Hammond chasing cross-code double

18 April 2021 | Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing
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Harness racing trainer Brooke Hammond will be chasing a cross-code double on Sunday.

Hammond is a part-owner of Travelling Gigolo who lines up in the fourth race in Hobart on Sunday.

Prepared by leading thoroughbred trainer Scott Brunton, the three-year-old gelding has been kept safe in early markets after catching the eye with a handy fifth at his most recent start.

Hammond will have to watch the race on TasracingTV’s Live Stream coverage while getting her two pacers ready for the seven-race card in Launceston.

Moonlite Bay will carry Hammond’s purple and gold colours, with the pacer setting tongues wagging with an impressive win at his most recent effort on 3 April when just 1.1s outside the 2200-metre track record.

The Sportswriter – Cam River gelding was confidently driven by Victorian-based Alex Ashwood on that occasion, who drove a positive race to push forward in the 2200-metre event to take up the lead after the first 400 metres.

After recording a slick 42.4s lead time, the pacer was challenged in a 59.2s first half-mile. Ashwood allowed the pacer to bowl down the back in 28.9s before outstaying his rivals in a 30.4s last split.

“He was at myself and Kate’s place around 12-months ago, and we really liked him, but he went a miss so he came back home to Brooke and he has always shown ability,” said Ashwood after the 3 April victory.

“He is a big staying horse as opposed to a sit sprint horse, so it didn’t phase me that there was plenty of speed on at all,” added Ashwood.

Ashwood was down for the big Easter Cup meeting and naturally isn’t returning for a regular Tier One race meeting. But Hammond has been able to secure a more than capable replacement in hall of fame reinsman Gareth Rattray who last week became the third Tasmanian driver to secure 1,400 domestic wins.

Moonlite Bay has drawn ideally in barrier four in the race that is restricted to horses with no more than six lifetime wins, but when you look at the national rating you will see the pacer gets in well as a 67 rater taking on pacers as low as 44.

Hammond also prepares lightly raced three-year-old Hez A Fake, who lines up in the second race of the night. The pacer will need the luck to go his way from an inside of a second-row draw.

Sunday’s Launceston meeting only has the seven races that gets underway at 17:52 and can be seen on Sky Racing 1 and TasracingTV.

The last race is scheduled for 20:52 where this writer’s best bet of the weekend Magic Joe will step out for his debut performance in the two-year-old.

 

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