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  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Viola to play a tune at Hobart

There are eight meetings set to take place on Sunday including at Hobart, where the $125,000 Listed Kevin Sharkie Elwick Stakes is due to take place.

Race 5 Hobart

Viola Vivace @ 2.30

Race 8 Mornington

Van Roy @ 3.40

Race 6 Scone

Lost Illusions @ 8.00

Viola to remain unbeaten

The previously mentioned Kevin Sharkie Elwick Stakes over 1100m is restricted to two-year-olds and is expected to take place on a soft 5 track.

Trainer Stuart Gandy has won this race twice in the last four years, with both victories coming through fillies including with Needs Sugar 12 months ago.

The handler sends out the unbeaten Geegees Mistruth in 2024, with the filly having made a winning debut when successful over 1000m on a soft 5 track here in November.

The daughter of Wordsmith followed that success up with a triumph by over two-and-a-half-lengths in the 1100m LAFM Alfa Bowl held on a soft 6 track at Launceston last month.

While she looks the pick of the local runners, preference is for the Ben, JD & Will Hayes-trained VIOLA VIVACE, who crosses the Bass Strait to tackle this contest. 

The 2.30 selection raced from off the pace when making her debut in a three runner 1000m maiden contest on a good 4 track at Mornington on 28th December.

While the daughter of Nicconi showed signs of her inexperience, jockey Blaike McDougall never really had to get serious with her as she quickened clear of her two rivals.

The youngster came home over three lengths clear in that contest and looks capable of making a winning step up in grade to take this contest.

Roy ready for Mornington glory

The finale on Mornington’s eight race card is a competitive looking 1200m Restricted 64 handicap contest.

A good 4 track is expected with top weight Memphis Shadow expected to have her supporters, having shown good form in finishing in the first three in all four previous starts on good going.

Those starts include a half-length victory when racing over 1100m in a Benchmark 64 handicap at Bendigo last month.

The gelding was returning from a spell on that occasion and finished strongly in the style of a horse who would have no issues stepping back up in distance.

The four-year-old showed he handles this track when debuting with a second over the course and distance in December 2022, however VAN ROY is preferred on this occasion.

Trained by David Brideoake & Matt Jenkins the five-year-old showed solid form when racing from the front prior to finishing third over 1200m in a Benchmark 64 handicap here first up this spell.

While only five ran on that occasion that was an acceptable effort with the pick jumping at odds of $21 when racing on a good 3 track.

Two of the 3.40 selection’s three subsequent outings have come at metro level, including when beaten less than two lengths when third over 1100m at Caulfield on his penultimate start.

The gelding contested a Benchmark 64 handicap that day and the drop to country racing can see him return to winning ways following a fifth in a Benchmark 76 event at Morphettville last time.

Illusions to break her maiden

Scone are set to stage the Inglis Classic Sale 10 February Super Maiden over 1400m as the penultimate race on their seven-race card.

LOST ILLUSIONS takes the eye here for trainer Kris Lees, having shown good form in both of her starts to date.

The first of those saw her place third when beaten over five-and-a-half-lengths in a 1300m maiden on good 4 track at Newcastle in November.

The 8.00 pick followed that up with a good fourth having raced from off the pace when contesting a 1250m maiden on a good 3 surface at Kempsey the following month.

Jockey Benjamin Osmond, on board for both of those efforts, is again in the saddle and while there’s some concern about the forecast soft 6 track, the selection has a good barrier for a stable going well.

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