Racing: Opie happy with Indikator

By Mike Dillon

Cast your mind back to last year and you will want to back Indikator who was too strong in the 2011 Amcor-LRK Kiwifruit Cup at Tauranga.Picture / APN
Cast your mind back to last year and you will want to back Indikator who was too strong in the 2011 Amcor-LRK Kiwifruit Cup at Tauranga.Picture / APN

How often would you rate a horse in a major race as your bet of the day with a 68074 formline?

Probably as often as you cut your lawns with a knife and fork.

But Indikator may be the exception to that rule in tomorrow's $50,000 Amcor Kiwi - LRK Trays Kiwifruit Cup at Tauranga.

The classy winter galloper won last year's Rotorua Cup, went to Australia where he struck two unsuitable track surfaces and came back to win this Tauranga race by more than three lengths.

Don't be fooled by his unplaced performance in the Rotorua Cup this time around, or his last-start fourth in the Cornwall Handicap behind Sum Up.

"He didn't handle the sticky track at Rotorua at all," says Te Aroha co-trainer Keith Opie. "Although he managed the Ellerslie surface better, he was never really happy."

In that race, Indikator got a long way back and made ground nicely to be less than two lengths from the winner.

His record suggests he is better placed at Tauranga where he has four wins, than at Ellerslie.

"We're very happy with him," said Opie. "He's extremely happy within himself and that's when he races best."

Indikator has clear topweight of 59kg, but it is the same weight he won clearly with a year ago and this does not look to be a particularly strong field facing him this time.

It's worth remembering Indikator has won close to half a million dollars in the wet - a rare feat.

Central Districts mare Marea Alta has a stunning record in the mud - five wins from 11 starts. She has been beautifully placed by Alexander Fieldes and, with 54kg, rates highly in this line-up.

She will be ridden by Fieldes' good mate Noel Harris, who was aboard when she won last season's Taumarunui Gold Cup.

Some of New Moon's best form has been at 1600m, but he finished well to win the 2200m at Ellerslie last start.

Beau Dane got no luck at all when fifth to Zennista at Awapuni last start, being blocked in behind horses for much of the home straight.

He will appreciate stepping from 1600m that day to 2100m here.

For consistency Singapore Sling does not rate at all, but for ability she shines when things go right for her.

That happened last start when she buried a field at Ellerslie and a similar finishing burst would see her difficult to beat in the $30,000 Gartshore Construction 1600.

Lisa Latta's horses are difficult to beat wherever they go and Sasha looks difficult to beat in the $50,000 Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic.

She has racked up a list of minor placings this campaign, but there was a lot to like about her fourth to stablemate Zennista at Awapuni last start.

She is dropping back from 1600m to 1400m, but that should be negated by the fact the track should be pretty hard work late in the day.

Happytokeepa is one of the north's most improved horses and she has trained on well since winning gamely at Te Rapa.

- NZ Herald

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