If Historian wins today's $40,000 Novotel Mile, trainer Gary Alton will again congratulate himself for the purchase of his treadmill.
The unsound Historian got back to group one form in Trentham's Thorndon Mile, a victory that would probably not have been possible without the treadmill.
The 5-year-old's only start since came in the Darci Brahma International at Te Rapa last month and things could not have gone much more erratically.
Historian had to go forward to lead mid-race to avoid being left three wide and his fifth behind Sangster was better than it looks on paper.
The drop back to 1600m today probably suits and he's nice and fresh for the occasion. Interesting little field, but Historian should be a touch too good.
Belinda's Girl (No12, R1) is no good thing in the opener, but the way she has been finishing off her races she is going to cop a race shortly. She had a beautiful trail behind the leaders from the No 2 gate last start and although that is not guaranteed this time from No 8, she requires only a decent trip to be part of the trifecta.
We said pretty much the same thing about Pinzaara (No7, R2) in last week's column and that's exactly the way that race on the first day played out. Pinzaara gave a great sight leading then getting run down late. She is a very fit mare and this race will play that way again, even though she has to come out of the widest gate. Each way forever.
You couldn't really say So Wotif (No4, R5) was disappointing when second as the beaten favourite at Matamata last start. It was his first start in six weeks and he may have slightly needed it, then again he bowed to a special effort by Silverdale to win.
Silverdale (No3) is again a rival and meets So Wotif 1kg worse off. With the possible improvement factor, that might be enough to swing it in So Wotif's favour between the pair. They don't have this to themselves though - Stephen McKee has a big hand to play here with Little Wonder (No2) and Sacred Point (No8). Little Wonder has won her last three very stylishly and Sacred Point has been successful in his only three appearances. A very, very tough race and luck in running will be precious.
Difficult to see how money can be made out of Ruud Awakening (No3, R7) going around in the Diamond Stakes. The Ruud Awakening - Bounding (No4) quinella will buy you a bottle of milk and the trifecta won't be much better. Sit back and watch two top class fillies in action. Hope they're watching in Sydney.
Savarhys (No6, R8) steps up to a middle distance from 1600m. The nice inside barrier is going to help her and if she's held up enough to allow her to finish off as she did over 1600m at Matamata last start she will take some holding out.
If Ocean Park (No1, R9) had won at Otaki last start we'd be looking at this race as if he was going around as the $1.50 chance. But he didn't win - he finished fourth - and that alone gives today's $200,000 Lindauer New Zealand Stakes a real edge.
The winner of $3.6 million has to step up today - from his No 2 barrier there will be no excuses this time. He is all class though and Gary Hennessy is confident he has Ocean Park at peak. Veyron (No2) is the horse to test that. He pulled up sore after finishing second in Ocean Park's race at Otaki, so his close second to Nashville was admirable. Linda Laing and rider Rogan Norvall believe Veyron is better going into this than into Otaki.
Those two alone will make a great race, but you also have Nashville (No4). He lost a lot of his underrated tag when he won that group one last start. First time at Ellerslie - interesting.
Shuka (No8) is a place chance at his first start at 2000m.
The last is a great get-out betting event. Moneytree (No2, R10) is likely to be improved by his run on the first day when he was beaten favourite. It was close enough to the run of a horse that would improve. The Lion's Rule (No11) went a beaut fresh from a break here last start and has drawn nicely. Good trifecta race.
Don't forget Silent Achiever in the Chipping Norton Stakes in Sydney later today (NZT 6.20pm).
She is well up to Australian group one form and looks to be on the start of a top class run of form. The odds are good, too.By Mike Dillon Email Mike