Rolling along to settle Lad for Launceston

When finishing down the track as the well-supported beaten favourite in the Hobart Cup overs two weeks ago, from trainer to jockey – and punters – they were all disappointed at the outcome of Alhambra Lad’s effort that day.

When it comes to the climax of the Tasmanian Summer Carnival, the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m), the Patrick Payne-trained gelding is hoped to be better behaved on Wednesday.

Jockey Jye Mcneil told stewards post-race that the horses pulled too hard throughout the 2400-metre Group 3 Cup on February 11, which cost the $2.40 favourite any chance of winning.

Launceston Cup favourite, Aurora’s Symphony took out the Hobart Cup and is shooting to become the first horse in the race’s 160-year history to win the event three times.

Melbourne Cup heroine Michelle Payne has been looking after Patrick’s team in Tasmania and Alhambra Lad will be hoping to cap a feature race double this week after Wings Of Song landed the Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) on Sunday.”

“Coming down and training at a different venue, there was a bit of working out to do,” Michelle said of the change of scene for the six-year-old gelding who won the 2200-metre Summer Cup at Hobart on January 21.

The strong seven-length nature of that win showed something of the added pressure of the Hobart Cup running, and taking on the likes of a seasoned Tasmanian campaigner like Symon Wilde’s Aurora’s Symphony.

Concentration on rolling into a race in training is hoped to make a difference this time.

“We’ve done a few nice rolling canters in Hobart and that will hopefully let him find a rhythm when he gets into the race,” Payne added.

“We can only try and hopefully he’ll settle more.”

Aurora’s Symphony is the $3.30 favourite for the Launceston Cup with Oakleigh Plate-winning rider Harry Coffey aboard the second favourite, Excelleration, at $4.20.

Craig Williams is making the trip to Launceston to ride $4.40 chance Grand Pierro with online bookmakers while Alhambra Lad is at $5.

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