Stormont to fire up again
LIGHTLY raced six-year-old Stormont produced a careerbest effort to win a class one handicap over 1400m in Launceston three weeks ago, but his trainer Rod Seymour says the gelding has improved since then and expects him to win again tonight.
Stormont will line up in a class three handicap over 1600m, which is unknown territory. The gelding was first-up from a lengthy spell when he powered home to defeat Little Raven and Secret Gold, after which his rider Brendon McCoull declared the son of Red Element was “a very smart galloper in the making”.
“Stormont won well at his first start for five months and we were confident he could win, based on his trackwork leading up to that race,” Seymour said.
“He had a strong working gallop over 800 metres on Saturday and his trackwork rider, Craig Luttrell, said he couldn’t believe the horse was able to improve so much on what he’d shown before his first-up win.
“The plan is to just keep the horse ticking over and place him in winnable races but we want to test him over longer trips later on. At the minute we’ll run him over 1620m a couple of times to see how he goes, but it would be nice to think he would be up to being competitive in one of the minor cups during the summer carnival.”
Stormont was always travelling like the winner last start and when McCoull called on him for the big effort in the home straight he powered home to win by a length.
The strongest opposition should come from the consistent Ocean Essence from the Adam Trinder stable, likely leader Poolside Hendrick and last-start winner Snippety Cat, which has struck a purple patch of form.
THE John Blacker-trained Triple Strip looms as another best bet on the eight-event program in Launceston.
Triple Strip will line up in a benchmark 74 handicap over 1420m with Craig Newitt aboard and she would only need to produce that form that took her to victory in a benchmark 74 in Devonport last start to make her presence felt at the business and of proceedings.
“I couldn’t be happier with Triple Strip since her last win and I believe she goes better on the turf than she does on the Devonport synthetic,” Blacker said.
“She won the Sires Produce Stakes in Launceston two seasons back and while her most recent form in Launceston isn’t too flash, she wasn’t going anywhere near as well as she is now.”
THE three-year-old maiden over 1220m (race 4) boasts a lot of first-starters so punters might have to tread warily, but on exposed form the Adam Trinder-trained Tough Boy should be able to finally notch his first win.
Tough Boy led last start and was only run down in the last 100m, but they spaced the remainder of the field.
CLASSY: Stormont (Brendon McCoull) wins a class one in Launceston three weeks ago.