Favourite’s pace to suit local Warriors

Trainer Glenn Stevenson is in the middle of one of his best seasons on the track in the past decade, and his pair of black-type performers in Turk Warrior and First Accused can add to it at Launceston on Wednesday.

Both horses will line up in the Listed Hellova Street Stakes (1600m) with each hoping to go one or two spots better than First Accused’s second placing and Turk Warrior’s third in the Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes (1400m) at Hobart on February 11.

Three starts back, First Accused scored in the Listed Tasmania Stakes (1600m) in late December.

Craig Williams rides the Gavid Bedggood-trained favourite Keats ($2.50) with First Accussed at $3.50 and Turk Warrior at $6 with online bookmakers.

Though the Victorian visitor is the market elect, Stevenson is happy to see him make the trip and most of all make the pace.

“Turk Warrior has always been a run behind,” Stevenson said.

“He was a gallop behind in the (Tasmanian) Newmarket and then he got sick.

“There’s plenty of tempo so he and First Accused should be able to get a nice run in behind.”

That tempo is likely to be set by Keats.

“We won’t be going hard out and Turk Warrior has been bucking his brand off lately,” he added.

“First Accused was good the other day, too, and we had a few issues coming into his last run as well.

“I think the genuine tempo will suit him to get that mile right behind the speed.

“At Hobart you have to be right on them to get there but here he has some time.”

Stevenson’s record at the halfway mark of this season sees him having notched 37 winners – just four behind his 2021/22 tally of 41.

Most notably, according to Racing & Sports data his season return-on-investment sits at a positive 144% across 174 runners.

As for whether the market differential between Keats and his runners is justified, Stevenson’s angle favours his perspective.

“Twelve months ago I would have been worried as I thought he was going pretty good.

“I’m glad he’s here, to tell you the truth, and I think he’ll set a tempo that is exactly what I want.”

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