Blacker’s Tassie stable to become Nuclear Free

TALK THE TALK: Jockey Jodi Borrett discusses tactics with Longford trainer John Blacker during the 2000 racing season.Gehenna, Half Decent and Sandasta are likely to join them later in the month as Blacker works towards filling his 20-box Geelong complex.
Nanjing Night Net

Undertake and Zeva Royale are already there.

Nuclear Free, who has won two from two, will be targeted at a midweek fillies’ race.

“This filly can break 60 seconds for 1000m and I believe she’s good enough to win in the city,” Blacker said.

“There aren’t many fillies’ races left in Tasmania this season and if she stayed here she would have to race against older, more experienced horses.

“Victoria has a good spread of fillies’ races and is the better option.”

Nuclear Free was eased down in the closing stages of Sunday’s Class 1 Handicap at Elwick, yet still scored a comfortable two- length win over an above- average field.

¤¤¤ Victorian filly Speedy Cat, the unplaced favourite in last week’s $100,000 Gold Sovereign Stakes at Mowbray, was injured during the race.

Part-owner Joe O’Neill said yesterday that the two-year-old sustained a “quite severe” cut on her nearside foreleg and would be spelled for four months.

Jockey Dale Smith told connections that he suspected Speedy Cat hurt herself in the first 200m as “she wasn’t the same horse that won at Colac.”

Smith said that the filly, who is part-owned in Tasmania, was unable to accelerate as usual, otherwise he would have crossed to the lead rather than sitting wide.

O’Neill said that he wasn’t sure whether it was the injury, the boat trip to Tasmania or the 10-day back-up that caused Speedy Cat to race below her best.

“But, we haven’t changed our opinion that she is a good filly,” he said.

¤¤¤ Southern Tasmania is being unfairly treated in the allocation of race meetings, according to Light Harness Tasmania president Phillip Young.

Mr Young said yesterday that there would be 84 meetings in Tasmania this year, with 50 in the North and only 34 in the South.

“Yet it’s the Southern blokes who are holding it (the industry) up,” he said. “There are more horses in the South than the North and we’re looking for a better ratio of meetings.”

As reported at the weekend, the South sees only one way of rectifying the situation and that’s to change the structure of Harness Racing Tasmania’s board at the election starting next week.

The board currently comprises three members from the North or North- West and only two from the South.

Southern participants who are eligible to vote have been urged to support a four-man Southern ticket.

If the campaign is successful, it’s the Carrick and Burnie clubs which would seem in danger of losing out. It would be ludicrous to take meetings from Mowbray and the Devonport calendar has already been decimated in recent years.

The ball is really in the participants’ court. They will decide who sits on the board and, subject to Tote Tasmania approval, the board will decide where it wants its race meetings held.

But, it will want to decide wisely – for its own sake.

¤¤¤ Tasmania’s best mare Dragila is heading to stud later this year and may have run her last race.

Connections are still deciding on a suitable stallion, with the high- priced Flying Spur and Redoute’s Choice high on their list of possibilities.

Dragila just failed to cap an amazing season when narrowly beaten in last week’s $60,000 Queen Of The Turf at Mowbray.

She had won her previous three starts in the $40,000 Newmarket Handicap, $40,000 Tattersalls Stakes and $80,000 Bow Mistress Stakes.

By boom sire Encosta de Lago out of a Centaine mare and with career earnings of $212,000, Dragila has enormous broodmare potential.

¤¤¤ Jodi Borrett will represent Tasmania at the National Jockeys’ Celebration Day launch in Canberra today.

The Australian Racing Board and Australian Jockeys Association have joined forces to establish a special day on the national racing calendar to celebrate the achievements of all jockeys.

This year it will be on March 13 when, at 27 race meetings across Australia, there will be ceremonies to mark the contributions of current and former jockeys and commemorate jockeys who have died in riding accidents.

The occasion will also be used to raise funds for the National Jockey Trust.

Other jockeys at today’s launch will include Damien Oliver, Corey Brown, Glen Colless and Clare Lindop.

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