Jul 24, 2012
Courtesy of examiner.com.au.
TALENTED Tasmanian four-year-old Banca Mo emerged as a Hobart and Launceston Cup contender after the easiest win of his career at Flemington on Saturday.
Banca Mo had barely crossed the line - eight lengths clear of his rivals in a rating 95 race over 1800 metres - when co-trainer Scott Brunton started talking summer carnivals.
''Hopefully, around cups time next year, he might be swallowing up a few (big races) in Tasmania,'' Brunton told TVN.
''We think he's going to make a really good horse in time.
''He was a poor-looking horse early days, but he's slowly developed.''
Those poor looks are probably why owner Mandy Gunn was able to buy the Tough Speed gelding for only $3000 at the 2009 Magic Millions sale in Launceston.
''I went to have a look at him after the sale and he had this funny nose and I thought, what on earth have I bought,'' Gunn said after one of Banca Mo's six Tasmanian wins, at Mowbray in April.
The horse has spent the past two months in Melbourne where he was runner-up at Caulfield and Flemington before breaking through for a $42,700 collect at the weekend.
Gunn is a relative newcomer to Tasmanian racing - her first horse was White Yard, who ran second to Fast Future in the 2011 Launceston Cup.
White Yard's success prompted the owner to send Banca Mo to the same stable.
She also has a small share in ''a few horses'' in Melbourne.
Banca Mo's imposing record, now seven wins from only 13 starts, is likely to boost interest in his sire, Tough Speed, who stands for only $2200 at Armidale Stud.
''There's not a lot of Tough Speeds about but they are quality,'' Brunton said. ''We've got some nice ones.''
Sky's the limit: Wesley Vale trainer John Keys is hoping he also has a future Melbourne winner in two-year-old Volcanic Sky.
The filly put up a tough performance to win first-up on a heavy track at Elwick on Sunday.
''We think she's pretty handy and, because there's not much coming up for her here, we'll probably take her to Melbourne,'' Keys said.
''We'll look for a suitable midweek race.''
Volcanic Sky is by Nadeem - the same sire as Keys' star two-year-old of last season, Triple Asset - and is a half sister to Langridge Street, a dual Adelaide winner and regular city placegetter in Victoria.
Langridge Street has won from 1600m to 1950m, giving Keys hope that Volcanic Sky could be a classic filly next season.
All in family: There's been a run of stories in recent months about multiple greyhounds from the same litter enjoying success.
But, it would be hard to top the feat of Nabowla owner-breeder Karlene Cuthbertson and her racing partner Sally-Anne Wilson in the Breeders Classic final in Hobart this week.
Not only do they have six of the eight runners in Thursday night's race but they are all from only two litters.
No Emotion, Director and Captain Cosmic are from a litter by Cosmic Rumble from Icy Popsicle while Pak And Wrap, Millie Minor and Molly's Legacy are from a Where's Pedro-Smart And Sassy litter.
Mick Stringer trains all bar Pak And Wrap, who is from the Butch Deverell kennel.
The owners have a fair chance of picking up the bulk of some healthy prizemoney - the Breeders Classic carries $9200 in stakes plus $8050 in breeders' bonuses.
Halwes voting: The three leaders failed to add to their scores in Halwes Medal voting on the first two harness meetings this month.
In Hobart on July 1, Adrian Collins polled three votes, Zeke Slater two and Brian Stanley one, while at Devonport on July 2 Jaimee-Lee King polled three, Rohan Hillier two and John Walters one.
Ricky Duggan still leads on 38 votes from Gareth Rattray on 34 and Grant Hodges on 32, with Hillier sneaking closer on 31.
The votes for the last 10 meetings of the season won't be revealed until presentation night.