Brunton ready for hometown riches

4 min read

Local trainer Scott Brunton takes plenty of confidence into this weekend's Hobart Cup Carnival which kicks off with the G3 Seppelt Bow Mistress S. and the Listed Schweppes Tasmanian Derby on Friday.

With stakes racing on Friday and Sunday, this is the biggest weekend in Tasmanian racing for the year and as the island state's leading trainer for the past decade, it’s showtime for Brunton.

"It's the highest of importance. You want your horses to perform well on your big stage at home. It's your own backyard, so you are looking to feast on as much prizemoney as possible," he told TDN AusNZ.

Hobart, G3 Seppelt Bow Mistress S. 1200m, $150,000

The Bow Mistress, named after the champion Tasmanian filly of the early 1980s, is the premier sprint race for mares and Brunton has stakes-winning mare Life On The Wire (Pluck) resuming off a spell, having failed in the G3 How Now S. at Caulfield in September.

Brunton admitted that he had some question marks over whether the 5-year-old had come back this campaign, but a strong gallop earlier in the week has restored his faith.

"Her gallop on Monday morning at the track was outstanding." - Scott Brunton

"She's come back and she's been a little bit questionable in a few of her trials. But her gallop on Monday morning at the track was outstanding."

Life On The Wire

"I'm hoping that she's picking up. She's had a big spell, she's taken a while to get fit. It's been a bit longer than we would have liked, but she seems to be back on her game again now."

The Victorian mare Miss Norway (Reward For Effort) looks the main threat. Having won well at Caulfield on Australia Day and prevailed in three of her past four, she has come to Hobart for some black-type and this looks a suitable race.

Twitchy Frank (Choisir) has joined the stables of Spreyton-based Adam Trinder from Darren Weir this week and was last seen when a 2.3l fifth in a BM84 race at Flemington last month. She was a winner at Caulfield before that.

Miss Iano (Equiano) resumes for Cranbourne trainer Mark Webb having been competitive in stakes-company in Brisbane last winter, while local mare My Biddy (Wordsmith) has the advantage of having had a run back in the Lady Lynette S. where she was overrun late by star filly Mystic Journey (Needs Further).

Brunton retains faith that a strong return by Life On The Wire would be enough as she heads towards defending the G3 Vamos S. at Launceston alter this month.

"Her best form would win this race, no dramas at all."

Brunton also presents 8-year-old Step The Pedal (Elvstroem) in the Bow Mistress. She was runner-up in the Vamos behind her stablemate last year.

"She's raced very good in Vamos the past couple of years. 1400m to a mile is her best distance, but on a soft track, they’ll know she's there," he said.

Hobart, Listed Schweppes Tasmanian Derby, 2200m, $150,000

The past two Tasmanian Derbies have been won by interstate raiders and it could be James Cummings who flies away with the trophy on Friday with his first-ever runner in Tasmania.

Cossetot's (Epaulette) presence in the race is an indication of Godolphin's growing footprint in Australia and while his form in Sydney is midweek level, it might be enough to get away with this one.

He is clear favourite, with Victorian Twilight Run (Akeed Mofeed) the second pick off his emphatic maiden win at Geelong last week.

Glass Warrior (Glass Harmonium {Ire}) was an impressive last start winner of the Listed Launceston Guineas over 2100m and that makes her the leading local hope here, while Brunton feels his filly Swing It Sister (Akeed Mofeed) can also make her presence felt at her fifth run back of the campaign.

"I thought into the Derby, the 2200m will suit. She'll roll along in the lead and that's going to play into her hands," he said.

"She's below the best of them, but she's honest and she stays."