Racing: Smoulder a smashing shot

By Mike Dillon

Smoulder (left) in winning form at Ellerslie. She is a great chance in the $25,000 feature at Te Awamutu tomorrow.Picture / Natalie Slade
Smoulder (left) in winning form at Ellerslie. She is a great chance in the $25,000 feature at Te Awamutu tomorrow.Picture / Natalie Slade

Smoulder, is sleek, a stayer, at times stunning and she's a smashing show to win tomorrow's $25,000 VE Veterinary Services 1150 at Te Awamutu.

When we say she's a stayer, she has not won over a distance as short as tomorrow's, but that may not be a massive disincentive.

Smoulder is racing on her home track which, surprisingly, she has yet to tackle in 22 race starts and often stamina horses will race well when on the fresh side.

The winner of more than a quarter of a million dollars has not raced since early April and her record when fresh is four starts for a win and two minor placings.

The last time she came in for a fresh campaign at this time last year Smoulder finished a gallant third to Fritzy Boy and Fleur de Lune in the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa, an effort that would see her go very close to winning this race.

This race is a wonderful example of how favourable our mares get since the recent introduction of the 2kg allowance the females receive.

There are only three rating points between Back In Black and Smoulder (96 to 93) yet a 3.5kg differential in the handicap - 59kg to Smoulder's 55.5kg.

The 3.5kg in testing conditions at this time of year is like 6kg in the summer. The weight scale very much favours Smoulder.

So will the conditions. Smoulder is good in the slow and heavy and, importantly, it will make the last 200m a slog, which will suit the local mare's racing style.

In-form jockey Jason Collett rides and the outside barrier may even be an advantage.

Whoshe's form on paper is not much better than Smoulder's, but she is one who could throw in a surprise effort. She is hugely talented in the wet and although her form dropped away last campaign, she should be considered and definitely not ignored in the Pick6.

Whoshe has shown temperament problems at the races but that is often not the worst trait in race mares.

Her stablemate Trapiche is not an impossible chance.

He didn't show up at the business end when resuming from a spell at Tauranga last start, but is likely to be a fair bit fitter this time.

Trapiche has won on this track and although his wet-track form in six attempts is nothing to get excited about, he is a chance.

Danrose is one-dimensional - she likes to lead clearly on her own. From her outside gate there will be no real option other than trying to cross the field and get to the rail to lead.

If she can do that and kick hard like she did when she won clearly at Tauranga last time, she can get some of the stake. Stablemates Heydental Tourist and Elle Tresor are value runners.

The $25,000 Freight Lines Te Awamutu Cup will be a great betting race.

Happyto Keepa, Te Toro Lass, Ourforeignminister, Atom Cat and Singapore Sling head a formline that will be difficult to sort out.

Happyto Keepa is on a roll of steady improvement and her third to Innovation in the stakes race at Tauranga last start was a good trial for a race like this.

Local mare Smoulder starts a fresh campaign on her home track in one of the features.

She is more talented than most of her opposition and has a good record when racing fresh.

She looks nicely placed with just 1.5kg above the minimum weight.

- NZ Herald

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