IF ever there was a horse that deserved to break his maiden status it was The Beekeeper that finally delivered in Devonport last Sunday.
The Beekeeper had been placed in 10 of his previous 14 starts, and one of his five seconds was behind superstar filly Hela at only his second race start last season.
The Stuart Gandy-trained gelding was bred by his trainer and is owned and raced by his wife Ruth Gandy.
Despite having so many minor placings to his name, punters warmed to him on Sunday and sent the Wordsmith gelding around as the $2.60 favourite.
He was ridden by in-form apprentice Erica ByrneBurke who allowed the gelding to slide forward and, once in front, she raced him superbly, leaving him with plenty in reserve to sprint clear of his rivals in the home straight.
The Beekeeper went on to score by almost six lengths from the well-backed Poet Warrior ($3) with Gold Gown ($41) over a length astern.
“It was so good to see him win a race because he has been very consistent,” Gandy said.
It was a Tasbred Bonus race and as Gandy and his wife bred the gelding, they net the entire $20,000 bonus payment on top of the $12,500 winner’s stake.
HELA embarks on her spring campaign in Melbourne on Saturday, most likely in a benchmark 78 event over 1200m at Caulfield.
The Scott Brunton-trained four-year-old mare is also nominated for the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) but Brunton said his preference was the benchmark 78.
Hela is unbeaten from seven starts in Tasmania with her only blemish coming in the Australasian Oaks in South Australia at the end of her last campaign and she hasn’t started since that fail.
LAST season’s Tasmania Horse of the Year, Newhart, is likely to kick off his campaign in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes over 1300ms at Caulfield on Saturday week.
Newhart trialled in Devonport yesterday and looked good in finishing second to one of last season’s star threeyear-olds, War Correspondent, over 800m.
The Testa Rossa has been on the cards for some time and trainer Barry Campbell also had a benchmark 90 handicap over 1000m for four-year-olds and older mares pencilled in for his star sprinter Deroche on the same program.
TRAINER Mark Ganderton appears to have the secret with the progeny of Alpine Eagle.
Ganderton produced Alpine Wolf to win on debut and again in a class one handicap before the gelding was transferred to Barry Campbell’s stable in late June.
Yesterday in Devonport Ganderton produced his three-year-old Alpine Eagle filly Monte Bianco, who won her trial by three lengths.
PETER STAPLES IS ALSO EMPLOYED BY TASRACING