Longford trainer John Blacker extended his hot run of form at Launceston last Sunday with a trio of victors including a feature double.
He opened his account with the heavily supported Triple Strip ($2.20), who scored a dominant win in the $50,000 Tasmanian Sires’ Produce over 1400 metres — a big effort for a juvenile first up from a spell.
The Needs Further gelding settled handy in the six-horse field before booting clear to score by 2¼ lengths under Craig Newitt.
Blacker made it a running double when improving gelding Westwood finished strongly from midfield under Damien Thornton to take the Class 2 handicap, also over 1400 metres.
The five-year-old has now won two of his past three outings and missed by a nose on the other occasion.
Blacker completed his treble with victory in the $25,000 Open Classic over 1400 metres when Beaufort Lad ($7.50) edged out his more fancied stablemate Blaze Forth ($2.30 favourite).
The Churchill Downs gelding had been a safely held placegetter behind another stablemate, Zatacla (who finished fourth on Sunday), but benefited from an astute ride from Newitt, who tracked Blaze Forth into the race after settling midfield.
Blacker has now notched 39 wins for the season, 19 behind Scott Brunton, who looks set to notch yet another premiership win.
Banca bounces back
Sunday’s other feature, the $50,000 3YO Classic (1400m) went to the Brunton-trained Banca Bet, who scored the narrowest of wins over stablemate Mandela Effect — reversing the placings from their previous clash at Hobart a fortnight earlier.
The filly, a daughter of Therock, had been ridden cold at Hobart but was much closer under Bulent Muhcu on Sunday and that proved the difference.
Brunton’s filly has done a great job in her first preparation.
She’s notched four wins and two seconds from six runs, amassing almost $72,000 in the process.
She will now head to the paddock for a well earned break.