Se­con­dover hits top gear

Mercury (Hobart) - - RACING - PETER STA­PLES

GEE GEE SE­CON­DOVER notched ar­guably the best per­for­mance of his ca­reer to take out the $30,000 Good­wood Hand­i­cap (1200m) in Launce­s­ton on Wednes­day.

The four-year-old con­firmed his sta­tus as a gen­uine New­mar­ket Hand­i­cap con­tender and the breath­tak­ing win wasn’t lost on his trainer Leon Wells.

“He is a very solid horse these days, but to get the best out of him, he needs to be rid­den back with cover, and if he is, then he does what he did tonight,” Wells said.

“There’s no doubt that was his big­gest test so far, but he’s come through it with fly­ing colours. He hasn’t grown much [height] but he’s length­ened out and he has such an im­pres­sive turn of foot, as he showed in this race.”

The Good­wood boasted other New­mar­ket can­di­dates, but pun­ters still ral­lied for the gelded son of Word­smith.

Gee Gee Se­con­dover, with Craig Ne­witt aboard, was heav­ily backed to start the $4.20 sec­ond elect be­hind Group 2-win­ning mare Twitchy Frank ($3.10 fav). The race was run at a solid tempo with O’Lonh Star work­ing to find the lead while Twitchy Frank (An­thony Dar­manin) took the sit and Ne­witt was con­tent to al­low Gee Gee Se­con­dover to set­tle near the rear of the field.

Twitchy Frank forged to the lead at the top of the home straight, but when Ne­witt eased his charge to the out­side the geld­ing un­leashed a scin­til­lat­ing turn of foot.

Gee Gee Se­con­dover went on to score by a half-length from Blaze Forth with Twitchy Frank hang­ing on for third.

Ne­witt said Gee Gee Se­con­dover had turned into “the com­plete pack­age”.

“He is go­ing to get into the New­mar­ket on the min­i­mum weight [54kg] and if he runs up to that form he’s go­ing to be mighty hard to beat.”

Blaze Forth rat­tled home and proved he is go­ing to be a ma­jor con­tender in the New­mar­ket, while last year’s New­mar­ket placeget­ter Scru­ti­neer ran out of room on the rail when try­ing to fin­ish off late, so she will be im­proved by the out­ing and is ready for an­other New­mar­ket tilt.

FITZWILLIA­M started his three-year-old sea­son with a win in Devon­port on Tues­day.

The Stu­art Gandy-trained geld­ing per­formed ad­mirably as a two-year-old win­ning none and plac­ing four times from seven starts.

His win was in a Tas­bred Bonus race that earned his owner Ruth Gandy an ex­tra $16,000 that helped bol­ster his earn­ings to $55,202.

VIC­TO­RIAN jockey Stan Tsaikos will be rid­ing in Tas­ma­nia next week.

His man­ager Les James said the pop­u­lar rider is avail­able for rides at next Wednes­day’s night meet­ing in Launce­s­ton and he can ride at 55.5kg.

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