Racing: Fantastic trio to fight out feature

By Mike Dillon

Ocean Park, Veyron and Final Touch add lustre to $200,000 Classic at Otaki.

In terms of annihilation there probably hasn't been a better example all season than Veyron's Zabeel Classic win on Boxing Day at Ellerslie. Photo / Natalie Slade
In terms of annihilation there probably hasn't been a better example all season than Veyron's Zabeel Classic win on Boxing Day at Ellerslie. Photo / Natalie Slade

Touche has the experience in the $50,000 Reid & Harrison Slipper.Weight-for-age racing is all about tactics.

Therefore you can get different results depending on those tactics and speed in a race.

For today's $200,000 Haunui Farm group one WFA Classic at Otaki this column fancies Veyron to finish slightly in front of Final Touch, although the TAB's odds don't suggest that.

But then you have to rate where Ocean Park will finish in relation to that pair without the benefit of the recent racing the other two have.

The logic behind the Veyron/Final Touch equation is that it's doubtful Final Touch will be able to give Veyron the start from the 600m she was giving the field in the $200,000 Waikato Draught Stakes at Te Rapa last start and still win.

Had the distance of the Zabeel Classic been 1600m instead of 2000m she wouldn't have beaten him that day either.

And you can forget about adding into the equation that Final Touch finished four lengths in front of Veyron in the Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham because that was simply not the Veyron who turned up to win the Zabeel 18 days later.

This is not bagging Final Touch, who has been remarkable lately. Brilliant. The way she sprinted late at Te Rapa was stunning. There even looked to be more petrol.

But in terms of annihilation there probably hasn't been a better example all season than Veyron's Zabeel Classic, and it wasn't all Rogan Norvall's brilliant tactical ride, although that helped.

It will be interesting to see what Chris Johnson does from gate No1. It will be virtually impossible for him to kick hard early and lead - that is against Final Touch's pattern.

Better Than Ever and Veyron are certain to cross the mare early and that will mean a chance to pocket her on the rail. The small field is in her favour.

Ocean Park deserves to be favourite and if he is close to his best he is entitled to win. But if is a big word in horse racing.

Today's feature is what racing is all about.

There will be almost as much interest taken in the juvenile racing at Matamata this afternoon.

Class act Bounding (No1, R7) will take on similarly unbeaten fillies Recite (No2) and A'Larose (No3) in the $100,000 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes and sparks will be generated.

With only six runners barrier draws are unlikely to count and to win one of the fillies will have to run the last 200m in exceptional time. It should be Bounding, but trainer John Barry is confident he can give the local a shake with Recite.

Otaki's Touche (No1, R5) has the experience on his opposition in the $50,000 Reid & Harrison Slipper. Johno Benner took the colt to Ellerslie where he finished a gallant third to Ruud Awakening in the Karaka Million. That's good enough form here at level weights and also left-handed, the way he is trained.

So Wotif (No2, R3) was scratched at the start at Te Rapa last time to the races. He trialled well subsequently and looks well placed to be difficult to keep out.

The 4kg apprentice claim on Cassie May (No3) makes her the obvious danger. She didn't get all the breaks last start and her speed should be suited by Matamata.

The formline of Galaxy Star (No5, R4) on paper looks ordinary, but he will benefit from not racing in the Railway and Telegraph as he has in recent starts. This is more his sort of race and Noel Harris is the right jock to help him overcome his outside barrier.

- NZ Herald

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