The Harry & Adrian Bull trained HUMBLE PIE looks well place to win race 5 at Riccarton on Saturday. Last time out he started in the Group one NZ Derby where he finished down the track. The shorter distance will soon him as will any easing of the ground conditions. Big threat will likely be ABLAZE who has won twice at Riccarton & has gained 2 places from as many starts.

Humble Pie’s stablemate TIPPING POINT is in race 6. She has never finished further back than 5th. What is a slight worry is that she has 57kg to carry which is a worry for a mare.

The main race of the day is the fillies and mares race, the Soputh Island Breeders Stakes. Last year’s winner COULEE is topweight but has been in the same form this time in but the weight scale suits her fine because she is at least 10 points clear in the ratings ahead of the rest but carries just 2 kilos more than the rest apart from EXCELLERATION, that smart 3-year-old fillies. Excelleration won the Gore and Dunedin Guineas. Excelleration was the beaten favourite in the 3-year-old fillies race at Wingatui, 3 March.

The Open Sprint looks an interesting race with many chances. CARNIVAL will be on a 7-day back-up having raced at Trentham last Saturday where she was disappointing but gets her chance for redemption on Saturday. There is certainly nothing wrong with DON CARLO or BATMAN’S FORM while former 1000 Guineas winner, LA DIOSA makes a comeback. She never came up last Spring.

Lisa Allpress makes a comeback from injury at Riccarton. One of her rides is GOING TO WAR, trained by Sabin Kirkland who has a good record at Riccarton and trained the winner of this race at long odds some years ago. Going to War is in race 4.




RUUD NOT TO is good nough to win again. She won with 58kg at Ellerslie 10 March and drops to 55kg for this one. Last season she won the Richhill Mile (Group 2) and the rise in class should not be too much of an inconvienience for this. A wet track could throw a spanner in the works though because she would not want it worse than dead. HIGHLAD could run a cheeky race. He tends to run well coming off a break and is trained by the powerful Baker/Forsman team. A wet track will not inconvenience him at all. SEVENTH UP is on a 7-day backup and is winner of last year’s Easter Handicap. He will not mind it wet either and is well served by the narrow weight scale. COLD PLAY is a clas mare on her day. She won the Rich HIll Mile on New Year’s Day on a softish track. WATCH THIS RACE won this race last year. His form is not so good this time in but he has been against some fair competition and a slow track would suit him.

Of the other races, DESCENDANT is on a 7-day backup. He was disappointing last week but would be worth another show in race 1.

ITS DESTINY CHILD has won 2 out of 3 and looks a good chance in the last. Her last win was at Ellerslie 10 March.

As I have said a wet track will make things difficult so it will pay to be on the ball.




Te Teko is on tomorrow. It is a very low class meeting but there are some horses worth noting that could be worth backing. They are;

SHOW N’ GO (race 2)

Beaten favourite last time out. He will be having his third start tommorow. He has so far run second and fourth so is still learning.

STAND TALL (race 3)

Placed last start when beaten favourite. Won’t get much easier chances than this.

ONE WAY STREET (races 5 & 6)

In two races, she has finished placed 4 times from as many starts. Beaten by less than half-a-length from Remington last time out at Wairoa.

SOKITAME (race 6)

Beaten narrowly at Wairoa last time out. Gets his chance tomorrow.



Golden Slipper takes place 24th March at Rosehill

Sunlight, Written By, and Estuaab expected to be the three major Slipper chances.

If you asked me who my fancy isisling Stakes 10 March for the Golden Slipper on Saturday, I would have said Estuaab after her win in the Reisling Stakes 10 March but we have since seen two brilliant performances on Saturday by Sunlight and Written By, so which of the three is rthe best chance. Well you could make a case for all three but Written By has the best credentials because he is a colt and the other two are fillies and they say that a good colt will beat a good filly. Mind you a filly won the Golden Slipper last year and that was She Will Reign. Mossfun and Overeach, winners in 2014 and 2015 are also fillies. That is just one reason. The second is that Written By ran half-a-second faster than Sunlight when winning on Saturday and the third is that Written By has never raced against the two fillies previously but the two fillies have raced aganst each other with Sunlight beating Estuaab by half-a-length 24 February. That race was Estuaab’s second of her career so she can be expected to improve with the experience. I am not too big on fillies trying to win two races on consequetive SAturdays as Sunlight is tring to do but she did manage that feat in January when winning two races on the Gold Coast. What I do find more concerning is that on Saturday she will be having her 7th start which is a lot for a two-year-old especially against Group one company. A class horse can be off it’s game against moderate opposition and still be good enough to win but against Group one company it is hard to keep performing to the same level all the way through.

I think final that barrier draws may have an influence on the odds of each horse as will track conditions. Written By has won in heavy going but Estuaab has only won on good going. Sunlight prior to Saturday had only won on good going but there was some give in the ground I believe at Rosehill on Saturday and she did not seem to be inconvenienced by it.

