DESPITE the presence of local superstar Damek in the Wrest Point Hobart Thousand series many of the usual suspects from interstate will venture across Bass Strait in search of more Group 1 glory.
Of the 64 entries to contest eight heats, 23 are from interstate with top Victorian mentor Graeme Bate taking a team of seven for almost one third of the interstate contingent.
Last year’s winner Prankster is back to try and create history and win back-to-back Thousands on the Elwick U-bend circuit.
Prankster’s trainer Robert Britton also has Banger Harvey in the series and both will be kennelled at Tasmanian trainer Mick Stringer’s property at Magra.
Bate knows what it takes to win a Wrest Point Hobart Thousand (461m) having stood on the winner’s dais with four of his former kennel stars.
Bate prepared his first Hobart Thousand winner Bomber Gleeson in 1992 and the following year he won with Extra’s Boy.
In 1998 his talented bitch Mirren Bale saluted and Latest Lad made it back-to-back wins in the Group 1 event when he scored at double figure odds a year later.
All of those wins were on the old Royal Showground circuit so Bate is keen to register a win in the oldest Group 1 event on the national calendar on the two-year-old track at Tattersall’s Park at Elwick
This year Bate has nominated a team of seven comprising Dyna Forte, Kinka Bale, Stefan Bale, Gripen bale, Bremerton Bale, Shereen Bale and Bolero Bale.
Darren McDonald has ventured south many times with some of the best he has trained including Brett Lee but he still hasn’t got a Hobart Thousand trophy on his mantel.
McDonald has a three-pronged attack including last week’s Brisbane Cup runner-up Octane Show that was in the care of Queensland mentor Tony Brett for his Queensland campaign.
McDonald also entered Aston Lucas and Perfect Fancy.
This year’s race boasts entries from four states.
Blazing Chaos will carry the flag for Queenslander Tony Vines.
Sth Australia will be represented by Troy Murray with Bandanna Lad
Brendan Wheeler is confident Numero Uno Bale will make his presence felt for NSW in his heat while fellow New South Welshman Brian Mckivat has Rumour Control entered.