Racing: Booming to go one better at Auckland Cup

By Michael Guerin

Jeff Lynds is confident the real Booming will turn up in the $500,000 Stella Artois Auckland Cup tomorrow.

Which is just as well, because with 58kg the big horse is going to need to be right back to his group-one winning best to figure in one of the deepest form Auckland Cups in a decade.

In the summer of last year Booming lived up to his name, winning the Zabeel Classic and Thorndon Mile back to back and looking the quality of galloper who could head to Australia with legitimate big-race claims.

But since then little has gone right as a series of infections has robbed Booming of his best form on both side of the Tasman.

His last-start second in the Avondale Cup suggested he has turned a corner but he still goes into tomorrow's Cup without a win in over 13 months.

And giving away a decent advantage in the weights to recent conquerors Shez Sinsational and Single Minded, who have beaten him when closer in the handicaps.

"That doesn't worry me too much because he has been set for this race so I have been training him for 3200m," Lynds told the Herald.

"I thought he was a lot better in the Avondale Cup last start and he is healthy now.

"The weather is good so we should get a good track. I think things are coming right for him at the right time."

While he has won over 1600m and 2000m at group one level, Booming was second in the Auckland Cup in 2010.

"He is a genuine 3200m horse who is good enough to win at other distances. But I think this is a trip he can handle, whereas some of the other may not."

Lynds points out while Shez Sinsational is high-class and the logical favourite she is unknown at 3200m.

"She is good all right, but there are plenty of other good ones here too. It's a field befitting an Auckland Cup and I think the tempo of the race is going to play a huge role."

Lynds believes he has the right man to read that tempo in star Aussie rider Hugh Bowman, who joins Nash Rawiller (Six O'Clock News) and returning Ellerslie hero Opie Bosson (Titch) in a star-studded jockey's line-up for the Cup.

"We got barrier 20 but at least we come in to 14 with scratchings and we have a genuine big-race rider."

Booming is rated an $8 chance by the TAB. Shez Sinsational is the $3.50 favourite, a price rarely approached by the favourite in a group one 3200m race so her supporters could be better off waiting for the tote tomorrow.

The depth of the field and the wildcard of some decent Australian interest, with the race being on a Wednesday, could make for some good support late for the favoured runners and pushing outsiders out to huge money.

The amazing depth of our 3-year-old filly crop is evidenced by tomorrow's Sunline Vase, which has drawn a strong field even though Silent Achiever, Zurella and Chichirita are missing after racing in the Derby.

Several other class acts, headed by newly-crowned Filly of the Year, Planet Rock, contested the Lowlands Stakes at Hastings on Saturday and will also dodge the listed race but it still contains several genuine NZ Oaks hopes.

The Auckland Racing Club will mark the race with the unveiling of a memorial to champion mare Sunline, who is buried at Ellerslie.

More good news for winning Derby trainer Roger James and a silver lining to He's Remarkable's ridiculous relegation in the A$1 million Railway in Perth in November.

The Cambridge galloper's stunning loss of that group one in the inquiry room has at least seen him slip into next month's Doncaster in Sydney with just 52kg when weights were released yesterday.

James is happy with the weight and is pleased with the 4-year-old's progress. He's Remarkable resumes at Newcastle on March 21.

- NZ Herald

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