Mister Gently jumps into open class in Show Cup

09 October 2021 | Duncan Dornauf

Lightly raced gelding Mister Gently resumes from a break on Sunday night in Launceston, where the Craig Hayes trained and driven pacer lines up in the night's feature race, the $12,000 Tasmanian Horse Transport Show Cup over 2200 metres.

Mister Gently won the Burnie Cup two starts ago, before being placed in the Carrick Park Cup in mid-February.

The gelded son of Live Or Die will face one of his toughest tests to date on Sunday in the open class feature.

“It is a big step up on what he was racing, but that's his class and he is good from a stand, so we thought we will see how he will measure up,” said trainer-driver Craig Hayes.

“It will take a couple of runs I reckon, for him to adjust to the tempo of that style of racing, but his strength will see him through as he is pretty strong,” added Hayes.

Sunday’s race sees last year's winner, The Shallows, who will start off a 20-metre handicap, while the two other handicap runners, Sunny Sanz and Izaha will share the 10-metre line.

“I thought it was a good place to start because if he jumps to the front and keeps running along, it makes it hard for them to get around all the other horses,” explained the Stowport based trainer.

Mister Gently has won six of his 12 career starts, with Hayes happy to take his time with the pacer.

“He hasn’t had any issues. He was just a slow mature. For some reason, he took a bit of time. After the Carrick Cup, we thought he would measure up to the better class races, so we decided to give him time, so we gave him a long break hoping he would improve a bit,” explained the trainer-driver.

All going to script this preparation, the trainer has a few nice races in mind.

“If he improves off this run like I think he will, the Golden Apple will be the aim, but he has got to improve a bit,” Hayes said.

Another pacer from the Hayes stable that will likely be in the Golden Apple is this year's Easter Cup winner Scooterwillrev who is getting closer to a race track return.

“Hopefully, he will be back in a month. He has done really well, he is not showing any signs of soreness, and everything going well I think he will have another good year,” Hayes said.

The Tasmanian Horse Transport Show Cup is race five on Sunday’s card and is set down for 19:44, with the first of nine races scheduled to jump at 17:33.

Watch Mister Gently finish third to Lip Reader and Ryley Major in a Carrick Park trial last Saturday.

Duncan Dornauf's podcast Harness Highlights now available here.


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