NZ Group Racing: Expert Previews

Championbets are no strangers to the Betfair Hub and they’ll be providing their NZ Racing previews for group racing around the racing calendar across the Tasman.

Professional punter Chris Robinson is the man behind the analysis. His NZ Tips membership started in February 2013 and has won every year since. He is an expert form analyst and experienced professional punter who exploits bookmaker mistakes.

For the latest odds on NZ Racing, go where the value is and head to the Betfair Exchange.


Go where the value is for New Zealand Group Racing on the Betfair Exchange

Weather & Track

Fine. Dead 4 / Good 3.


RACE 7 HERBIE DYKE STAKES (G1 2000M)

Tempo

Slow to even. Saint Emilion is the only natural leader.


Major Players

Charles Road

Craig Grylls / L&A O’Sullivan & Scott

Aiming for Sydney but has the blinkers on and is certainly good enough to win this.

Saint Emilion

Jonathan Riddell / M&A Baker & Forsman

The only leader on paper and if able to stack them up can run top 4.

Wyndspelle

Jason Waddell / J&H Benner & Wynyard

Consistent performer. Will be in the finish if getting in from the draw with Waddell back on.

Danzdanzdance

Michael Rodd / C&M Gibbs & Bradley

Dominant the last two on off tracks. May head across the ditch but odds-on in a stronger field looks poor value.

Lizzie Lamour

Johnathan Parkes / M&A Baker & Forsman

Likes it here and beat Danzdanzdance in a similar race last year at Hastings. Maps nicely but Matty Cameron jumps off for the 3yo Madison County.

Madison County

Matthew Cameron / M&A Baker & Forsman

Quality 3yo and Cameron sticks. May need to find a few lengths though.


Overview

Danzdanzdance is a quality mare but meets very different conditions to her last 2 wins which she is being rated on. There is also a question mark on race tempo. For those reasons $1.85 looks too short.

Betting strategy

 LAY – Danzdanzdance at a max price of $2.00

Weather & Track

Fine. Dead 4 / Good 3.


RACE 8 BCD GROUP SPRINT (G1 1400M)

Tempo

Looks solid. Ardrossan and Ugo Foscolo both lead but are stablemates so one may hand up. There are 4 or 5 that like to sit in behind the pace so there should be ok speed.


Major Players

Hiflier

Johnathan Parkes / Peter Lock

Has ability and goes well here but was disappointing in the Telegraph.

Stratocaster

Jonathan Riddell / E&D Browne

Likes it here and can run a strong sectional. Blinkers on.

Ardrossan

Jason Waddell / Stephen Marsh

Makes his own luck out front and unbeaten in NZ.

Melody Belle

Troy Harris / Jamie Richards

Never in the race last start. Goes well here and gets a draw today.

Volpe Veloce

Michael Coleman / G&G Richardson & Parker

Top mare and just needs a decent tempo to go close again.

True Excelsior

Jake Bayliss / L&T Corstens

AUS visitor well beaten in the Telegraph. Plenty of gear changes.


Overview

Melody Belle was too bad to be true last start but hard to bet with any confidence on that so we’ll bet around her here.

Betting strategy

 BACK – Stratocaster for 0.35 units, minimum price $18

 BACK – Ardrossan for 1.25 units, minimum price $4

 BACK – Volpe Veloce for 1.65 units, minimum price $3


Ellerslie 26th January 2019

Weather & Track

Fine. Good 3/Dead 4.

Race 4 Karaka Million (2YO SW 1200m)

Tempo

Looks OK with 3 or 4 natural leaders. Others may push forward from wide gates but hard to accurately judge with the 2yos. History suggests it will be genuine though.

Major Players

Aotea Lad

James McDonald / Jamie Richards

Got back and ran on solidly here last start in good time. Gets blinkers and J Mac on, just needs a little luck from the gate.

Whiskey Neat

Leith Innes / Tony Pike

Good early speed and should position up nicely. Has run time and is professional. The obvious favourite.

Neptune’s Spear

Johnathan Parkes / Liam Birchley

AUS raider and it’s not easy to line up the form for this. Birchley has won this twice though.

Yourdee

Matthew Cameron / Jamie Richards

Both runs have shown decent ability. Will be better at 3, but should still be thereabouts.

Probabeel

Opie Bosson / Jamie Richards

Looks to be the Te Akau top 2yo, Bosson has first choice. Gets the Visor Blinkers but starting out in the carpark is the issue.

Overview

Whiskey Neat is the obvious but expect more pressure in this race with the Te Akau horses prominent. Betting around him at the short quote.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Aotea Lad for 1 unit, minimum price $5

 BACK – Yourdeel for 0.5 units, minimum price $10

 BACK – Probabeel for 1.65 units, minimum price $3

Ellerslie 26th January 2019

Weather & Track

Fine. Good 3/Dead 4.

