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Saturday 23 January preview below

What a terrific day of racing. Levante was outstanding! Tiptronic bolted in as value bet of the day and Aegon got up in the last for us at a decent price in the end.


No further bets. No quality bets today- just not enough  value

Update Saturday morning,

We have fine weather at both Ellerslie and Trentham. Gore is a Slow 7 and drizzling so pass there.

No Compromise and Winkle Bay at Trentham clearly look the best horses. The Ellerslie scratchings don’t come through until 12.30 p.m. so I’ll post an update for that meeting around 1 p.m. Levante looks a good thing. Entriviere, although up in class, has run the times and sectionals to cope with those. And Aegon does look hard to beat, but the market drift from $2.40 to $2.60  is a concern from that stable.

There are $100k guaranteed First Fours at Ellerslie today so one or two of those may be worth a go, especially if one jackpots, probably after race 4, so I have posted a suggested one for race 5

Bet of the Day Trentham Race 7 3.No Compromise $2.50 FF Missed

Value bet of the day Ellerslie Race 2 1.Tiptronic $5 1st $6 

Speed map Special Ellerslie race 3 4.Levante $1.55 1st $1.40 

Multi of the day Levante $1.55, No Compromise $2.50, Entriviere $1.90 FF $10 returns $73.60

Ross, who won the $20 Heads Up Multi bet has the above multi to return $147.20

Heads Up is below and the GOAT and I preview the big races at Ellerslie and a lot more, including your chance to win a $20 multi bet


Saturday early preview – next update by 6 p.m. Friday or if earlier will Tweet it out.

Levante and Aegon are the best horses in their fields and looks very hard to beat. $10 multi returns $37.20 No Quality bets so far.

Race 1

The Speed map shows plenty of early speed across the field and looks likely to set up for a closer.

Confidence: 2/5

10.Helsinki  ran two strong seconds here in handy fields.  She has has  freshener and drawn to get a nice tuck in behind a decent tempo. Danielle will look to find the split between them in the straight and should get it with the dent pace up front. Looks the best eachway chance. RP $5, $8 and $2.30 FF


5.Maria Farina  did very well coming from the back to beat a handy field last start here. Will get back again and will get the tempo up front to get over them again.

1.Need I Say More 1st $2.60 is too short at $2.20 as he is giving handy horses good weight and can miss the jump at times.

6.Babylon Berlin  is a good filly who won very well in her recent trial leading all the way. There is plenty of pace inside her though so she will need to pick the jump perfectly to cross these or get caught wide and work for it.

Race 2

The speed map shows In A Twinkling and Sir Nate going forward out wide and a few kicking up near the inner to get handy including Tiptronic which looks likely to get an ideal run behind a moderate tempo.

Confidence: 2/5

1.Tiptronic 1st $6 and a top ride by Billy Pinn bolted in here this time last year over 2100m in good time. Last start at WFA he was trapped 3 wide and was still fighting out the finish until that run took its toll 50m out and tired to fifth but only 2.2L behind race rival In A Twinkling who got a better run. This time he has drawn ideally to get a good run in behind a moderate tempo and from there, with the 2kgs off from Wiremu Pinn, be a solid eachway chance, RP $4, $5 and $1.95 FF


4.Grand Bouquet  ran home strongly for second to a very good horse at his peak, Beauden, last start. She has drawn to do no work and with 54kgs, gets a nice weight advantage over the main chances.

2.In A Twinkling  will no doubt go forward and get one off or even lead but with 61kgs and having to work a bit early from that wide draw, he is going to be vulnerable late. $2.50 is too short.

3.On The Rocks  has the blinkers going on and drawn to get a cosy run.

8.Daytona Red  could boos exotics as he hit the line hard in the best last 200m last start and 2200m suits him now.

Race 3

The speed map shows five runners looking to go forward scross the field, which should ensure a close to even tempo. Levante maps to get back to last on the outer and get every chance.

Confidence: 4/5

4.Levante 1st $1.40 with a magnificent win had no chance once she was inside other runners at the back in the Railway. If she had dropped back to a clear last as she has done in previous starts, she would have had the opportunity to get going earlier and at least have a chance of winning. Her closing sectionals were outstanding again. This time she maps ideally to get back last and with five leaders or on pace runners, that should ensure they go fast enough to allow her to get over tiring runners in the last 100 metres comfortably. RP $1.40, $1.55 FF

2.Showaroses  has got all favours in front both wins but is unlikely to get that this time. Smart mare and is the one Levante has to run down.

Race 4

The speed map shows a fast early pace and at least an even tempo.

Confidence: 1/5

This would have to the toughest Karaka Millions to sort out in the history of the race. It is hard enough trying to find the winner of any 14 horse field but when most of them have 3 or less starts, you know there will be trouble for many during the running. For me, it is a really good race to watch.

The usual way I try and sort this race out is on times to compared to the better class races on the day in the lead up form. And the one that does head that criteria is 1.Avonallo. 3rd $3.30  He won in ok time at Riccarton over 1000m. Then after a 6 week break resumed here and after working hard for the first 600m just blew out for a 7.7 length 4th but still ran  running 1.09.52 which compared well to the better class races on the day. He will obviously improve plenty with that and the blinkers and tongue tie go on at the right time. Lisa Allpress jumps on and with his early speed, should be able to land handy and out of most of the trouble. He does look the best eachway chance to me. RP $7, $9.50 FF


11.Millefiori closed off very nicely at Tauranga and should get a good run in behind the speed.

