Highly-rated filly Triple Strip will take another step along the Tasmanian Oaks trail when she contests the Benchmark 64 Handicap at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
The daughter of promising sire Needs Further faces a formidable test second-up over 1620 metres but trainer John Blacker is confident she’s equal to to the challenge.
“She’s a pretty serious filly and she’ll measure up to anything we put her in,” Blacker said after Triple Strip resumed with a soft win at the same track a fortnight ago.
“She’ll stay and her main aims will be the good races over the summer carnival.”
Jockey Craig Newitt shares Blacker’s opinion.
“Those top-end three-year-old races from 1400m to 2100m are going to play right into her hands,” Newitt predicted.
“I’ve got no doubt she’ll run the distance of the Oaks (2100m).
“She’s push-button to ride, settles out the back, travels good and her best attribute is that she’s got a really good turn of foot.”
Blacker has another promising stayer engaged in the Class 3 Handicap over 1420m.
Gone Girl, runner-up to the Darren Weir-trained Pleasuring in last season’s Tasmanian Oaks, made good ground when resuming over 1200m three weeks ago and will be suited by the step up in distance.
Tasmanian four-year-old Mandela Effect finished seventh, beaten 5-¾ lengths, in the Benchmark 90 Handicap at Flemington on Cup Day.
The Scott Brunton-trained gelding settled in the second half of the field and, although he battled away, he couldn’t produce his usual finishing burst in the wet conditions.
It was his first start on a heavy track.
Mandela Effect’s stablemate Ivoryman is a $34 chance with tab.com.au for the Subzero Handicap which is restricted to grey horses at Flemington on Thursday.
TWO IN ROW
Under-rated sprinter O’Lonh Star won the $30,000 Goodwood Handicap for the second year in a row at Elwick on Tuesday.
As was the case last year, apprentice Teagan Voorham was in the saddle as the six-year-old accounted for a good field in the traditional lead-up to the $100,000 Newmarket Handicap at Mowbray in a fortnight.
The John Keys-trained gelding started at $13 and scored by a half length from $31 outsider Tough Missile, with Gee Gee Double Dee ($8) a close third.
Favourite Derasa ($2.30) raced handy before weakening to finish eighth while second favourite Lord Da Vinci ($3.60) settled back in the field and made ground to finish seventh but was never a chance.