Golden Slipper Winners

YEAR    WINNER                      FORM              LAST RACE       ODDS LAST START       Barrier

2017    SHE WILL REIGN          1113                Reisling Stks    $1.40                           13

2016    CAPITALIST                  1112                Todman Stks    $1.20                           2

2015    VANCOUVER               1×11                Todman Stks    $4.00                           18

2014    MOSSFUN                    1×112              Reisling Stks    $4.80                           11

2013    OVEREACH                  2×11                Reisling Stks    $1.40                           1

2012    PIERRO                        1×11                Todman Stks    $2.05                           1

2011    SEPOY                          x1112              Todman Stks    $1.18                           10

There is a clear pattern here among recent Golden Slipper winners. All of them started in the Todman or Resung Stakes last time out. With ther exception of She Will Reign which finished 3rd, they all finished 1st or 2nd last time out. 6 of the 7 had won at least 3 races.

On the right you can see their last start odds. 4 of them were odds on favourites last time out.

Note the odds have changed since these odds were note with Sunlight and Written by likely to be shorterners in the betting.

Most favoured in the betting with form in brackets are; $4 SUNLIGHT (31111), $6 ESTIJAAB (121), $7 WRITTEN BY (111), $8 PERFORMER ?, $9 SANTOS (34×11)

Main lead-up race results plus all the updated formline for the horses.

2018 Canadian Club Magic Night Stks result 17 March at Rosehill

1, SUNLIGHT, Form 311111,

2,CRISTBAL, Form 12,

3, SWEET AVA, Form 153

2018 Cafe Culture +Insitu Pago Stakes result 17 March at Rosehill

1, WRITTEN BY, Form 1111

2, SANDBAR, Form 1162

3, SPIN, Form 42×23

2018 Reisling Stks Result March 10 at Randwick

1, ESTIJAAB Form 121,

2, PURE ELATION Form 572


2018 Todman Stks Result March 10 at Randwick

1, AYLMERTON Form 11

2, EL TROOP Form 1×42


2018 TAB Blue Diamond Stakes (Group 1) 24 February at Caulfield

1-WRITTEN BY Form 111

2-ENBIHAAR Form 112

3-OOHOOD Form 2322

2018 TAB Silver Slipper Stakes (Group 2) 24 February at Rosehill

1-SUNLIGHT Form 31111

2-ESTIJAAB Form 121

3-TOUSAIN Form 13

2018 Schweppes Skyline Stakes 3 March at Randwick

1-SANTOS Form 34×11

2-SPIN Form 42×2


Feel free to pass this post on.



Last Week’s Racing

Well Cheltenham is done and dusted for another year. I ended up backing Native River in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It was between him and Might Bite with both horses boasting similar picket fence formlines but the deal clincher for me was that Native River had won last run 40 days ago while Might Bite last raced some 80 days ago at Kempton on Boxing Day. I knew a bit about Native River because I had backed him last season when he had won.

In the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter, my horse finished second at 16/1. I liked him because he had won a good race two starts back. The winner was a horse on a 7-day backup with good form. That was Regal Flow.

There is a lot of great British racing coming up with the Lincoln Handicap, a flat race at Doncaster coming up. I think a good class 4 or 5 year old is what I will be looking for. One that has raced against good class opposition.

There are Grand Nationals at Aintree, Scotland, and Ireland. Bring it on. I see Cause of Causes which finished second at last year’s Aintree Grand National started at Cheltenham. He would be a chance to go one better this year though. I backed him in the National last year he has only raced twice this season and I would prefer a horse to have had at least 3 or 4 starts going into a tough race like the Grand National.

At Rosehill on Saturday, I backed Unforgotten in the Chandon S Phar Lap Stakes. I got her at $11 and she won at $9. She raced in a Group one race last time out and had a win-rate of 50%. That is a deadly combination.

Things didn’t go so well in the Coolmore Classic where I backed both Egg Tart and Raiment. Egg Tart was another with a 50% win-rate. I just wonder whether her first-up run may have flattened her as she was disappointing. I think Raiment may be better off at the shorter distances. Say 1200-1400m

Francaletta was in that race. She still has a 50% win-rate having won 6 from 11 and if her connections can find a suitable race for her she will be worth backing. The Te Aroha WFA race would be worth having a crack at and if her connections bring her back to NZ then I have to get on.

Another worth watching Shillelagh if she is given a break. I suspect her first up run flattened her in February as her following two efforts were disappointing. She was a Gnoup one winner at Flemington on Derby Day. Her last race was on 10 March.



The Chris Waller trained mare EGG TART looks well-placed for a spectacular return to form in the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill tomorrow (race 7) . She struggled to return to form in the springtime but may be one of those mares that performs best in the Autumn as she did last year when winning several races. She has won 6 races from 12 starts. That is still a very respectable strike rate. This will be her second start after a layoff. She finished strongly for fourth against a hot field at Randwick 3rd March and will improve with the run and extra distance. One I like for odds is RAINMENT. She finished second to DIXIE BLOSSOMS at Randwick 3 March and the margin between them was less than a length. The weight difference between those two in that race was half-a-kilo and this time it is 5kg.

