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Group l racing in New Zealand continues this Saturday at Trentham, with the time honoured Telegraph (1200m) the feature, with Queensland mare Winter Bride the favourite. The weather is fine, the track is dead (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.


Race 1. (10:20) Gazley Mercedes Benz 1200m

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Was hard not to be impressed by what 7 Festivity (Bet Now: $1.65) did on debut at Taupo, showing really good early toe to find the front and from there, she didn’t give her rivals a look in, winning by a space and running good time. Clearly harder here, but she’s in the right stable, has early speed to overcome the wide gate and 1200m should be fine.


1 Magnolia Man (Bet Now: $16.00) is a son of Reliable Man that is 2/2 to start his career for the Pitman camp. Shared the spoils on debut at Kurow before going to Waikouaiti and he made a mess of them. Being by Reliable Man, it’s a really good sign that he’s showing this kind of ability over sprint trips, so keen to see how he goes.

Long Shot

There looks to be a bit of speed engaged here, and one horse who will appreciate a good tempo is 8 On Show (Bet Now: $19.00) for the John Bary yard. Ran over 1100m at Hastings on New Years Day and she ran on late from the back when third to Pokuru’s Gift. Harder here, but she’ll sit off the genuine tempo and be strong late. Whether she has the class or not remains to be seen.

Race 2. (10:55) Stephanie Murray Mortgages (65) 1200m

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4 Alonzo (Bet Now: $8.00) on top but not really a race that excites me from a betting perspective. This gelding really finished off hard to share the spoils two back at Riccarton before going to Timaru when back in the run and finishing with real purpose to run third. Suited on the big track, should be able to slot in with cover and prove hard to beat.


3 Mehrtens (Bet Now: $8.00) is a son of Pins who is a query here. Put together a couple of really nice efforts, including a placing at Awapuni two back, before racing there again and losing the rider. That came on Boxing Day so mentally, how will he be? Only time will tell, but do like the booking of Ryan Elliot, a strong young rider.

Long Shot

1 Fibonacci (Bet Now: $12.00) is a gelding that resumed at Awapuni on December 21 when asked to chase the tearaway leader and couldn’t go on with by the time he caught up, plus the track was too wet for him. Much better suited on firmer footing and drops a bit in class/depth, so an improved showing wouldn’t entirely shock.

Race 3. (11:30) Go Racing Ian Paterson Memorial (85) 1600m

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4 Lincoln Raider (Bet Now: $3.80) has a fab record at Trentham and I think he can continue on from that here. Lisa Latta trains this gelding, who ran at Awapui two weeks ago and despite not getting the best of luck in the straight, really liked the way he finished his race off when third to the above average Weaponry. Gets gate one and Opie to steer, so he ticks a few boxes.


9 Peloton (Bet Now: $8.50) is potentially on the NZ Derby path so keen to see how he goes. Andrew Campbell trains this three year old, who hasn’t raced since a tough on speed win over 2000m at Matamata three weeks ago. Not sure he beat much, but he did beat the older horses and he showed some ticker when challenged. Lands on speed and is tough to beat despite coming back to the mile.

Long Shot

1 Hay Tiger (Bet Now: $17.00) can be an improver at odds for Glenn Old. Liked the way he found the line two back at Te Rapa before going to the Taupo Cup where he got too far back and was never in the hunt, but wasn’t beaten far. Likely eases back from the wide gate and spots them a start, hoping for a strong tempo. If he gets that strong tempo, he can win without surprising.

Race 4. (12:05) Pete's Joinery (72) 1400m

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Tricky race, but I think the safe option is the John Bary trained 3 Motivation (Bet Now: $3.90). Such an impressive win three back at Hastings, then worked home strongly at Otaki before going to Hastings and wasn’t really suited by the slow tempo when second to Swisswatch. 1400m suits and from gate one, hopefully Parkes can take advantage.


2 Credit Manager (Bet Now: $4.00) is flying for Kevin Gray. Put together a couple of really sharp wins from off the pace before coming back to 1400m at Hastings and finishing off hard, just missing out on the win when second to Blue On Black. He can sit closer in the run from the good draw if need be and is well in after the claim.

Long Shot

5 Mikjene (Bet Now: $21.00) is a Trudy Keegan trained gelding that is four weeks between runs since scoring a narrow win at Awapuni, but it was an outstanding ride from Johnathon Parkes, getting to the best part of the track from gate one and clinging on to win. Tricky gate this time around and harder, but he looks to be in career best form this prep.

Race 5. (12:40) Desert Gold Stakes 1600m

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It’s going to take a good one to beat the Thousand Guineas winner 1 Loire (Bet Now: $2.70). This Tony Pike filly hasn’t raced since that Group l win at Riccarton when savaging the line from the back to score a massive win. Trialled last week at Cambridge and gee she looked outstanding there. She’s on song and clearly the one to beat.


4 Showabeel (Bet Now: $8.50) is a Baker/Forsman trained filly who hasn’t raced since Boxing Day when down the track in the Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie after getting every chance it seemed. Does no work in the run from the gate, has the ability to win but would need to produce a clear career PB to beat the favourite.

Long Shot

6 Lavaglo (Bet Now: $23.00) is one I have eyes on from a NZ Oaks perspective. Such an impressive maiden winner over the mile at Riccarton before racing racing at 1400m at her next two and running well in defeat. Like her up to 1600m, and I think she’ll be better over further. Not sure she has the brilliance to win but definitely including in multiples.