Race 6 Karaka Million (3YO SW 1600m)

Tempo

Looks even. Probably only a couple of natural leaders but plenty who like to race ahead of midfield.

Major Players

Madison County

Matthew Cameron / M&A Baker & Forsman

Best performed 3yo in the country. First look around Ellerslie, but will be going close again.

Hypnos

Ryan Elliot / R&R James & Wellwood

Half a length difference with the favourite on last start. Goes well here, player.

Surely Sacred

Leith Innes / Tony Pike

Nice win here last start running sectionals off a slow pace. Right in this.

Long Leaf

James McDonald / D,B&T Hayes & Dabernig

AUS visitor and a little hard to line up but has to be respected on races it has contested.

Prince Albert

Michael McNab / Stephen Marsh

Maiden runner but has ability. May need to improve a few lengths but could sneak a hole.

Queen Of Diamonds

Tommy Berry / M&A Baker & Forsman

Quality filly shouldn’t be too far away but Cameron sticks with Madison County.

Miss Labasa

Johnathan Parkes / John Bary

Central Districts visitor. Ran time off the front last start and if getting an uncontested lead here could run a race.

Overview

Hard to go past the Baker/Forsman Stable here with the gelding who is a winner and the filly who is exciting.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Madison County for 2 units, minimum price $2.50

 BACK – Hypnos for 0.6 units, minimum price $8

 BACK – Queen Of Diamonds for 0.6 units, minimum price $8

Race 7 (1200m SWP GROUP 1)

Weather & Track

Fine. Dead 4.

Tempo

Looks even with Gift of Power likely to lead. Ferrando and the Aussie raider True Excelsior are likely to go forward from wide draws.


Major Players

Melody Belle

Jason Waddell / Jamie Richards

The best sprinter in NZ. If Waddell can slot in from out wide she’ll be exceptionally tough to beat.

Hiflyer

Johnathan Parkes / Peter Lock

Things didn’t work out in the spring, but can run a sectional. J Parkes the best hoop in the Central Districts.

Prinze of Oz

Terry Moseley / Neill Ridley

Looks the best of the southern contingent. May need to find a few lengths though.

Ferrando

Matthew Cameron / Team Rogerson

Has speed, but not going as well as last year.

Bostonian

Vinnie Colgan / Tony Pike

Average in the Railway, but is better than that on Queensland form.

Hanger

Leith Innes / R&R James & Wellwood

Has a wrap and has been backed, but needs to improve on exposed form.

Gift of Power

Lisa Allpress / Team Rogerson

Has speed and will take some catching.

True Excelsior

Stephen Baster / L&T Corstens

Aus visitor. Quite hard to line up here.


Overview

Melody Belle just needs to get in the 3 wide train here to go close. If Gift of Power can get a soft sectional she can be in the finish. Hiflier is talented.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melody Belle for 2.5 units, minimum price of $2.00

 BACK – Hiflier for 0.6 units (minimum price $8)

 BACK – Gift of Power for 0.5 units (minimum price $10)


Race 9 Wellington Cup (3200m Group 3 HCP)

Tempo

Should get a solid tempo as Bizzwinkle, Dee and Gee and Prince Jabeel like to lead. There will probably be others being positive also.


Major Players

Bizzwinkle

Sam Spratt / GJ Old

Tough front-runner. If allowed to dictate could be hard to peg back.

Prince Jabeel

Leith Innes / Lance Noble

Surprise winner last start and copped 20 handicap points for it, but is probably still on the up.

Rock On

Robert Hannam / Gary Vile

Back to best two starts ago. Will get a long way off them though.

Sampson

Johnathan Parkes / Howie Mathews

Great win last start. Loves race conditions but this is a big ask as a 9yo.

Jacksstar

Cameron Lammas / Gary Vile

Long time injured, but slowly getting back to best. Was massive when last running 2 miles.

Excalibur

Jason Waddell / Shaune Ritchie

Set for this and does look well placed.

Mental Telepathy

Matthew Cameron / M&A Baker & Forsman

Solid all prep and looks well suited in this.


Overview

History tells us that it’s tough for those lumping big weights to win the 2 mile at Trentham. We shall go with those less exposed types down in the handicaps.

Betting Strategy

0.8 units win (min price $6) on these three:

 BACK – Jacksstar

 BACK – Excalibur

 BACK – Mental Telepathy

Race 7 Levin Classic (Group 1 3yo SW 1600m)

Weather & Track

Fine. Dead 5.


