Auckland Cup (Pacers) Day – Thursday 31st December 2015
Venue: Alexandra Park, Auckland
Track: All Weather – Note: Racing is clockwise and 8 horses are off the front row.
Race 6 – NZ Yearling Sales Final – Listed Race (Mobile) – 2200 metres
- Kenrick – 2nd Drawn well if it got a start would be very thin end of First 4’s at best.
- Art Form – was going Ok but didn’t handle the turn last week when 6th to Lazarus. Very good win prior to that. Can get to the pegs 1st and maybe hand up – big e/w chance.
- Beaudiene Beaufighta – SCRATCHED
- Max Phactor – Last to Art Form 2 starts ago then only 4th in an easier race last time. Not today.
- Zach Maguire – 6th to Art form 2 starts ago then only 9th last time. No.
- Chase The Dream – Stablemate to nominal favourite Lazarus who will work forward with its Gate Speed and likely take the lead off the 2. Led last time when 5th to Lazarus.
- Lazarus – Will start favourite and deservedly so with a record of 11-9-1-1 including winning its last 4. Dominant winner last week in the key lead up race (Alabar Classic)
- Classie Brigade – 3rd to Lazarus was full of merit last time after a good win in easier class at Addington.
- Ideal World – 1st emergency who gains a start here. Won at this track last time as favourite but will need some Herlihy magic as it will probably be 4 back the fence.
- Touch Of Success – Won 2 of its last 3 in easier class races. Never a factor last time it met the might of Lazarus.
- Zadaka – Only had the 3 starts and is on the improve. Thin end of First 4’s at very best.
- Dream To Share – Beaten favourite at its past 2 starts. Up in class here and I can’t see it winning.
- Motu Premier – 4th to Lazarus after a 2nd to Art Form 2 starts ago. Been running in the right races and can catch a First 4 placing again.
- Can’t Refuse – Only midfield in its last 4 starts – that’s the best it can hope for today.
- Shandale – Led them up when 5th to Art Form 2 starts ago then a good 2nd to Lazarus last time. Will struggle from this alley even with the “Magic Man” Maurice McKendry in the bike.
LAZARUS is top pick here and deservedly so. Won 9/11 including last five with victories in the Alabar Classic, the Sires Stakes Heat and Final and the 2yo Emerald on Jewels day. Can lead, take a trail or do work – doesn’t seem like anything here can beat him. Looks a good thing but you will be taking short odds to find out. CHASE THE DREAM looks to be the leader – has Gate Speed and will more than likely roll to the front. Led but faltered in the straight in the Alabar last start when 5th but prior to that was a very good 3rd to Art Form when doing work. Ran Lazarus to a neck 3 starts ago in the Sires Final – that is the best pointer to this race. ART FORM looks to be the early leader but should hand up and get the cushy run. Did that 2 starts ago when took advantage of the sprint lane and was too strong for a field which contained most of these horses MINUS Lazarus. Loomed up on the home turn last time but didn’t look to handle the last turn. Forget that run – it will appreciate the pegs a lot more. MOTU PREMIER has been running in the right races with a 2nd behind Art Form then a good 4th to Lazarus last time. SHANDALE would’ve been a big factor with a better draw but I can’t see it turning the tables today.
2- ART FORM
13- MOTU PREMIER
6- CHASE THE DREAM
Race 7 – National Trot – Group 1 (Mobile) – 2700 metres
2013- Irish Whisper
2011- I Can Doosit
- One Over Da Moon – was going Ok last run when broke late. Was 5th favourite that day – likes the inside draws and will be either behind the leader or 3 fence. Good chance for a F4 placing.
- Prince Fearless – Improving type who has hit the big time here. Midfield expected.
- Speeding Spur – The “x factor” here. 4yo who has won 14/22 who is returning from a stint in Australia where it won all 3 runs including the Vic Trotters Derby and the Breeders Crown Final.
- Stent – is time up for the champ of NZ Trotting? Hasn’t won for 4 starts now but still racing well. Got out of its ground 2 starts ago when running home well for 4th to Monbet then was a (probably) disappointing 3rd to Valmagne.
- Sheemon – always thereabouts in these types of races – 7th in the lead up (the Lyell Creek) to Monbet. Has the services of Dexter Dunn.
- Al Bundy – unlike his namesake he is no slouch but was nearer to last behind Monbet last start.
- Charlemagne – Only 6th to Valmagne last week. Will be nearer the tail of the field here.
- Quite A Moment – 2nd to Valmagne last week was good – Drawn the carpark here however and can expect a midfield finish.
- Whitney – 1st emergency who gains a start here from the cushy draw. Will be 3 or 4 pegs and coiled away but a midfield finish is the best she can hope for.
- Prime Power – very good 3rd to Monbet at big odds last week. Gets a nice trailling draw and can finish in the exotics again.
- Monbet – the new King of NZ Trotting? Sure looks that way with 12 wins from 22 starts including 6 from its last 7. Was a bully in its win in the vital lead up (the Lyell Creek) last week when it sat parked and careered away for an easy win. Looks to be a star and is obviously the one to beat.
