Firstly, I just can’t select anything with confidence at Ashburton, but I’ll be doing the form for the big day at Trentham and Tauranga today and tomorrow. You can still enter the Tauranga Punters Club here where I’ll be doing the selecting and betting for from races 3 to 8.
The early preview of Saturday races will be posted by 6 p.m. today. Now posted here
The Oaks is looking to be a real intriguing race. Is Amarelinha worth backing at $1.55? She just got the bob in at Ellerslie and steps up to 2400m which looks very likely to be a true staying test, so no, she is just too short to back at those odds. So what does look value?
The speed map shows four runners looking to lead or be on it with a few out wide looking to get in behind those, so a good early tempo and even from there. Needle And Thread is very likely to ensure it is a true staying test after the trainer said, “The last 600-700 metres she has got to be in a position where she can be going forward and not being held up.” The only way she can ensure she has a chance of beating Amarelinha is but not allowing it it to be a sit sprint as nothing will beat Amarelinha if that happens.
A true staying test really brings Cheaperthandivorce into it. On the turn at Hastings I gave her no chance to even get near the placings. Even after she got out with 300m to go, I still thought she has no chance. But then she showed a great turn of foot to charge home for sixth right on their heels in front. Her last 200m of 11.70 when taken in context with the older horses in better class races over shorter distances, shows it was top class. Her breeding strongly suggests she will see out a strongly run Oaks. Her dam, Boundless ran second in the AJC Oaks two starts after she won the NZ Oaks. The Blinkers go on at the right time and she has drawn to just jump and land on the rail and relax. From there, with the decent tempo likely, she just needs to be able to get the gaps at the right time to charge over these and get up at very good odds of $11 and $2.90.
The speed map is below:
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