Good horses face daunting first-up assignments on tight track

Two smart pacers return from spells in the main race at Burnie on Friday night but face difficult tasks off back marks.

Chief Destroyer (30m) and Chirac (50m) will need to be near their best to make up their handicaps on the tight track.

However the race is over the stayers’ trip of 2500m which is in their favour if they step cleanly.

Chief Destroyer has by far the better record of the two horses in standing starts, with five wins and 12 placings to his credit.

Chirac hasn’t won a stand in nine attempts but was placed off 50m in the Liza Storm at Burnie last season.

Chirac will be driven by junior driver Charlie Castles who made his race debut at Mowbray last week.

Chief Destroyer will have the services of the state’s leading junior driver Jack Laugher who won the Patrons Marathon on the eight-year-old at Devonport in March.

That race was over a similar distance (2645m).

This year’s Raider Stakes winner Timely Sovereign looks the other key runner.

He will be fitter for his first-up run behind boom horse Jaks Teller in Hobart and, despite having never won a stand, has been placed at three of his five tries.

He was a close second off 20m behind Pushkin at Devonport in June in his last standing start race.

There is also a harness meeting in Hobart on Sunday when most of the races are heats leading into $10,000 finals on Tasmania Cup night (December 22).

Tasmanian harness enthusiasts will also be watching with interest as Devendra contests the $35,000 Inter-Dominion Consolation at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

He is third emergency for the $1.1 million final.

Smart pacer Chief Destroyer resumes from a spell at Burnie on Friday night.

Smart pacer Chief Destroyer resumes from a spell at Burnie on Friday night.