My recommendation is to back both Egg Tart and Rainment.

SUNLIGHT (race 3) and WRITTEN BY (race 4) will finalise their Golden Slipper preparations tomorrow which means both will go into the Slipper on 7-day back-ups. I’m not altogether in favour of this especially for fillies such as Sunlight especially as she has already had 5 starts.

UNFORGOTTEN, a Chris Waller trained filly, looks hard to roll in the Phar Lap Stakes (race 6). She finished out of the money in the group 1 Surround Stakes 3 March at Randwick. That was on slow going and she will appreciate firmer ground. Her win-rate of 3 wins from 6 starts is excellent.



Cheltemham (Day 4)

APPLE’S SHAKIRA looks a great chance to win the JCCB Triumph Hurdle on the first race of day 4. With a record of 4 wins from as many starts, this race looks his for the taking. It is interesting to note that his trainer Nicky Henderson has won this particular race 6 times previously. Apple’s Shakira is at around the 2/1 mark.

BLEU ET ROUG looks well-worth backing in the Randox Health County Hurdle (2.10pm UK time) He finished 2nd last time out in a race at Newbury 10 February. That race was worth 88k and this one is 56k. Not many horses at the carnival will be racing for less prize money than at their previous start. Bleu Et Roug is at quite good odds of about 11/2. His record over the hurdles is 8 starts for 2 wins and 1 second. Last year’s Scottish HUrdle winner CHESTERFIELD will be the main danger.

The main showcase of the carnival is the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase and the two major players in this will be MIGHT BITE and NATIVE RIVER. I think I will plump for Native River in this for he has at least raced within the previous 6 weeks. Might BIte’s last race was on Boxing Day. The race will be run on very testing ground conditions so the stamina level of these two will be fully tested.



Missed Approval won’t be in the race. I have therefore selected HAINMAN in the Midlands Grand National. He is at 14’1

On Saturday, the Midlands Grand National takes place at Uttioxeter and the one I like here is MISSED APPROVAL. He has raced 9 times over the steeples for 1 win, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds. He appears to be coming right at the right time. Last time out he finished second at Musselburgh (Edinburgh). That was a 28k race. I think his experience will be in his favour because many of his more favoured rivals do not have the race day experience of Missed Approval.

Biggest dangers would be GET ON THE YAGER, WEST OF THE EDGE, and DAWSON CITY.

Get on the Yager has raced 5 times for 2 wins and a second, West of the edge has more experience with 20 starts for 5 wins 2 seconds, and 1 third while Dawson City, 5 wins for 2 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 thirds but he has pulled up twice in his last 6 starts so that will be a concern for his supporters.

Odds for the horses mentioned are; 12/1 MISSED APPROACH, 7/1 WEST OF THE EDGE, 8/1 GET ON THE YAGER, 16/1 DAWSON CITY



It is NZ Oaks day on Saturday at Trentham and as expected the day’s showcase has drawn a strong field. The Lowland Stks at Hastings early in the month will likely prove to be the best guide with the winner SAVVY COUP & MILSEAIN, the first two home in the Lowland likely to be the two to beat. I like Milseain, she is trained by the powerful Baker/Forsman team. They have a great record of winning group one races. Milsean’s stablemate MARCELLINA will be tough. She is by Savabeel, like Savvy Coup. She finished 3rd in the Sunline Vase at Ellerslie last time out. There are two other Savabeels in the race, HASAHALO, winner of the 1000 Guineas in November and LINCOLN’S MELODY. They will be at long odds.

Of the other races, the Cuddles Stakes has drawn a mixed field. FLAMINGO won on the course and distance last saturday and is a must include on your combinations. The Pitman trained MONTOYA STAR has to be strongly fancied. She won at Hastings last time out. Two starts back she finished 4th in the Westbury Classic at Ellerslie.

CARNIVAL was just narrowly beaten by Don Carlo at Riccarton last month and take the Lightning Handicap with only 53.5kg to carry. She won the Stewards Hcp last November. PASSING SHOT has won this race previously and likes racing at Trentham as he has won three races there.

In the Wellington Guineas, SCOTT BASE is expected to be the favourite but is dropping back to 1400m from 2100m so may be worth opposing though it is fair to say that class can overcome a negative like that. SWISS WATCH will be tough though but this will be his toughest test to date.

The St Leger could go to FELAAR who is in tremendous form. His last win was at Ellerslie 3 March. One to watch may be ANARCHY. She finished 4th in the 3 & 4 year old race at Hastings 24 February. Anarchy is trained by Tony Pike.



Rotorua Selections

My selections for Rotorua tomorrow are;


Locally trained mare dropping back from the 2100m from 2 weeks ago at Ellerslie. Some sting out of the track will suit her too.

Race 6-COTE D’OR

She will be odds-on or close to it but Cote D’or looks the one here.


Has struck a purple patch of form and no reason why he cannot continue the good form. He is on a 7-day back-up.


Classy on his day and should be too good for these. Has performed well against good fields this season.


A review on the Melbourne Cup