Punting: Cambridge mare could take cup

By Mike Dillon

Happyto Keepa might be the best each-way bet at Te Awamutu today.

The underrated Cambridge mare has been running strong races in good company and she wouldn't need to do much better than her close third to Innovation in stakes class at Tauranga last start to be the horse to beat in race 7.

Happyto Keepa handles winter tracks beautifully with a record of 2 from 3 in slow and 2 from 7 in the heavy. The wide barrier draw in the $25,000 Freight Lines Te Awamutu Cup today looks a bit tough on paper, but Happyto Keepa has tactical speed to get over and get into a decent position down the back straight.

A couple of locals in Te Toro Lass and Ourforeignminister will offer plenty of opposition.

The money will all be for Dr Bachelor (No5, R2). Graeme and Mark Sanders have a great record with debut maidens on their home track and Dr Bachelor certainly has the points on the board through two stylish barrier trial victories. Just watch he doesn't start too short in the market. St Chalan (No4) will appreciate the drop from 58.5kg with Phillip Turner's 2kg allowance and Emma's Choice shouldn't be dropped for her last-start failure at Tauranga.

She dropped to the back of the field and in shocking conditions she never emerged. C'mon (No1) has drawn wide, but has plenty of speed to recover.

The Sanders team has a great chance of taking the $25,000 VE Vet Services with Smoulder (No2, R4). The classy mare is resuming from a spell, but has shown several times she is able to win in a fresh state. The conditions will be no problem for her. Whoshe (No11) would probably favour looser, wetter conditions than she is probably going to strike, but she is not out of it. Her form may be inconsistent, but she has the talent. Heydental Tourist (No10) and Elle Tresor (No12) should be considered as savers.

Tabu Soro (No10, R5) could be a good value prospect. He didn't produce a great deal as favourite under James McDonald at Te Teko, but a few well-fancied runners that day had problems with conditions. The wide gate looks bad, but might not be too much to deal with.

If there is any justice Moni Nui (No9, R6) will win today. He was more than a little unlucky to lose the Tauranga race on a protest after he won with a bit to spare. He is nicely placed in the weights and although the barrier draw could be an issue. His racing style is to go forward early, which should help to counteract the draw.

The 2kg Shohei Shirahama takes off the 59kg Boy (No1, R8) was handicapped at will be critical. He is not very big and 57kg is about all you would like to see him carry. He is tough, though, and loves winter conditions. Plenty of chances in the last, among them Smartly (No4), surprisingly average last start, and local Lunar Eclipse (No15).

- NZ Herald

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