Tempo

Slow to even tempo expected. Canstopthefeeling, Crown Prosecutor and Espresso Martini will probably go forward. Arrogant and Madison County may push up from the good draws.


Major Players

Madison County

Matthew Cameron / M&A Baker & Forsman

2000 Guineas winner not seen since November. Quality horse, but fitness levels have to be a query.

More Wonder

Lisa Allpress / Team Rogerson

Consistent performer and looks likely to be thereabouts again.

Hypnos

Ryan Elliot / R&R James & Wellwood

All runs have been good, but will probably get back against the map though.

Canstopthefeeling

Shaun McKay / Chris Wood

On pacer. If he can stack them up could surprise.

Crown Prosecutor

Jason Waddell / Stephen Marsh

Tough win when putting it altogether last start. Another solid chance.

Lincoln Falls

Johnathan Parkes / Lisa Latta

Has a wrap although raceday performance not quite there so far. Has won here.

Vernanme

Opie Bosson / Stephen Marsh

Marsh rates and has shown some X factor. Bosson on a plus.

Espresso Martini

Michael Coleman / M&A Baker & Forsman

Another realistic chance. Will be on pace and should be right in the finish.


Overview

Madison County is classy but no public trials and a two month lay off has to be a concern for a short-priced favourite. Outside him the race looks quite open.


Betting Strategy

 LAY – Madison County for 2 units, max price of $2.50

Track

Fine. Dead 4 / Good 3


R8 CITY OF AUCKLAND CUP (Group 3 2400m Open Hcp)

Speed

Looks solid. Plenty of on-pacers so I would expect an early rush for position, then steadying mid-race.


Major Players

Five To Midnight

Johnathan Parkes / Lisa Latta

Quality stayer and goes well here. Tough to win with the 59kgs though, but sure to be in the mix.

Mongolian Marshal

Matthew Cameron / M&A Baker & Forsman

Up and coming stayer. Was dominant last start, performs here and may head to Sydney in the Autumn. Well found but deserved favourite.

Rock On

Robert Hannam / Gary Vile

Back to his best last start although the Wellington Cup would probably be his go.

Andoyas

Sharif Rusof / L&A O’Sullivan & Scott

Ex-Hong Kong horse who can run a sectional off a slow tempo. Has performed over this trip.

Excalibur

Sam Spratt / Shaune Ritchie

Solid runs goes ok here but probably looking at Wellington.

Terra Sancta

Michael Coleman / Tony Pike

Progressive Pike stayer went OK in Queensland last preparation. Could be an improver.

Overview

Mongolian Marshall looks well placed here and maps nicely. If Andoyas can get into the race at the right time he can sprint hard.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – Mongolian Marshall for 2.25 units, minimum price of $2.20

 BACK – Andoyas for 1 unit win (minimum price $5)


R9 RAILWAY (Group 1 1200m Open SWP)

Speed

Looks solid with plenty of pace drawn out.


Major Players

Melody Belle

Sharif Rusof / Jamie Richards

Dominant through the spring and trialled nicely. Gate 14 is the issue – with the first bend coming so quickly her race could be decided in the first 200m on whether Rusof can get across or not.

Volpe Veloce

Michael Coleman / G&G Richardson & Parker

Top sprinter. If she can get across can feature again.

Ferrando

Matthew Cameron / Team Rogerson

Best left handed. Could cart the top two across though.

Bostonian

Vinnie Colgan / Tony Pike

Super in Qld last prep. Nice draw, professional and looks well placed.

Stratocaster

Opie Bosson / E&D Browne

In super form and can run a sectional. Will get back though.

Volks Lightning

Ryan Elliot / Team Rogerson

Consistent sprinter. Good enough to feature on her best day.

Gift of Power

Lisa Allpress / Team Rogerson

Ran crazy time last start. Will go forward but The Telegraph looks her go.

Princess Kereru

Cameron Lammas / K,B&M Kelso & Donoghue

Has a nice turn of foot and maps well. Could surprise.

Overview

Melody Belle with a gate would be the one, but barrier 14 is going to be tough. For that reason I will take her on.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – Bostonian for 1.5 units win (minimum price $3.5)

 BACK – Stratocaster 0.5 units win (minimum price $10)

 BACK – Princess Kereru 0.6 units win (minimum price $8)

Overview

Track conditions will determine how we invest in this race.

On the assumption we get a dead 5 or worse it looks set up for Lizzie L’Amour and Danzdanzdanze, so we shall take the value.


R9 Zabeel Classic (WFA GROUP 1 2000m)

Speed

Pace looks OK. A couple of natural leaders and most of the field likely to race handy.


Major Players

Jon Snow

Leith Innes / M&A Baker & Forsman

Disappointed last start and would need to improve to win this.