- Vamagne – Surprised with a victory last week in the Group 2 Cambridge Flying Mile beating Stent and co. Is a First 4 chance from the draw.
- Alley Way – 4th to Valmagne last week was ok. Tough from this draw however.
- Mums Pride – SCRATCHED
MONBET is the nominal favourite and should win this based on its past form. Was dominant last week when forced to go to the death seat but was still way too strong beating all of these horses plus Master Lavros in the Group 2 Lyell Creek Stakes. Prior to that was a win in the Green Mile and the NZ Trotting FFA in Cup week. This horse is only won by VERY good horses and this horse is VERY good. Can do it tough or come with one sweeping run – whatever beats it will win. SPEEDING SPUR is the big query here – the up and coming 4yo who steps into open company here after taking all before it in its Australia raid winning the Vic Derby and Breeders Crown. Those trophies sit nicely along with those won in its homeland including the NZ Yearling Sales Open Trot (Listed), the Northern Trotting Derby (Group 1), the Sires Stakes Championship (beating Monbet – Group 2) and the NZ Trotting Derby (Group 1 – again beating Monbet). No doubt has the ability and this could be the start of a special rivalry for the future of NZ Trotting. STENT is the champ – who maybe on his way down but has not out just yet. The winner of over $1.1M in prizemoney there isn’t much he hasn’t won. This year alone he won the Group 1 Rowe Cup and the Group 1 Great Southern Star in Australia. He has been slightly disappointing in its last 4 starts but beware the wounded champion. ONE OVER DA MOON will appreciate the soft run on the pegs and can feature in exotic bets as can VALMAGNE, SHEEMON and PRIME POWER.
3- Speeding Spur
1- One Over Da Moon
Race 8 – Auckland Cup – Group 1 (Standing Start) – 3200 metres
2015- Christen Me
2014- Terror To Love
2012- Sir Lincoln
- Tiger Tara – Won the FFA in Cup week but its last 2 runs have been disappointing. Gets the gun draw and can never dismiss especially from the tapes where it has won 4/10.
- Te Kawau – Only 1/10 from the SS but did record its best win last week beating Hughie Green in the Cambridge Futurity.
- Ideal Success – Didn’t do much when at the tail of the field last week. 5/13 at the stand gives it some chance of finishing midfield at best.
- Itz Bettor To Win – Has won 8/17 and 4/5 with a 3rd from the tapes. From the all-conquering All Stars stable – it won well last week in the Franklin Cup beating all the usual suspects. No reason it can’t repeat the dose again.
- Bettor Dream – Was big odds in the Franklin Cup and ran accordingly. Can’t see it improving here.
- Hughie Green – 4yo won is coming through the grades well. Just nailed last time in the Futurity following 2 wins from a spell including the Group 3 Summer Cup.
- Mossdale Conner – Runner up its last 3 behind Tiger Tara and Itz Bettor To Win – likes the SS and can get a piece of this. Placed in the NZ Cup and FFA.
- Smolda – super horse who is nearing $1m in prizemoney but has been slightly off its last 2 runs when 6th and 9th. Go on its huge 2nd to Arden Rooney in the NZ Cup.
- Besotted – Not so good last time in Franklin Cup but consecutive 2nds to Hughie Green mean a midfield finish is expected.
- Ohoka Punter – been a good horse for so long – its last 4 starts haven’t been flattering at all finishing 7th, 5th, 5th and 8th. Needs to improve but you can never count this horse out.
- No Doctor Needed – Only won 1/10 at the SS – last star 7th to Itz Bettor Win. Can expect a similar effort here.
- Franco Nelson – Another grand performer in the Kiwi Pacing ranks – has had 2 runs from a spell which have resulted in a great 4th in the NZ Cup and a 7th to Tiger Tara in the FFA. Fresh again and has won 3/6 with 2 placings while fresh. Is a definite e/w chance.
- Have Faith In Me – possibly the next big thing in NZ Harness although is classified as Unruly from the tapes. Bungled the start last week and lost the best part of 50m but managed to run home very strongly for 3rd. Prior to that had no luck when 6th to Hughie Green.
HAVE FAITH IN ME will start favourite here but is it a case of what might have been rather than what it has done? No doubt has been unlucky when losing in 3 of its 4 starts this campaign but do you want to be taking $2.20-$2.40 about an Unruly horse who keeps finding excuses? Not me – no doubt has the potential to win but it looks too short for mine. ITZ BETTOR TO WIN looks like the up and comer with the safety net of a 4/5 SS record. Very good win last time beating Mossdale Conner and only has to go as well again here to figure. FRANCO NELSON loves it fresh and likes the SS – a huge 4th in the NZ cup was the key indicator here. HUGHIE GREEN will no doubt have its supporters and was a very good 2nd last time in the Franklin Cup. Is 2/2 at the SS and it looks a real star in the making. SMOLDA has tapered off a touch lately – maybe the huge effort of the NZ Cup has taken its toll but would be no surprise to see it smash them here. MOSSDALE CONNER has been the bridesmaid in its last 3 starts – no surprise to see it win today. What a race – full of chances.
4- Itz Bettor To Win
6- Hughie Green
13- Have Faith In Me
7- Mossdale Conner