$30,000 Trainers Encouragement one of many features in Launceston

24 May 2024 | Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Many feature races are scheduled for Sunday night’s Launceston program, which is headlined by the $30,000 Final of the Trainer Encouragement Series (2200m).

The Clayton Miller-trained Jumping Jolt contested two of the three heats and was runner-up on both occasions. The most recent effort was in Hobart last Sunday when 2.3m behind Loyola Trios.

Jumping Jolt is an 11-year-old gelding who has won 27 races, but you have got to go all the way back to June 2020 to find his most recent win when he won in 1:53.1s at Brisbane’s Albion Park.

The Village Jolt gelding found his way to Tasmania, where he joined the Ben Yole stable before ending up in the Clayton Miller stable in January.

“If he wasn’t here, where would he be? He is a lovely old horse. The rating system was brought in to keep horses like this racing, and he is reasonably sound for his age. He has a few niggles, but nothing too bad. And he is a beautiful horse to be around,” said Miller.

“The industry needs horses like him. He has got seven owners that race him on lease that get to watch him go around every time. They aren’t going to make any money from him, but it’s of interest to them all. Some of them had been on to me for two years to be involved in another horse,” the Mt Direction-based trainer added.

John Walters will drive the pacer, who has drawn barrier five on the second row.

“If he can run in the top four or five from that draw, he’s doing a good job. You would think he will win one down the track. He won’t win a heap, but he is an honest horse.

“He has had to give the higher class horses a start in both heats and has been able to be there at the finish. Because of his wins he has to give them a head start.

“It’s an even field, but I thought Jilliby Mendoza was the hardest to beat. She showed the gate speed to hold them last time and should be able to do the same again. Southern Luck is going well, as is Moneys No Issue, but he will have to do some work from his draw. Three or four of them like to be forward and might be the one that can get in a good position and do the less work.

“We are happy to be there and going around for good money. He has earned $5,000 over the two heats. We are having a bit of fun, and he is paying his way,” explained the trainer.

The race is restricted to Tasmanian-based trainers who have trained 10 or fewer winners this season and 10 or fewer last season and who have trained the horses since 1 February.

The Trainers Encouragement races have been popular on the Tasmanian harness racing calendar since they were introduced in 2016.

“They are good initiative, and they are reasonable size fields week in and week out compared to some of the other races. They rarely go around with six or seven horses too many times,” said Miller.

Sunday’s card also features the $20,000 C.U.B Devonport Quality, where the Todd Rattray-trained Magician and Nyack head the betting.

The pair ran the quinella in the recent Launceston Mile; however, this week, they have swapped drivers, with Todd driving Nyack while his brother Gareth takes the reins on Magician.

Other races on the card include the DHRC Devonport Belmont, Lucas Hotel Latrobe Cup, Tasracing Leigh Plunkett, and the Sheffield Cup.


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