Saint Emillion

Jonathan Riddell – M&A Baker & Forsman

Makes his own luck up front. Likes it here and will be the one they have to catch.

Authentic Paddy

Robert Hannam – Lisa Latta

Grand old performer who loves this course and distance. Top 4 player.

Meeska Mooska

Samantha Collett – G&M Thomas & Gillies

Looks outclassed at first glance, but if the rains comes could surprise.

Lizzie L’Amour

Matthew Cameron – M&A Baker & Forsman

Quality mare. Probably the best of the Baker/Forsman stable.

Consensus

Michael McNab – Stephen McKee

Probably set for this but would need it firm I suspect.

Danzdanzdance

Opie Bosson – C&M Gibbs & Bradley

Smashed a few of these last start and looks the one to beat.

Belle Du Nord

Vinnie Colgan – E&D Browne

Surprise winner last start and was impressive. Needs it firm though.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – Lizzie L’Amour for 1.65 units, minimum price of $3.00

 BACK – Meeska Mosska for 0.2 units, minimum price of $25

Track

Slow 9 but improving. Rail true.

Weather forecast

Friday- showers then fine.

Saturday- fine.


R8 Captain Cook Stakes (WFA Group 1)

Major Players

 Jon Snow

Matthew Cameron / M&A Baker & Forsman

Class horse of the field. Solid in Melbourne this spring without getting all the favours. Big chance.

Ocean Emperor

Rosie Myers / G Hennessy

Good all this preparation and should be thereabouts if getting in ok from the draw.

Our Abbadean

Sharif Rusof / Jamie Richards

Very good at Hastings over the carnival. Looks a solid winning chance at reasonable odds.

Consensus

Sam Spratt / Stephen McKee

Handy at best. Not disgraced in Sydney through the spring but probably best at 2000m on a good track.

Danzdanzdance

Opie Bosson / C&M Gibbs & Bradley

Quality mare very good through Hastings. The query is two months since her last run.

Darscape Princess

Johnathan Parkes / Fraser Auret

Promising mare. Does need to find a few lengths on exposed form but Auret/Parkes combo has to be respected.

Dark Princess

Lisa Allpress / Jeff Lynds

Up and comer who gets conditions to suit.


Overview

The state of the track will play a major part, but on the assumption we get a Dead 6 to Slow 7 I think the Hastings spring form is the one to follow.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – Jon Snow for 1.5 units, minimum price of $3.50

 BACK – Our Abbadean for 0.6 units, minimum price of $8

 BACK – Danzdanzdance for 1.5 units, minimum price of $3.50

Riccarton Park – Track- Dead 4 – Rail = True

Friday –fine/possible showers

Saturday –fine/possible showers


R7  G1 NZ 1000 Guineas 3yof 1600m   

Speed- slow/even on paper but typically this race is run at genuine tempo.

Major Players

1 – Melt: Last start 2nd to 2000 Guineas winner Madison County is the best form. Top pick.

2 – Xpression: Close 2nd to Avantage at Hastings 2nd up is good form, last start was muddling, has been down south for a while obvious chance.

3 – Media Sensation: Last start win rated only average off the front, 2nd up run when ridden cold was very good though, stable flying.

5 – Secret Allure: Under the radar but has ability, any rain helps.

10 – Beam of Light: Could feature with rain.

Betting Strategy

On exposed form there are only 4 chances with Melts last start 2nd the strongest form, Secret Allure is probably overs and with the inside possibly off by race 7 could surprise.

 BACK – Melt for 1.8 units, minimum price of $2.75

 BACK – Secret Allure for .5 units, minimum price of $10


R9  G3 NZ cup 3200m 

Speed – Probably even hard to know with so many trying the trip for the first time but history suggest it will be solid.

Major Players

10 – Mental Telepathy: Stayed on strongly here in the Metrop. Comes through the same race Gobstopper won last year. Baker/Forsman/Cameron.

12 – Felaar: Solid here last Saturday. Set for this a long way out. As long as the rain stays away will be tough to beat.

7 – Dee And Gee: Hard to ignore last win here off the front. Could run them ragged again.

14 – Richard of Yorke: Average last start but has 2 mile form last year in Aus. Needs to improve though

16 -Monarch Chimes: Quality Jumper ran home strongly last start could surprise.

Betting Strategy

Always a bit difficult knowing who will stay the 2 miles but I’m going to concentrate on those with the lower weights who are probably still ahead of the Handicapper.

 BACK – Felaar for 1.5 units, minimum price of $3.50

 BACK – Mental Telepathy for 1.25 units, minimum price of $4

 BACK – Monarch Chimes for .35 units, minimum price of $15

 BACK – Dee and Gee for .4 units, minimum price of $12


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