Lyell breaks lean spell in Launceston

Tasmanian Guineas winner Lyell broke a long lean spell in Launceston on Thursday night.

Lyell (5g Tough Speed – Ladykin by Keltrice) overhauled pacemaker Secdolrue to score by a length in the TTC Hall Of Fame Hcp (1200m).  

The Barry Baker trained gelding was voted Champion Tasmanian 3YO in 2008-09 but his only win since then was a dead-heat decision with Conquering at Launceston in December 2009.

Lyell completed a winning double for Armidale Stud sire Tough Speed under lights at the TOTE Racing Centre.  Earlier on Thursday evening, Speed Control scored impressively in the Bill Bullen 3YO Maiden for trainer Bill Ryan.

Speed Control (3g Tough Speed – Black Cent by Curravilla) shortened from $3.50 to start a $.2.10 favourite and the win came as no surprise as he had been placed at his only two starts this time in.

Settling midfield under Stephen Maskiell, he looked under pressure turning for home but, once balanced forged to the lead and was not fully extended to score by a length from Avici (Telesto) and Minsky Music (Kempinsky).

“He’s a lovely type and should get a mile,” Ryan said of the gelding who he races on lease from Armidale Stud owner Robyn Whishaw.  “I noticed him on visit there last year.  He was already broken-in and ready to go.”

Speed Control is a younger half-brother to Mr Buttkicka (Ladoni) who won 9 races up to 2100m including the Newnham and Ingham Cups and he was also G3 placed in the 2006 Launceston Cup behind Precise Timing and Aquiline.

His sire Tough Speed (USA) is a son of Miswaki and was a top class sprinter-miler for trainer Sir Michael Stoute.  He was a four length juvenile winner and, after being sidelined at three, returned for a G3 victory in the Park Stakes at Doncaster.

Tough Speed has sired 20 winners of 29 races in Australia so far this season headed by stakes winning filly Tough Chik (LR Strutt Stakes).  

He’s in fourth spot on the Tasmanian sires table in the winners category but that title is wide open going into the last quarter of the season.  Grenville Stud’s champion stallion West Quest (23) holds a slender lead over Armidale residents Savoire Vivre (22), Ladoni (21) and Tough Speed (20).