We've tipped Veyron to win this afternoon's $200,000 Manco Easter Handicap at Ellerslie - because we want to see him win.
That's a good enough reason simply because like almost every Easter Handicap before this one the winner has almost never been obvious.
It is the country's most open major metric mile. Therefore our reason for tipping Veyron stands up as well as any explanation you can give for any of his rivals.
After all he won the race last year. This is tougher though - he has 59kg and a wide barrier to contend with. The wide gate is likely to be less influential than the 59kg in the last 150m as the lightweights start to storm into the action.
Still, Veyron is a giant horse, the perfect weight-carrier. He has a great shot at making it two Easters and it will be a big thrill with Rogan Norvall coming back from injury to guide him again.
Although there is not a runner you can rule out, the race sorts itself out as the big four, Green Supreme, Jimmy Choux and Fleur de Lune join Veyron. Outside of that don't be surprised if Sum Up slides into the trifecta somewhere.
Probably the best chance all day is Allanah (No9, R9) in the last. Winning four from the last five is never easy, but this is a mare with a future. Don't bother weighing her up in the parade - she's not much to look at, but the heart was put in the right place. From a nice barrier she will give it a good shake again.
The opening race is an even affair. The O'Reilly filly Torque It (No11, R1) will provide strong opposition. That was a very game effort when she went down narrowly at Te Rapa last start and this time gets a 2kg allowance with apprentice Alex Forbes on board. Plenty of form in the race and Vronskii (No6) offers each-way prospects.
Prestigious Miss (No9, R3) looked very talented on occasions last preparation and from a lovely barrier draw can run a top race fresh from a break. She can really hit the line hard and that will be important in this race. That fresh-up win of Brela Belle's (No6) was no fluke and she will be marginally improved for it.
Magic Briar (No13, R4) has not raced since the Railway, but won a recent barrier trial and can produce her best today. She has just 53kg and the rails draw. Galaxy Star (No4) is something pretty good and from his inside barrier is also going to rate highly.
Waterford (No5, R5) was truly magnificent winning at Te Rapa last start. She took off from the back a long way out and never looked like flinching, giving the impression she would have no trouble jumping up in distance, although 1200m to 1600m is an ask for any youngster. Pretty much the entire field is in the same category. Epicurean (No8), second to Waterford at Te Rapa, is a filly with a future.
Not every midweek maiden winner rates when they get to a premier meeting next time, but there was something a bit special about the way Just Got Home (No4, R6) won at Pukekohe last start. The son of Oaks winner Justa Tad has had a mixture of problems to this point, but looks to be over them. It's not as easy to do here what he managed at Pukekohe, storming home from the rear, but this bloke has ability.
Hardest of the day is Race 8. Tangoette (No5) might be worth an each-way look. She was trapped four wide here last start and was never a chance late in the race. She would have to get better luck this time and can be right in this.By Mike Dillon Email Mike