Hobart winner Epingle after luck 

VICTORIAN trainer Mick Kent does not expect  tomorrow's $225,000 Launceston Cup to be a simple ``walk in the park'' for his smart mare Epingle, despite her dominance of pre-post betting.

While remaining quietly confident that Epingle can repeat her Hobart Cup success, Kent believes that drawing barrier 12 has made her task more difficult than at Elwick, where she drew barrier 3, raced in the box seat and strolled home by three lengths.

``There's only a short run to the first turn [at Mowbray] so she will need a bit of luck,'' the trainer said.

``But she's quite a good stayer and, now that we've been able to get her out over these longer distances, she's showing her true form.

``She's out of a Zabeel mare so she is certainly bred to stay.''

Kent said that another factor in Epingle's favour was her affinity with leading Victorian jockey Craig Williams who has ridden the mare five times for two wins, a second, third and fourth.

Corporate bookmakers hold few, if any, concerns about the wide barrier, with Epingle's odds yesterday ranging from $1.80 to $2.20.

The six-year-old is raced by Rick Jamieson's Gilgai Farm stud in Victoria.

Jamieson is best known as the breeder of Black Caviar and he has an added interest in tomorrow's meeting, as he also bred one of the Tasmanian Oaks favourites, Spinning Jenny.

While Epingle won't be challenged for favouritism, bookmakers have reported good support for the local star Geegees Blackflash and he has firmed to $3.80 in some markets.

Stephen Maskiell, who will be chasing his fourth Launceston Cup on Geegees Blackflash, is realistic in his expectations of the seven-year-old.

``He will run well as he always does but, even though Epingle will carry two kilograms more than she did in Hobart, it's going to be hard to turn the tables on her,'' Maskiell said.

Launceston Cup favourite Epingle.

Launceston Cup favourite Epingle.


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