Racing: Sacred Falls holds aces at Hastings

By Mike Dillon

Antonio Lombardo has drawn wide for race 7 today. Photo / Warren Buckland
Antonio Lombardo has drawn wide for race 7 today. Photo / Warren Buckland

Today's $85,000 DHL Global Hawkes Bay Guineas comes down to achievement versus reputation.

Sacred Falls, with three unbeaten runs behind him, has the ultimate scores already on the board.

Chasing him down for favouritism is Touch Win, whose sole win was against a moderate maiden field at Gisborne.

But Touch Win's reputation is every bit as big as Sacred Falls'.

Only a bad barrier was going to prevent Sacred Falls starting a warm favourite, but now we will never know with the highly talented colt down to come out of gate No 1.

That is a huge advantage in what will be a very sharp race and will allow Leith Innes every chance to set up a desirable game plan.

Touch Win will be a very good competitor, but he faces a tough task against a more experienced type with most of the aces to play with.

Blood Brother (No3, R1) might be a good chance to start the day. The NZ Cup winner of last year did not get the best of runs on the middle day of the carnival when pushed out wide early in the running. He is likely to be improved for that run - just his second this campaign. The small field should suit him.

Hidden Asset (No5, R2) is due to return to form after a leg problem sidelined him for 18 months. He has had two runs back since that break and will appreciate the step to 2000m. At his best he has the wood on most of these. I'll'ava'alf (No6) is a stayer on the way through, who needs the speed on in his races.

The $70,000 Traderack Stakes, group three, is a magnificent betting race, if extremely difficult fields to sort out are your style. This is one you need to get right if you are looking to fill your pockets, but it's difficult. Antonio Lombardo (No2, R7) is entitled to great respect, but he's drawn gate No12. Helping him will be the fact that there are a couple of jump and run horses, which should spread the field out and possibly allow Antonio Lombardo in.

Aspinal (No4) was unlucky on the second day of the meeting and Showing Off (No10) was massive in winning that same day. Difficult, but Antonio Lombardo has the scores on the board and you might just want to take the punt he gets his luck. Peter McKay's team is in great form.

The $300,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Spring Classic is similar to the above race. Usually there is a pronounced favourite in this race, but this year the field could not be more open. You've got Xanadu (No15, R9), who will possibly start favourite with her No 1 barrier, then the likes of Quintessential (No16), Guiseppina (No9), Green Supreme (No1) and He's Remarkable (No3), all of whom give the impression they are about to burst into print with their peak run for the season.

Xanadu has the form in the record books with very good placed efforts on the first two days of the carnival, but don't be surprised if Guiseppina is there fighting it out with 200m to run. This is a simply fascinating contest.

- NZ Herald

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