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Blathwayt still in favour

By Don Farmer

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Blathwayt is running his way into form nicely and looks well poised to break through for a win in the Manawatu Cup Prelude at Awapuni tomorrow.

His last week’s effort at Trentham showed a glimpse of what the grey gelding is capable of on his day with a solid third behind winner Five to Midnight.

Tomorrow’s field for the 2000m open handicap is not particularly strong either and with the benefit of an inside draw and a rider who knows him well Blathwayt should give a very good account of himself for trainer Alby MacGregor.

The onset of summer tracks won’t worry him at all as he has shown he is capable on just about any surface and although his single attempt over 2000m, at Riccarton way back in November, 2014 was unsuccessful he has won three times over 2100m, including the listed Feilding Cup.

Earlier in the day Opaki trainer Roger Allen will line up last start winner Toulouse in race 2, a rating 65 over 1200m.

Her win on this track on November 19 was a top effort because although it was not entirely unexpected by punters who sent her out at short odds, it was hard won.

The mare shifted out several horse widths when looking to be under some pressure in the home straight but despite running out held on doggedly to score by a length.

That was in the hands of Nivesh Teeluck but the ride tomorrow goes to Rebecca Goldsbury,whose 2kg claim will bring the impost down to 54.5kg adding to the mare’s competitiveness.

Allen has a second string to his bow in Pass It On.

The gelding has been off the scene since early August having completed a winter campaign and having caused some concern for his connections at his last attempt.

That was at Woodville on a heavy 10 with Pass It On hanging throughout the journey and not showing the action rider Lisa Allpress expected on him.

A vet check after the race though posted the all clear.

Pass It On has won on a dead track but has not flattered on his two starts on firmer footing and, in any event, is likely to need the run tomorrow.

The Allen stable will also be represented in the opening event with Falcons Reach due to face the starter in the 1500m rating 65.

The mare was fairly well supported at Awapuni on November 19 having battled on quite well for fourth previously at Otaki, but failed to fire.

She raced handy on the inner for much of the journey but wilted from the 200m and beat only one home.

That was on a heavy11 which may not have suited her, especially at Awapuni, although she had finished runner-up on a similar surface back in August at Otaki.

In race 4 Polly Macdonald has last start winner El Bayardo entered and the gelding has as good a chance as any to get a share of the stake.

El Bayardo has had 10 career starts to date and of those he ran up a string of placings – five in all – before clearing maidens at Waverley on November 13.

Jonathan Riddell will be back aboard and the draw is favourable also.

A race rival for El Bayardo will be Sarabi, prepared at Opaki by part-owner Herb Renall.

Luck hasn’t exactly favoured Sarabi in her last few outings including her last effort at Otaki when she was held up at a crucial stage of the contest but managed to finish midfield.

She would be one for longer odds tomorrow.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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