5. Sneaky Shark wasn’t 100% according to the trainer at Tauranga and if right is a smart horse.

7.Western Springs  is a good looking galloper, drawn to get all favours.

Race 5

The speed map shows plenty of early speed ensuring at least an even tempo.


Confidence: 3/5 

15.Entriviere 1st $1.90 was very impressive to the eye last start here but in a weaker field. But her figures tell us she is well up to this grade. You can see here with the Standard times I do for Ellerslie, that she rated clearly on top in the time ratings, better than the WGA and Open sprint handicap. And she ran the fatest last 600m all day. She has drawn to land 3 back or 4 back inner and with the strong tempo up front ensuring the gaps should open and allow her to drive home the best, she does look the one to beat. The negative is she is still learning and steps up against fit, experienced open sprinters. But the way she can unleash those sectionals off a decent tempo, means she has to be the one to beat. RP $1.80, $1.90 FF


5.Pretty To Sea will enjoy the strong tempo and can unleash a fast last 200 metres.

13.Festivity  is an up and coming mare drawn to get an ideal run behind the leaders.

7.Princess Rihanna  game third here last start and freshened up for this from a good draw.

For First Fours:

1.Julius  has to be a chance but drawn wide with 60kgs is a concern.

12.Justacanta  can run home from the back for a placing with a decent tempo likely.

2.Gino Severini drawn to get all favours and back to 1200m could suit.

Suggested First 4 for $24 for two 10% bets anchoring Entriviere for 1st and 2nd with six others to fill the slots.

Suggested First 4 $12 for 10% Close but no cigar!

1st   15
2nd   1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 13
3rd   1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 13
4th    1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 13

Suggested First 4 $12 for 10%

1st   1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 13
2nd   15
3rd   1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 13
4th    1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 13

Race 6

The speed map shows at least an even tempo suiting a closer.

Confidence: 3/5

The speed map shows five runners going forward all over the field and a few looking to get handy in behind them. That should ensure an even tempo at least and for a $1m, I’m sure any runners caught wide early will press forward rather than snag, which will keep the pressure in the race. That will set it up for a strong closer and Aegon is the best closer in this race. His last 200 metres off decent tempos have been top class. And the way he has freshened up and found the line in his trial, shows that he matured into an even better 3 year old. He is a very athletic looking horse who I feel should be too good for these. I really can’t see Amarelinha  being strong enough to hold out Aegon, as he should get the gaps in time to wind up and come at them very hard in the last 100 metres. He maps to land about tenth inner after they settle and get every chance with the gaps opening from the 300 metres mark at least. RP $1.80, $2.40 FF 1st $2.60 and never in doubt once he levelled with her- he was just too strong- great race! What a 10/10 ride from Leithal to keep him off the fence and get those gaps at the right time!!!!



No Compromise and Winkle Bay look the best placed here. They have done enough to say they are the best horses in the field.

Race 1


10.Winkle Bay – There was plenty of money to say she could win on debut but ran into a speedy winner. Ran the best closing sectionals in all categories and looks to have a decent future. Half sister to the smart Coventina Bay. Will get back but should get her chance to wind up in time to get over these especially with the 53kgs. RP $2.80, $3.20 FF

Race 2

Confidence: 2/5

4.Golden Harvest  will be ready to win fresh up. His FRs have shown that he can definitely win this from the place he should be in running behind the leaders. RP $3.50, $4 FF

Race 5

Confidence: 2/5

5.House Of Cartier  raced against much better horses than these in Australia and did well against them. She is a very nice galloper out of the top mare Shez Sinsational and the way she ran on after the post in her trial when held up shows she is ready to win fresh up. Drawn to get a quiet run and get the last go at them. RP $3.80, $4.60 FF

Race 6

The speed map shows Father Lenihan setting an even tempo

Confidence: 1/5 in an open race

7.Savanah Belle  won in good time last start and even though she steps up in grade, looks to have the ability to win and from the right stable to do it. RP 5, $6 FF


1.Father Lenihan  drops back in class and maps to lead. gets 3kgs off.

3.Springstein  good horse who will be suited the step to 1600m

6.Cruz Ramirez has had a freshen up since misfiring last start. Good horse and with a good run can win.

Race 7

Confidence: 3/5

3.No Compromise would no doubt have won well last start if he got out. Drawn to get a cosy run and gets 3kgs off from the capable apprentice Temyia Taiaroa taking over. He would have rated 107 if he won that putting him clearly on top for this after the allowance in the Formpro Ratings. RP $2.40, $2.50 FF

Race 8

Confidence: 2/5

5.Reliable Miss just got going too late last start to win but almost did! She ran clearly the best last 200m of 12.55 which compared very well to shorter races in better class. The negative is the moderate pace predicted by the speed map. But she could still be too good for them. RP $2.80, $2.60 FF

Race 9

Confidence: 2/5

10.Yolo  is a very good filly probably being aimed at the Oaks. She can run above average closing sectionals so on the fresh side again can beat these. RP $3, $3.40 FF

About Neil Davis

Neil is New Zealand's leading form analyst with particular expertise in the area of horse racing sectional times. He has had a life time interest in racing. The Formpro website first started back in 2008 - 10 years ago!