12 July 2019
by Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing
Trainer Brooke Hammond will be hoping talented four-year-old Moonlite Bay will be able to bounce back into the winner's list when he contests the Trainers Encouragement Pace in Launceston tonight, and punters agree, installing him as the $1.90 favourite.
The gelded son of Sportswriter comes into the race off a seventh placing in Launceston last Sunday and despite finishing seventh the Bridport-based trainer was pleased with the performance.
“Considering the winner Semowillrev is a well-performed horse, I thought his run was full of merit, he did only get beat six metres after doing a bit of work during the race,” Hammond said
Moonlite Bay has drawn inside of the second row for tonight's assignment which is for horses with a National Rating of 55 to 64 over 2200 metres.
“He is going to need a lot of luck from the draw, Gareth (Rattray) only has two options, stay on the fence and drive for luck or work straight off and put him into the race, I will leave that decision up to him,” the trainer and part-owner explained.
Hammond has given Moonlite Bay plenty of time to mature with all seven of his career starts coming this season, and she believes that the pacer is still on the way up
“I think he has a bit of a future going forward but he is still inexperienced and has a lot to learn, at the same time he is racing horses tonight that have won more races than he has had starts,” said Hammond.
Hammond also prepares Elect To Go who will contest race five, the Longford Equine Clinic Handicap over 2200 metres under standing start conditions.
The daughter of Gotta Go Collect was first up for five months last Sunday and the trainer believes that the mare will benefit from the run.
“From what I could see through the fog and if the times are correct she was never going to finish off after the quick lead time and first quarter as she was first up from a spell that night,” the trainer explained.
Elect To Go has had three standing start races for a win and two placings, that win was at Burnie in early January where she began well off a 30-metre handicap, but her standing start manners have let the mare down in the past with a few poor beginnings.
“She can be a bit hit and miss from the stands but Gareth (Rattray) has a good record on her and she should improve being second up tonight,” Hammond added.
Tonight's action kicks off at 17:19 where TAB has a $2,600 Any 2 Jackpot on the UTAB pool on the opening race.
You can catch all of the action on Tasracing’s Live stream as well Sky Racing 1 who will televise the first four races with the remainder of the card on Sky Racing 2.