Tasmanian horses and greyhounds will be trying to win a share of almost $1 million in stakemoney in interstate feature races this weekend.
Although they are all at long odds to win their respective finals, they have earned a start through qualifying races and even a minor stake cheque will be worth bringing home.
Gold Lenny and Shima Sun will start the ball rolling in the two national greyhound championship finals at Albion Park on Friday night when first prizemoney for each race is $75,000.
Drawing box 6 has made life difficult for Gold Lenny in the sprint final and he is quoted at $81.
Bagdad trainer Rodney Walker said that, realistically, his dog needed an inside draw.
Similarly, Richmond trainer Margaret Rossendell concedes that Shima Sun, a $151 chance, faces a big task from box 5 in the distance final.
“It’s very exciting to have him there – we aren’t expecting him to win but I hope he’ll go well,” she said.
Two days later at Melton in Victoria, top pacing filly El Jays Mystery will carry the Tasmanian flag in the Breeders Crown finals.
Trained at Karoola by Dick Eaves and raced by a big syndicate of mostly Tasmanian owners, El Jays Mystery qualified for the $190,000 3YO Fillies Final with a fifth in her semi-final at Bendigo on Saturday night.
Although she had every chance, it was a slowly-run race that developed into a sprint home and nothing had any hope of catching the leader and $1.40 favourite Petacular.
Petacular is at the same odds for the final with El Jays Mystery quoted at $126 after drawing inside the second row.
Two Tasmanian-bred fillies have also made the final – Miss Graceland is quoted at $26 and Shezallapples at $34.
Tasmanian star Scooterwillrev failed to qualify for the $190,000 3YO C&G Final but Solid As A Rock, who is part-owned in Tasmania, got through and has drawn barrier 2. He is an $81 chance.
Nostra Beach is probably the best chance of a Tasmanian-bred success.
Winner of the group 1 Australian Pacing Gold in May, she has drawn poorly in the $285,000 2YO Fillies Final but is being kept safe at $21.
Nostra Beach and Miss Graceland were both bred by the late Rick Hinds and his wife Naomi while Shezallapples was bred by Fred and Pauline Barker.