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Good racing in prospect

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

The prospect of some healthy dividends looms at Tauherenikau today with very even betting races on the eight-race card and the likelihood of the track being heavily rain affected at a time when trainers are dusting off some of their summer performers.

Nevertheless the meeting has been fairly well supported and unless the weather gods deal a last-minute blow the Wairarapa Racing Club can look forward with confidence to a good day.

The main race of the day will be race 4, a Pearl Series scurry over 1000m for fillies and mares yet to win a race.

Three gallopers are on the ballot, including Opaki-trained filly La Jolie Fille, but of those in the field from the outset are a competitive lot.

Likely favourite will be the northern visitor Frazzle from the strong Marsh stable in Cambridge which has been very lightly raced having started last in late July at Ruakaka.

On that occasion Frazzle finished fourth on a dead6 and was putting in pretty well throughout, but wetter conditions could test her.

Her opposition is a mixed bag which includes a couple mounting fresh campaigns, some on debut, others stepping out on their second occasion and still others with slightly more race day experience.

Tauherenikau trainer Henry Gillies has entered Em Kay Pops, a Nom du Jeu mare that has racked up 20 starts and has been off the scene since June.

She showed glimpses of ability last campaign being never the bride but three times the bridesmaid and has managed to chalk up stake earnings of over $10,000 without winning.

One to keep a close eye on could be the Opaki mare Lipstick which is capable of rapid improvement and will have the services of 3kg-claimer Holly Andrew.

Euphoria, The Last Samurai and trials winner Kini Marie could help fill out combinations bets.

In race 6, a maiden 1400m it must surely be the turn of Avastin.

The word has been out for the Tavistock mare before each of her three starts and at Whanganui last time she started a short-priced favourite but could do no better than third.

Trainer Stacey Dougan, who has been enjoying a successful run of late, would probably prefer a better draw than barrier 13 for the 1400m journey but other than that this should be Avastin’s day.

From a local perspective one of the most interesting races of the day will be the opening event.

This rating 65, over 2200m, has the potential to fall to any one of the acceptors, four of which are trained in Wairarapa.

Gobstopper will be returning to the track where he has recorded his only win which was back in February, and has some credentials.

Bear in mind though that win was on a good3 surface and today will be a different kettle of fish altogether.

That said the Tavistock gelding put in a couple of reasonable efforts on heavy tracks earlier in his career, including finishing sixth in a 12-horse field at Whanganui on a heavy10.

That was in the listed Wanganui Guineas in the hands of Jonathan Riddell.

Today Gobstopper will be ridden by Tim Johnson who is still able to claim 3kg and whose is destined to become one of the country’s top apprentices judging by his successes so far in a short career.

Also in the opening race is Tauherenikau-trained Sussed which will relish a wet track as will another Tauherenikau entrant All Ginga but a better betting prospect than them both may be Kingiesstar, prepared on the track by Aaron Bidlake.

Despite dropping back in distance this rangy Zed gelding is poised to perform well if his last-start effort at New Plymouth is anything to go by and he has a couple of other plus marks going for him as well.

He has drawn the inside – which should be an advantage given it is the first race of the day – and has the services of Sam Spratt.

Michelin, from Grant Nicholson’s Opaki stable, was also to compete in the race but was scratched yesterday.

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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