Racing: Time for Xanadu to regain winning touch

By Mike Dillon

Xanadu can finally gain some revenge on her nemesis Final Touch, shown here beating her in the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham, in the Westbury Classic at Ellerslie today. Photo / Getty Images
Xanadu can finally gain some revenge on her nemesis Final Touch, shown here beating her in the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham, in the Westbury Classic at Ellerslie today. Photo / Getty Images

Two seconds to outstanding mare Final Touch deserve reward.

Particularly when those races were at group one level.

Those two seconds have been Xanadu's only starts this campaign and the reward is likely to be in today's $70,000 Westbury Classic at Ellerslie.

This race has the potential to be one of the highlights of the three-day carnival.

The clash of Xanadu, Diademe, Final Touch, Fleur De Lune, Miss Perlear and Viadana is going to be a feature of any carnival.

Xanadu will find the 1400m right to her liking and her finishing strength is what can get her past most of this opposition.

That will need to be right up to her best because if Fleur De Lune is on song she will be in front in the home straight and showing no signs of weakening.

To win Xanadu will have to go and get Fleur De Lune, rather than the latter come back to Xanadu.

After a stunning win at Ellerslie at the beginning of December, Viadana finished unplaced in the Rich Hill Mile, where the 59kg looked too tough, then in the group one Thorndon Mile at Trentham, when she was just 2.2 lengths from winner Historian.

The wide barrier today is not ideal, but if Viadana can get any sort of cover she will feature somewhere in this result.

Rich Hill Mile winner Miss Perlear does not have the same problem - she has barrier No 1.

Her mid-summer form shows she is greatly under-rated and her Thorndon Mile third was one of the features of the race.

The $70,000 McKee Family Sunline Vase looks a nightmare for punters.

Most races with five last-start winners invariably look daunting.

The Baker/Forsman stable has a great chance with Decorah, whose 132 formline this preparation is stylish.

However, many of the rest of the opposition have similarly come to form at the right time.

Sultry Assassin looked good as a staying prospect winning at Te Aroha last start and Aurora Lights was good winning on this track.

A very tough race to sort out.

Payette, in Race 3, looks a good prospect with a 2kg apprentice allowance for Chris Dell.

- NZ Herald

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