Race 6. (13:15) Shoe Clinic Premier (72) 2200m

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3 Prince Albert (Bet Now: $2.40) looks the one to beat. Hard to ignore what he did at Ellerslie on New Years Day, romping home by over seven lengths and did it in style under Jason Waddell, who is riding with such confidence at the moment, especially after the Railway win. Distance is fine, yes a tricky gate, but I’m sure he’ll get cover and is clearly the one to beat.


4 Don’t Know Jack (Bet Now: $4.40) is going super this time in. Lovely ride from Parkes saw him win over 2400m here two back before coming back to 2200m at Awapuni and really liked the way he finished his race off from the back. If he is to win, I think Parkes will have to roll forward on him from the gate and put himself into the race early. Don’t think he can sit back and win.

Long Shot

14 Platinum Road (Bet Now: $6.00) is potentially on the NZ Derby path for Lisa Latta. He ran third to Prince Albert in the race at Ellerslie mentioned above and I didn’t mind his effort. Admittedly was beaten nine lengths, but the winner did get home by 7.5 and this three year old did close off his race nicely. Not sure he turns the tables but runs well all the same.

Race 7. (13:52) Telegraph Sprint 1200m

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8 Avantage (Bet Now: $4.00) on top, just. Quality mare for Jamie Richards that resumed at Ellerslie on Boxing Day in the Hallmark Stud and loved the way she attacked the line to just miss out on the win when second to Pretty To Sea. The time they ran that day was significantly quicker than the time ran in the Railway on New Years Day, both tracks a Good 3, so I’ll lean her way.


Certainly won’t begrudge Team Edmonds a Group l win with their mare 7 Winter Bride (Bet Now: $3.80). Could easily make a case that she should have won the Railway, but unfortunately got stuck wide no cover but despite that, cruised to the front and looked home, but was bloused late by Julius. Gets a weight pull on that horse here and draws better.

Long Shot

The one at big odds that can improve big time is the Tony Pike trained 2 Endless Drama (Bet Now: $18.00). He was hooked back from the wide gate in the Railway and never got involved at all behind Julius. Big tick for him is getting gate one, a barrier Leith Innes can use to advantage, sit much closer in the run, and potentially bounce back hard.

Race 8. (14:27) Thorndon Mile 1600m

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Back Me

I think each way at near $20, 12 Hypnos (Bet Now: $21.00) is definitely worth a gamble here. Comes through the Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie where he spotted them a massive start but he was a real eye catcher later, missing out for third by a lip in a bunched finish behind the winner. Sits off what should be a good speed and he does seem effective when racing anti clockwise.


6 Rock On Wood (Bet Now: $3.80) is a Leanne Elliot trained gelding that has been a model of consistency in recent times. Has run over 1400m at Awapuni at his past couple, the latest coming in the Manawatu Stakes when beaten narrowly by Kiwi Ida. Really good test for him here, and perhaps a tad short in early betting, but gets gate one and is back up to the mile.

Long Shot

9 Yearn (Bet Now: $15.00) is a talented mare that come through the Rich Hill Mile and actually beat home Hypnos, with the mare running second to impressive winner Prise De Fer. Gets good weight relief from that for this assignment and despite a tricky gate, has to be rated as one of the leading chances given that form reads well for this.

Race 9. (15:03) Wellington Cup 3200m

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Back Me

7 The Good Fight (Bet Now: $6.00) looks primed to run the two miles out. He was the clear eye catcher from the Auckland Cup, finishing off with real purpose to run third to Platinum Invader. Off that, he looks like he wants 3200m and from the inside gate, Weatherley can just put him to sleep on the fence and wait for the gaps to appear. Happy to be in his corner.


3 Justamaiz (Bet Now: $6.00) is the one with the strong winning form next to his name. Just a matter of whether or not his on speed racing pattern will be suited at the two miles. Loved the way he went about it to win the Waikato Cup at Te Rapa and the form out of that has been good. He’ll give a great sight. Just a query on the last little bit.

Long Shot

5 Toms (Bet Now: $18.00) is another that looks like he should appreciate the step up to the two miles. He ran in the Marton Cup at Awapuni two weeks ago and though a bit one paced, he stayed on strongly to run fourth. Off that, I think up in trip will suit him and do like the booking of an in form Craig Grylls to take the steer.

Race 10. (15:40) Douro Cup (65) 1600m

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Back Me

9 Vladivostok… (Bet Now: $5.00) he might be a pretty sharp one this bloke. His win at New Plymouth was outstanding last time. Nearly dumped Vinnie Colgan soon after jumping. Picked up to find the front, then copped pressure and started to pull his head off. Had every right to throw in the towel, but when challenged in the straight, he fought and in the end drew clear. He looks a real up and comer and off that win, has to be on top.


7 Enjoy The Show (Bet Now: $6.50) should be suited up to the mile for the Baker/Forsman team. Ran over 1400m at Te Aroha a tick over two weeks ago and really liked the way he found the line after getting back in the run when third to Lowprofile. Tricky gate to overcome, but Opie takes the steer and extra 200m is a big tick.

Long Shot

2 Lincoln Star (Bet Now: $11.00) has been freshened up and comes back to the mile after racing over 2100m at Awapuni on Boxing Day where he had the right run in transit but couldn’t finish the race off when midfield. Like him back to this distance and from the inside gate, should do no work in the run. Depends what upside is left.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Five Number 1 Loire

NEXT BEST: Race One Number 7 Festivity

LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 12 Hypnos


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 7, 8

Leg Two: 5, 6, 9, 12

Leg Three: 4, 5, 7, 9, 11

Leg Four: 2, 3, 7, 9

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