Alexandra Park, Friday 11th March: The Harness Pro

Distances:  Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes: 1700m (MS), Norhtern Derby: 2700m (MS),

Track Record: 2240m (MS) Keayang Cullen 1.53.2 (Feb 2014), 2760m (SS) Skyvalley 2.01.0 (Oct 2009)

Track Surface: All Weather

Track Circumference: 1006m

There IS a sprint lane.


R5 Group 1 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes Mobile Start 1700m

Past Winners

2015- Chase The Dream

2014- Follow The Stars

2013- Cyclone Prince

2012 – Five Card Draw

2011- Fly Like An Eagle

Note: Mark Purdon has trained 4 of the past 6 winners.

Speed Map

Would expect the Purdon pair to dominate the map here with More The Better taking the lead and Pacing Major getting a soft run behind it. Vasari can show GS but I don’t think there will be a rush to get to the death seat.

Major Players

1. Pacing Major: Hasn’t finished further back than 2nd in its 5 start career. Won G3 Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham 3 starts ago after another G3 victory at Ashburton in the Sapling Stakes. Had to face the breeze in the heat of this race last time when a fantastic 2nd after being bloused late by More The Better (stablemate) up the sprint lane. Might get its opportunity to do the same to it this time.

2. Mongolian Hero: Won a 5 horse heat of this race with Alta Intrigue running 3rd there. Was a good but distant (9 lengths) 3rd last week to the Purdon pair after getting out of its ground. Will be closer in the run from this draw but hard to see it winning.

4. More The Bettor: Looks the likely leader after trying to lead last time but opting to take a trail when winning a heat of this race beating Pacing Major up the sprint lane. Like its stablemate also hasn’t finished worse than 2nd in its 5 starts. Its 2nd to Pacing Major at Wyndham was good as was its 2nd to the same horse at Ashburton. I just think the stablemate might have a slight edge over this one.

5. Alta Intrigue: Four starts for two wins and two placings – kicked off its career at Auckland with a win and then at its 3rd start zoomed up the sprint lane at Auckland again to beat More The Bettor in a heat of this series. Only third of five to Mongolian Hero last time means it will struggle to win but is an exotics chance.


Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – WIN – Pacing Major (1) > $1.70 for 3 units


R7 Group 1 Woodlands Stud Northern Derby Mobile Start 2700m

Past Winners

2015 – Have Faith In Me

2014 – Tiger Tara

2013 – Ohoka Punter

2012 – Ideal Scott

2011 – Sushi Sushi

Speed Map

Only the very best win this race as witnessed by the Honour Roll. Lazarus could be the right up with those – looks the likely leader here and could be a walk in the park. Walkinshaw will get a nice cushy run on the rails as will Van Mara behind it. Chase The Dream may have a dip for the lead early but it all depends on whether Purdon is fair dinkum at the start.

Major Players

2. Lazarus: Like his name suggests he is a big horse who simply outstays and outmuscles his opponents. Has now won 12/14 including his last 7 in a row. Victories in that picket fence include Group 1 wins in the Emerald (Jewels Day), Sires Stakes Final and Vic Derby. His last two wins in Australia were huge – the heat of the Derby at Ballarat was awesome winning in quick time but the Derby Final victory at Melton was simply awesome covering the 2240m in 1.55.1. He will win again – the only question really is – How good is he?

6. Chase The Dream: No slouch having won 8/16 – the stablemate to Lazarus is a huge chance to run second here. Won the Waikato Guineas last time as favourite after running into Lazarus at its past 2 starts for a second and a fifth. Looks an obvious choice for exotic players.

7. Shandale: Up and coming horse trained and driven by The Magic Man Maurice McKendry. He definitely knows how to get a good youngster going and has managed to win his last two starts in easier company quite comfortably. Only managed fifth to Chase The Dream at Waikato but prior to that was fourth and second respectively to Lazarus. Looks another obvious exotics pick.

8. Buster Brady: Definitely a gap between the Top 3 and fourth pick however we need something for the multiples. Has won three and placed twice from five starts so you can’t fault that form. A big step up in class here however and has drawn the visitors draw. Did a good job last time winning the NZ Sires Stakes Graduate. Will probably have to go back from the draw but is a F4 chance.


Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK – WIN – Lazarus (2) > $1.20 for 4.25 units