Instrumentalist Value at Pakenham

IInstrumentalist Pakenham Cup Fancy.

Instrumentalist looks real value in today’s Pakenham Cup. The old boy has been in great form lately and gets a good pull in the weights on some of his candidates. He is also on a 7-day backup, well 5 day backup to be exact as he last ran on the Monday where he finished 4th. He carried 57.5kg on Monday and has just 54kg today. Any improvement in the ground will be in his favour as all bar one of his 10 victories have been in good going. He raced in slow going on Monday and two starts back. The race lacks depth as there is a long tail to it. De Little Engine, Grey Lion, and Oncidium Ruler are all good horses and are in with a winning chance but De Little Engine (60kg) and Grey Lion (59k) both have to carry a fair weight while Oncidium Ruler carries 56.5 compared to the 54 he carried last time but is the second selection.

The only other horse at Pakenham I like is Grand Rosso in race 8. He is a winner at Pakenham from his only start there and has a great record at 1400m.


Race 1-Orcein

Race 2-Star Sensation

Race 3-Volpe

Race 4-Star Sensation

Race 6-Zumbelina

Race 7-Bon Ami

Race 9-Cellarman


Cold Play Selected for Captain Cook Stakes

Trentham Selections (Saturday)


Cold Play, 3rd in the Auckland Breeders Stakes at Pukekohe 25 November is selected to take out the Captain Cook Stakes. The 1600m journey will suit her better than the 1400m last time and she is likely to be improved by that race, her first for about 4 weeks. Sensible Prince, winner of the Pukekohe race will be the one to beat. Her trainer Fraser Auret will be trying to win the race for the 3rd year in a row. He won it with Julinsky Prince in 2015 and Aide De Memoire in 2016. Kawi, beaten favourie in the 2015 race should not be underated because as they say form is temporary, class is permanent. Of the other races, I think Soleseifei, sandalo, and The Rippa should all pay around the $4-$5 mark. I wouldn’t accept less than $3 on any of those while Savvy Coup may go off at close to odds-on but an interesting runner is Kirkland in that race. He has raced twice, those races being the Wanganui and Hawkes Bay Guineas so looks a reasonable each-way hope in an unlisted race though he has to get past SAvvy Coup in that race.

Race 2-Soleseifei

Race 3-Espumoso

Race 4-Savvy Coup

Race 5-Scandalo

Race 8-Cold Play, Sensible Princess, Kawi

Race 9-The Rippa

Ellerslie Selections for tomorrow

Ellerslie Selections (Saturday)

My selections for Ellerslie for tomorrow are;

Race 2-Full of Talent

Race 2-Full of Bloom

Race 3-Yearn

Race 6-Heroic Valour

Race 7-Prom Queen

Race 8-Nina Aurora

Full of Bloom it should be noted, last raced in the Group 2 Auckland THoroughbred Breeders Stakes. That was the only time she has ever finished out of the money. The odds will be the key because such horses are sometimes at very short odds.

Heroic Valour looks a great each-way chance. He came from a fair way back in the sprint at Pukekohe 25 November and carries the same weight. Velpe Veloce and Melody Belle are the class horses in the race and are around the 2/1 ($3) mark.

Captain Cook Stakes on Saturday


1          x3433 KAWI

Last start-3rd Group 2 Tauranga Stakes 18 November

2          60×47 BENZINI

Last start-7th Group 2 Coupland’s Mile (HCP) Riccarton 15 November

3-         13737  CHOCANTE

Last start-7th in the St Leger at Randwick 14 October

4-         02263  AUTHENTIC PADDY

Last start-3rd Group 3 OMF Stakes (WFA) at Ellerslie 7 November

5-         6×511 SON OF MAHER

Last start-Won (dead-heat) Group 2 Coupland’s Mile (HCP) Riccarton 15 November

6-         0x284 CONSENSUS

Last start-4th Group 3 OMF Stakes (WFA) at Ellerslie 7 November

7-         x9652 MIME

Last start-2nd Group 3 OMF Stakes (WFA) at Ellerslie 7 November

8-         11131 SENSIBLE PRINCESS

Last start-Won Group 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Stakes (WFA) at Pukekohe 25 November

9-         x2712 MISS WILSON

Last start-2nd Group 2 Tauranga Stakes (WFA) 18 November

10-       x0903 COLD PLAY

Last start-3rd Group 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Stakes (WFA) at Pukekohe 25 November

11-       3×700 SOFIA ROSA

Last start-unplaced Group one Livamol Class (WFA) 22 October

The Captain Cook Stakes is the main race on Saturday and the two horses I like in this are Sensible Princess and Cold Play. Sensible Princess is the find of the season but on a good track and over a distance that she has never raced at previously could be vulnerable. The one who could really excel is Cold Play. She finished 3rd behind Sensible Princess at Pukekohe 25 November and will find the extra 200m to her liking. I think what is even more significant is that she is by Savabeel who keeps producing Group one winners. Savabeel is also the sire of Kawi, a prolific Group one winner. Cold Play wouldn’t want a slow track however I think that is unlikely. Kawi is my 3rd selection as he is such a class horse. He was beaten favourite in this race in 2015 when he got too far back in the running.

