Annie Higgins rewarded Noble at Te Rapa and could repeat at Ellerslie.
Matamata trainer Lance Noble deserved Annie Higgins' Waikato Gold Cup and that might not be the end of that story.
Until the handicapper perhaps gets the better of Annie Higgins she rates as New Zealand's most promising emerging top-end stayer.
Annie Higgins was right alongside the country's best 3-year-olds two seasons back and looked in for a headlining year at four.
Everything went wrong and Annie Higgins needed time and patience. At a time when Lance Noble needed wins and a high-profile horse to offset the horses he was losing to Hong Kong, he gave Annie Higgins as much time as she needed.
The Waikato Gold Cup might not be sitting in the lounge if that patience hadn't been granted.
And now there is today's $100,000 Lindauer City Of Auckland Cup.
Against a field that might lack a few stars, Annie Higgins looks the one to beat.
She fought bravely to score last start and that grit will be required at the end of today's 2400m.
One of the biggest disappointments of the last month was Chaparrone failing to win at Te Rapa a couple of weeks back. She didn't race poorly, but nevertheless a few lengths behind what we know she is capable of. This is a better field, but take away the last start and you'd say she is at least one of the chances.
That's probably the best road to travel down.
Storming The Tower is being totally overshadowed by stablemate Mosse, masking a pretty good emerging talent.
He is an Ellerslie winner and a definite chance to get some of this stake.
So is Arcenciel and topweight Dolmabachie is up to group one weight-for-age company so is not out of it, despite starting from out in the car park.
The $75,000 Dunstan Feeds Championship Final is a great race each year and the potential has always been for a big-price surprise - but not this year.
Polyantha will be possibly the shortest-priced favourite to contest the race. And deservedly so.
Perhaps the best quote around her comes from her recent rider Opie Bosson. "This is the real deal," said Bosson as he climbed off Polyantha after a runaway victory under a big weight at Te Rapa a few weeks ago.
The intentions have been that if Polyantha wins this and does well the other side of the race, the Wellington Cup on January 26 could be in the frame.By Mike Dillon Email Mike