UNDERATED four-year-old pacer Nobeer Nocheer emerged as a genuine Raider Stakes contender following his brilliant victory in a Raider Stakes heat over 2200 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on tonight Sunday.
Nobeer Nocheer (Gareth Rattray) faced the breeze outside of the leader and race favourite Make A Memory (Lisa Miles) but he made light of the task to defeat the favourite by a narrow margin with outsider Glory Is Illusive an eye-catching third.
Nobeer Nocheer (Courage Under Fire-Mon Mon Happy Day) strung three wins together before failing to fill a place in a C1-C2 in Hobart prior to this latest assignment.
There were excuses in that event as the Gary Bishop-trained gelding was unable to get a run at any stage in the straight and went to the line hard-held.
Bishop has said throughout this preparation that Nobeer Nocheer was up to winning a feature race and if he can take his latest form into the Raider Stakes final at Devonport on Anzac Day (April 25) he should make his presence felt at the business end of proceedings.
The remaining heat was taken out by Babyitsu in what was a thrill heat that had Babyitsu getting up in the last stride to defeat race leader Dodgermemate with Underdog a half-head astern.
Babyitsu (Mach Three-Breeze Baby) face the breeze for almost the entire trip but when they entered the home straight Dodgermemate refused to wilt and kicked clear but under strong driving the favourite found enough to grab victory by the narrowest of margins in the very last stride.
The Raider Stakes final promises to be a sensational race with the little separating the placegetters in each of the two heats in Launceston tonight.
The barrier draw could be a telling factor in the eventual outcome of the final.