STAR Tasmanian gallop Rebel Bride is poised to capture the feature mares’ weight-for-age double when she lines up in the $100,000 Listed Vamos Stakes over 1400 metres in Launceston tonight.
Rebel Bride proved too strong for the Mick Price-trained Tariana in the $150,000 Bow Mistress Trophy over 1200 metres in Hobart on February 3 in which she raced three-wide without cover.
It gave the mare back-to-back wins in the Group 3 event ands connections are hoping she can improve on her last Vamos attempt when third to Lady Lynette and Buzzing Along last year.
Last season Rebel Bride had an interrupted campaign and the Vamos Stakes was almost an afterthought but this time she has been prepared with the Bow Mistress-Vamos double as her main targets.
“Last season this mare just kept winning through the classes but she was never specifically aimed at the Bow Mistress or the Vamos,” Wells said.
“After she won the Bow Mistress it was just a matter of going to the Vamos if she was well in herself and that’s the way it panned out.”
“But this time in we have planned all of her races with the Bow Mistress and Vamos clearly her two main goals so we are halfway there,” he said.
Rebel Bride has been partnered by Stephen Maskiell for her past two starts and he will again be the pilot tonight.
“Stephen knows this mare well and from a good barrier (1) he should be able to put her in a good spot early and then hopefully she will be good enough to deliver at the end.”
“I have no doubt she will run out a strong 1400 metres so the distance is not a worry,” he said.
Tariana should again be the testing material for Rebel Bride but she another wide gate with which to contend as she did in the Bow Mistress.
But there is other speed in the race and rider Craig Newitt might opt to take a sit this time and save his mare for a sprint to the line.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained Family Crest is the only interstate invader in the race that didn’t contest the Bow Mistress and she comes off two recent wins at MooneeValley over 1500m and 1600m.
Family Crest is a talented four-year-old mare by Fastnet Rock that has four wins and as many minor placings from her 13 starts for almost $120,000 in stakes.
Buzzing Along ran second in this race last year but her recent form has been a bit south of where the mare was this time last year but she has plenty of ability and would be a big chance if she brought her A game.
Bel Price won four in succession leading up to the Bow Mistress in which she got too far back but rattled home to finish on the heels of the placegetters.
The same can be said for Hold Onto Your Hat that could have finished closer than fifth had the breaks gone her way in the home straight.
The other feature race on the nine-event card is the PFD Food Services Tasmanian Oaks in which eight of the 10 final acceptors are from interstate.
Most of the interstate fillies contested the Strutt Stakes on Hobart Cup day with First Bloom (second in the Strutt) and Papillon (third) the best credentialed to win this Listed race over 2100 metres.
Strutt Stakes winner Green Roller was a surprise omission from nominations for the Oaks but her stablemate Global Balance from the David Hayes stable is likely to start favourite.
Global Balance was backed in to start favourite in the Strutt Stakes but her saddle slipped badly and rider Dwayne Dunn had no option but to her stride and sit outside of the leader. The filly did a great job to hang on for fifth just ahead of Tasmanian filly Settler’s Joy.
This writer has an interest in Settler’s Joy and there was a lot to like about her run in the Strutt Stakes as she got a long way back and she was making ground over the concluding stages.
The Michael Hibbs-trained Alexa Cee was fourth in the Strutt and she too must be considered a winning chance on that effort.