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The feature racing continues in NZ continues at Trentham on Saturday with a strong nine event meeting, highlighted by the Group l NZ Oaks (2400m). The weather is fine, the track is dead (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (10:15) TAB Bonus Bet Back Cup (72) 1600m

Back Me

Hard to get away from 6 Star Tsar (Bet Now: $1.80). Very progressive four year old for the Baker/Forsman team that ran over the mile at Ellerslie two weeks ago and despite a few difficulties and nervous moments, his class came to the fore and he was too good. The depth here isn’t strong overall and he looks to be heading in the right direction.


2 Mehrtens (Bet Now: $8.50) is unknown at 1600m but his recent efforts suggest he’ll be fine. Impressive win two back over 1400m before coming back to 1300m at Hastings when off the speed and chasing really strongly late to get up and win. Tricky draw to overcome, but if he can get cover from the barrier, he’ll give Star Tsar a decent run.

Long Shot

1 Hee’s Our Secret (Bet Now: $14.00) can be a big improver here if the track does get into the good range. Found the Dead6 too wet last start at Matamata and didn’t really fire a shot but he’s clearly a better horse than that, as seen the start prior when third in a good race at Awapuni. Is a winner at the track, should press forward and give a sight.

Race 2. (10:50) New Zealand Bloodstock 1200m

Back Me

The safe option looks to be 3 Sacred Command (Bet Now: $3.60). Had trialled up really well prior to debuting over 1200m at Pukekohe where he got back in the run, peeled wider and let down strongly, just missing out on the win, beaten a short neck. Leith Innes is back aboard and I don’t think this is the deepest 2YO race going around.


1 Opalescence (Bet Now: $3.00) has the runs on the board and should be respected. Put together a couple of really nice wins before contesting the Matamata Breeders where she was held but far from disgraced in running fourth. Much better suited here…is there upside left? Probably not, but I think she just has to hold her form to go close.

Long Shot

8 A Box Of Tricks (Bet Now: $51.00) is an Akeed Mofeed filly that is on debut. This girl has had two trials to prepare for start one, the latest coming at Foxton a couple of weeks ago when running third and looking to go about her business. Needs to improve off those trials to stamp herself a serious winning chance here, but she’s showed talent.

Race 3. (11:25) NZ St Leger 2600m

Back Me

Going the way of 5 Te Akau Caliburn (Bet Now: $7.00) and just hoping the track does get into the good range. Loved the way he knuckled down to share the spoils two back at Awapuni before going to the Kaimai Stakes at Matamata where he got back and was never in the hunt on a track that was getting worse as the day progressed. He’s a dry tracker so hopefully he gets conditions to suit.


2 Sampson (Bet Now: $4.60) is a rising 11YO that looks to still have a healthy zest for racing. He won this race last year and looks to be on track to defend his title. Ran over 2200m at Trentham last Saturday and stuck to the task very well in defeat when third to Sergeant Blast. Gets run of the race from the good gate and up in trip a big tick.

Long Shot

3 Toms (Bet Now: $9.00) is the interesting one. He was a real eye catcher here three back in the Wellington Cup. Then went to the Avondale Cup at Ellerslie and was terrible. Freshened up and ran over the mile here last Saturday in was a tune up for this race. Off his Wellington Cup effort, he’s right in the mix. Just depends if you can overlook the Avondale Cup flop.

Race 4. (12:00) The Last Of Thee Auld Hussie's (82) 1400m

Back Me

6 Coventina Bay (Bet Now: $1.85) looks a really nice horse in the making for Rob Patterson. Hasn’t raced since Feb 1 at New Plymouth where he got back in the run but he kept getting runs nearer the inside and loved the way he dug in to get the win and continue his really good record. Freshened up but looked sharp in a recent trial win.


3 Credit Manager (Bet Now: $4.80) is a Kevin Gray trained son of Pins who has been kept on ice, having not raced since January 18 when getting the win over this track/distance, albeit everything fell into place in order for him to win. That was just under two months ago and has tuned up his return with a trial where he looked pretty good, so keen to see how he goes.

Long Shot

2 Lady Kartel (Bet Now: $18.00) could give some cheek in front here. Attempted to lead all the way over this track/distance back on January 11 and tried hard but couldn’t quite finish it off when fourth to Tavi Mac. He does seem a good horse with fresh legs, looks the leader and if left alone, could prove hard to run down at odds.

Race 5. (12:35) Cuddle Stakes 1600m

Back Me

5 Sinarahma (Bet Now: $3.50) is an above average mare for Allan Sharrock who should take some beating here despite being a few weeks between runs. Hasn’t raced since Feb 6 when an impressive winner in the Breeders Stakes over the mile. Placed in a recent trial to tune up for this and in a good race for the Mares, she looks the safe option.


