JERILDERIE LETTER confirmed his status as a genuine Tasmanian Derby prospect with a game win in the Kevin Sharkie Hobart Guineas over 2100 metres at UBET Park Hobart yesterday.
The Adam Trinder-trained three-year-old was having his first outing beyond 1600m but he handled it like a seasoned veteran.
Jockey Anthony Darmanin had the gelding settled in second place behind one of the interstate invaders Al Shameel while the other visitor Albion Road from the Mick Kent stable settled near the rear.
Punters rallied late for Jerilderie Letter that firmed substantially in betting to start the favourite at $2.20 but Trinder was surprised when Jerilderie Letter was hurried from the barriers to settle second and so close to the lead.
Al Shameel looked to be travelling like the winner 500 metres from home but when Darmanin called on his charge for the big effort he quickly closed the gap and despite laying in over the final 200 metres Jerilderie Letter powered home to score by almost a length from Al Shameel with the Barry Campbell-trained Siorca a close-up third.
“That was a decisive and commanding win today and they way he ran out the 2100 metres for the first time he has proven he will get the Derby trip,” Trinder said.
“Our pre-race plan was to be fourth and one-off the fence with something decent to follow into the race but when he jumped so well and got up on the bit early there were some anxious moments.”
“But after 400 metres he came back under Anthony and he travelled really well from there on in.”
“He has pretty much faced the breeze for the whole trip but he was still able to sprint and tough it out so all in all it has proven to be a very good guide to his chances in next month’s Tasmanian Derby over 2200m,” he said.