Selections; Cold Play, Sensible Princess, Kawi

Romantic Maid gets het chance today

Romantic Maid gets her chance at Pukekohe today after competing against strong company in the past 18 months. She started her career well winning her first two then finishing 4th at her 3rd race. They are the only races worth less than 20k that she has started in so looks well placed here at $4 for a win. She runs in race 8.

Santiago is my selection in race 7. He finished within a length from the winner at Awapuni 25 November and has a 3 kilo  claimer this time. He is at $7

This Week’s Racing (NZ)

This Week’s Racing (NZ)

There is some good racing this week in NZ with the Wellington Racing Club’s meeting at TRentham being the main one but Ellerslie has some good races on. At Wellington, the Group one Captain Cook Stakes, a weight-for-age over 1600m is the big race. I think that if Kawi starts then he will be the one to beat. He was the beaten favourite in the race in 2015 after getting a long way back in the running. It is likely to be an open race with room for an upset as it has been in the past. Trainer Fraser Auret won it in the last two years with Aide Memoire (2016) and Julinsky Prince (2015).He trains Sensible Princess who won the South Auckland Breeders Stakes at Pukekohe 25 November so it will be interesting if she lines up.

At Trenthan I always look for those horses on a 7-day backup because Trentham is a testing track and fitness plays a bigger part than on many other tracks.

Backing last start winners at Trentham is also recommended. In fact decades ago this old timer, Pat Lush would always go on about this point and selected a lot of winners. He published the tipping sheet Sports Gazette during the 60s and 70s.

The Northern trainers do well at Trentham and one to watch is the Autridge/Richards yard.

saturday’s Ellerslie will be the second in as many weeks. Horses that race at Ellerslie tend to race well when they start at other tracs next time out especially when they are the type of horses who prefer left handed tracks. (Ellerslie is right-handed).

The Concorde Sprint is the feature race at Ellerslie and form from Counties Cup day is usually the best guide in that race as it is for the other races at Ellerslie on Saturday.

A last race favourite angle

Backing a last race favourite with a 50% win-rate is a good angle to note. It does not matter whether the horse won or was a beaten favourite.

Qualifiers today are;

Sprightly Lass, r6 Sandown

Seven Year Reward, 59 Sandown

Motivation, r5 Ellerslie

Whypeo, r2 Rosehill

Cabena De Vaca, 57, Rosehill

Our Dynamite, r2, Wanganui

Other horses to note are;

Vee Twelve, r1, Wanganui. Horse on a 7-day backup & will like the distance.

Classy Maiza, r9 Oamaru. Won last Saturday & can do so again.

Egyptian Symbol Selected today (Rosehill)

Egyptian Symbol has class to win at Rosehill today

Egyptian Symbol looks a good chance of winning the Starlight Stakes (race 8 at Rosehill) She is a consistent mare with a good first-up record. In fact she has won 3 times first upand is first-up today. Her barrier 9 may be an issue but I think she has the class to overcome that. Two starts back she raced in the Group obne Stradbroke Handicap where she finished 7th of 16. Bjorn Baker trains Egypsian Symbol and Jason Collet will take the mount.

Other strong chances at Rosehill today are;

Pretty Fast (race 1)

Pelorus Jack (race 5)

Savapinski (race 6)

Cabeza De Vaca (race 7)


The Rumour File (Race 1)

Ringo’s Rockstar (race 4)


Mighty Solomon great chance today

I think Mighty Solomon has a great chance of winning today’s Levin Stakes. He was narrowly beaten by Shadow Fox last time out and can go one better. Shadow Fox is also in the race and has a chance of winning. It will be between these two I think. The two favourites Start Wondering & Dolcetto are worth opposing. Start Wondering is first up & has 61kg while Dolcetto’s form is mainly in wet ground. Mighty Solomon is around $6 (5/1)

Matchbreaker is my selection for the Wellington Stakes. He looks progressive and is a winner on the course last time out.

Quintessentially Wanganui Cup selection

Quintessentially Wanganui Cup selection

Quintessentially looks ready to bounce back to form in tomorrow’s WAnganui Cup. The 5-year-old mare will be ridden by CHris Johnson finished 3rd at her latest race which was at TAuranga 18 NOvember. She has a big drop in weight for this coutesy of a rise in class. The main danger will be All in Vogue who finished a close second behind Balham in the WAverley Cup at her last start. What is most signifuicanrt is that she carried 54kg in that race which was the same weight as the winner Balham but Balham who is also in tomorrow’s race carries 58.5kg while All in Vogue remains on 54kg. In other words she is 4kg better off in the weights. My recommendation in this race is to back both Quintessentially and All in Vogue.

Other chances at WAnganui include;

Hollypop (race 1)

Bruegel (race 2)

Go to Man (race 5)

Sweepstake (race 8)

A review on the Melbourne Cup