Punting: Keep something in the wallet for Ellerslie

By Mike Dillon

Lady Chaparral will be tough if she's on her game. Photo / Joel Ford
Lady Chaparral will be tough if she's on her game. Photo / Joel Ford

Just Got Home has just a touch of class and it might be worth keeping a bit of the bank for him in the last race at Ellerslie today.

That clearaway Pukekohe win last start was no fluke and although he goes up a grade today Lisa Robertson takes 3kg off his back down to 55kg. Wet, tough footing holds no fears for this bloke.

There are few standouts on this Pakuranga Hunt Cup card. The footing is bound to be testing and practically all the races will be a slog to the last stride. None more so than the amateur event, race 2.

These are not generally races you like tipping in a punting column, but results this season show that if you stick to the two best amateur riders Linda Wheeler and Scott Wenn you can't go too far wrong.

Linda's mount Zahtui (No6) went well last start, suggesting a real chance here and Scott Wenn on Son Of Zoff (No3) look the dangers. Couple your betting here around these two.

All Pent Up (No4, R3) was probably going to win, or at least be the one to beat, when he crashed when in front three fences from the finish at Te Aroha last start. His form looks horrible on paper, but he might not be the worst chance in the maiden steeplechase. His problem is he appears to lose concentration, often at the worst possible time. Amanood Lad (No1) is going to go around here as the favourite and will take some keeping out.

The Tony Richards Toyota Hurdles is one of the fascinating races on the programme. One of the questions is whether last year's Great Northern winner Southern Countess (No3, R4) is ready to win a testing hurdle race after a series of flat races. You wouldn't totally bet against it even if she will doubtless be fitter for next-up Great Northern. This is an enormously competitive line-up. Seeking The Silver (No2) back from Australia, will be somewhere near the money and Waitoki Ahi (No7) is coming back to jumping after flat races. Very tough race.

The Mad Butcher Pakuranga Hunt Cup is no better. You've got last year's headliner Ima Heroine (No3, R6) and stablemate Tom's Myth (No5), who both need to be in everyone's multiple bets. Myths And Legends (No4) is the same. As much as this race will decide Great Northern favouritism, it is extremely difficult to predict.

Heydental Tourist (No8, R7) will benefit greatly from a 3kg apprentice allowance. It means she will go around with just 51.5kg, a very competitive weight.

The heavy track will test a few at Taranaki today. Duncan (No5, R6) is unlikely to be one of them. He faces a tough line-up here, but shows plenty of ability in what has been an extremely limited campaign. Duke Of Dirk (No4) and Spitfire (No3) are in with great chances.

As you would expect the ITM Interprovincial has chances everywhere. If you get the trifecta, maybe even the quinella, you're going to get an early Christmas. Lady Chaparral (No5, R6) hasn't yet fired in this campaign, but she represents better class than many of these and if today is the day she will take stopping. It's unlikely, but if the racing pattern this late in the day suits on-speed runners, don't leave Smartly (No14) out of the reckoning. She races on the speed and fights hard, but will be disadvantaged if the swoopers are winning. Pero (No11) is right in the race.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 23 Aug 2014 13:27:23 Processing Time: 638ms