launceston on Thursday, Needs Further progeny is represented on 22 occasions. Overall, the sale comprises 133 lots from 49 stallions.
I am very pleased to see Tasmania’s female harness drivers take up the fight against ovarian cancer as part of the Team Teal initiative to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Institute. Until the 12 March meeting in Launceston, female drivers will wear teal-coloured driving pants. Teal is the ovarian cancer awareness colour. Tasracing will donate $200 to the institute to help continue with its research every time a female driver wins a race. Tasracing is pleased to be participating in and supporting this harness industry initiative.