Fitter, up to 1600m and back to Mares grade looks a good set up for 1 Yearn (Bet Now: $3.80). Had a few weeks off prior to racing over 1400m here just over two weeks ago and I thought she home well enough without really threatening. Looks well suited up to 1600m and drawn a bit better, can sit much closer in the run.

Long Shot

2 Sentimental Miss (Bet Now: $17.00) is the definite query. Classy mare when right but just a little while since she has showed their best. Hasn’t raced since January 25 when contesting the Karaka Cup and you’d have to mark her down as very disappointing behind Dance Card. Freshened up back to the mile, if she produced her best, she’d be winning.

Race 6. (13:15) Wellington Guineas 1400m

Back Me

Happy to be each way with 1 Callsign Mav (Bet Now: $10.00). Ran in a good 3YO race over 1400m at Hastings last time out and what impressed me was his change up speed when Craig Grylls asked him to go. He exploded, quickly put a few lengths on his rivals and safely held his rivals at bay, including the well performed Quick Thinker. Gets a good run from the gate and that turn of will ensure he’s hard to beat here.


Beware the unbeaten horse. 3 Levante (Bet Now: $2.60) is 4/4 to start her career, the latest coming over 1400m at Matamata when sitting back in the field of eight before peeling wider and she put them away in a few strides for such an impressive win. Hardest test to date here, but hard not to like her and confident she measures up.

Long Shot

2 Lightning Jack (Bet Now: $13.00) is a three year old on the up and is a last start Stakes winner so he has to be respected. Had a wide gate to overcome in the Southland Guineas last start but finished best out wide and continued his purple patch. Can sit much closer in the run from the wide gate and prove a leading chance.

Race 7. (13:50) Lightning Stakes 1200m

Back Me

7 Santa Catarina (Bet Now: $6.50) is a quality mare for Stephen Marsh who was an impressive over 1200m at Ellerslie two back before racing over the same track/distance in the Concorde and it was an ugly watch if you were on. No luck at all and should have fought the finish out. Sits back off a good speed here and will launch at them late.


Fresh legs and back to 1200m are two big ticks for 2 Enzo’s Lad (Bet Now: $5.00). He was fabulous in defeat here three back in the Telegraph behind a star mare in Avantage. Last start came over 1400m at Te Rapa in what was a brutally run race and couldn’t go with them late behind Te Akau Shark. Much better suited here and should take some beating.

Long Shot

1 Shadows Cast (Bet Now: $10.00) is better suited over a bit further but does have class on his side and that will carry him a long way. Three weeks between runs since contesting the Hanui Farms over the mile at Otaki and was far from disgraced in defeat behind Avantage. Fresh back to 1200m is interesting. As I said, better suited at 1400m-1600m, but has class.

Race 8. (14:25) NZ Oaks 2400m

Back Me

7 Karalino (Bet Now: $17.00) will do me at a price each way. Was keen on her running well last start in the Sunline Vase and when she got the gap, she looked home, but was nabbed near the peg by Communique. I don’t think 2400m will be an issue for her, does no work from the gate you would assume and at near $20, she’s worth a throw at the stumps.


1 Jennifer Eccles (Bet Now: $2.05) just has to run out 2400m to be winning you’d think, but there is a bit going against her, namely gate 19. But her lead up form is outstanding. Ran over 2100m at Te Rapa back on Feb 26 and she made a mess of her rivals, cementing her place as one of the best 3YO fillies in NZ. She’s the one to beat on form…near even money though? Too short IMO.

Long Shot

2 Loire (Bet Now: $SP.00) looks a key chance for Tony Pike. Ran second to Jennifer Eccles in that Te Rapa race mentioned above and she did work home well from off the pace, but gave away too much head start. Also has a wide gate to contend with and she’s been up a little while so there are knocks, but overall, she has very good form.

Race 9. (15:00) Fusion Electrical (65) 1400m

Back Me

Going with 3 Hot Spring Project (Bet Now: $2.80) in the get out. Son of Pins for Tony Pike who is a veteran of just two career outings, both coming at Hastings, with the second start resulting in a narrow but strong maiden win over 1300m. Kept finding when asked and surged the last little bit to get there, suggesting 1400m will be fine for him.


9 Fiano (Bet Now: $8.50) is a knockout chance. Happy to forgive the run two back when wide and doing too much work. Then went to Otaki when ridden cold for cover and found the line strongly to finish fourth. He’s a dangerous horse I think if he gets conditions to suit and he looks as though he will get that this time around.

Long Shot

5 Outthegate (Bet Now: $12.00) looks a leading chance for Suzy Gordon. Ran over 1400m at Otaki a few weeks ago where he did work from the wide gate to get near the speed and tried hard when a narrow second to Sardeen. Think he’ll be much better suited on firmer footing and from the good gate, Riddell has plenty of options.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race One Number 6 Star Tsar

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 6 Coventina Bay

LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 7 Karalino


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 4

Leg Two: 2, 7

Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7

Leg Four: 2, 3, 5, 9

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