Newmarket hopefuls a factor at Longford trials

Rebel Factor and Turk Warrior win Longford trials.

Rebel Factor
Rebel Factor Picture:

Some of the state's best sprinters went through their paces at Longford on Tuesday in preparation for next week's $150,000 Newmarket Handicap over 1200m in Launceston.

Lightly raced 6YO Rebel Factor looked sharp, clocking 45.46 seconds for the 800m, the second fastest time of the day, winning by a head from Seydoux with early leader War Correspondent 1.25-lengths away third.

"He went nice today. That's what we expect of him, he was average the other day in a trial at Devonport I thought, but he was a lot better today," owner Chris Wickham said.

Rebel Factor has a great fresh record, having won three times from four first-up runs, he hasn't started since August when he finished down the track at Moonee Valley.

Turk Warrior won the second division of the Open trial and never really got out of cruise mode, clocking 46.50 seconds, beating Queenborough Flyer and Muscle Up.

Turk Warrior ran fourth in the Newmarket last year behind The Inevitable when racing second-up. He'll go into the race fresh this time around.

"He's a little bit behind the eight-ball, he's still a little bit 'puddingy', so we haven't got much time to get him right.

"First-up, that's not a concern, but by the eye, you can see he is still carrying a little bit of condition, and it's going to be a pressure race, so you have to be hard and fit," trainer Glenn Stevenson said.

Bulent Muhcu had his first ride on Turk Warrior at the trials, and due to the weight scale for the Newmarket, he is likely to retain the ride next week.

Wednesday night racing

Racing returns to the regular Wednesday night time slot this week in Launceston with an eight-event card beginning at 17:55.

Victorian-based jockey Craig Newitt returns home to ride and has picked up a mount in all eight races. He looks like a huge chance to start the night with a win when he rides Winning Witness.

My best for the meeting is in-form mare Monte Fleur, who has won two of her past three and lines up over 2150m in race 5.

Monte Fleur stepped up to the trip for the first time last run, strolled home, and looks set to repeat.

Duncan Dornauf will be live hosting coverage throughout the night on TasracingTV.