Heavily backed favourite wins City Of Launceston Cup

He's always been a good horse

Driver Chris Alford
ROCK SOLID: Solid As A Rock, driven by Rohan Hillier, wins the $10,000 NTLHA Cup final at Mowbray on Sunday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

ROCK SOLID: Solid As A Rock, driven by Rohan Hillier, wins the $10,000 NTLHA Cup final at Mowbray on Sunday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

Classy Victorian pacer Major Secret turned Sunday night’s $20,000 City Of Launceston Cup at Mowbray into a one-horse race.

And, the bad new for his local rivals is that he’ll probably be back.

Trainer Emma Stewart didn’t travel to Tasmania for the meeting but driver Chris Alford said that he believed she planned to run Major Secret in the Tasmania Cup in Hobart later this month.

“I’m just not sure whether they will take him home between races or leave him here,” Alford said.

“I think the plan was to see how all their horses went tonight before making up their minds.”

Major Secret was having his first start for 10 months but Alford said the seven-year-old was “ready to go” – and that was no secret.

He was heavily backed, firming from $1.60 to $1.25 fixed-odds and paying only $1.10 on the tote.

“He had a bit of an injury – I’m not sure exactly what – but he’s been back in work a long time,” the driver said.

“They have put plenty of ground-work into him.”

Alford said that Major Secret had “always been a good horse but probably a length or two below Grand Circuit.”

“He was a very good young horse – winning a couple of group 1s – and he’s done a good job to keep going,” the driver said.

Major Secret completed an early treble for Stewart and Alford (who also had two more good chances in later races).

Isntshejust outclassed her rivals with a 1:56.2 win in the C1/C2 Pace and Apache Shark was equally dominant winning the C5/C7 Pace in 1:57.9.

SMART four-year-old Solid As A Rock lived up to his name with a strong win in the $10,000 NTLHA Cup final.

After beginning safely from his 10m handicap, the Rohan Hillier-trained gelding worked forward mid-race to sit in the death before going on to beat the fast-finishing Kvitova Leis and Swap Me.

In contrast to the winner, favourite Hafter blew the start and was always tailed off.

Hillier now has his sights on some other cups with Solid As A Rock.

“We’ll look at races like the St Marys Cup,” the trainer said.

“He only qualified for standing starts a month ago but he got away good tonight.

“He’s a strong horse but he just lacks a turn of foot.

“I think this is the way to drive him – just go forward.”

Solid As A Rock, part-owned by Hillier’s wife Katrina, raced in Victoria as a two and three-year-old, winning seven times and making the Breeders Crown final.