Racing: Irish Moon expected to shine at Ellerslie

By Mike Dillon

Pondarosa Miss is a chance in the opener. Photo / Trish Dunell
Pondarosa Miss is a chance in the opener. Photo / Trish Dunell

Ken and Bev Kelso are going for consolation money with Irish Moon in tomorrow's $30,000 Hydrogen Apps 1200 at Ellerslie.

Irish Moon did not make the field for the $200,000 Sistema Railway at Ellerslie and Ken Kelso is not entirely happy about it.

"This set weights and penalties works right against horses like Irish Moon. He finished second in the Concorde and a close third in the Newmarket carrying 60kg and couldn't make the Railway field.

"The Telegraph is now set weights and penalties so I've pulled him out. If he went there Ryan Mark and Natuzzi would get 56kg and Irish Moon would have 55kg. Tell me that's fair."

Difficult not to sympathise with the Kelsos. The underlying principle of handicapping is giving every horse in any race an even chance. Set weights and penalties favours some and works against others.

"Wellington has also made the Thorndon Mile set weights and penalties and in my opinion they've shot themselves in the foot," he said.

"Donna Logan was going to take Hasselhoof down for the Thorndon, but he now comes in badly off in the weights compared to Kawi so the horse is staying home."

With In Style topweight at 60kg, Irish Moon under normal handicapping comes into tomorrow's race with 57.5kg, which should be comfortable.

"There is some rain forecast, but provided there is not too much he should be okay with that," says Ken Kelso. "He's got a bit of form in the wet."

Provided the track is reasonable Black Mascara is in the right form to use her speed and be difficult to manage from her inside gate.

A decision whether The Soulmaker takes his place in the juvenile will be made tomorrow morning and will depend on how much rain Ellerslie receives overnight.

The idea of the race is to give The Soulmaker another look at Ellerslie before the Karaka Million. "But it's not like we're desperate to run him," said co-trainer Chris Gibbs.

For fitness, The Soulmaker had a gallop in company between races at Ruakaka midweek and has come through it well, according to Gibbs.

Topweight in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 2YO is Caorunn, who has the advantage of having a run on heavy footing when he won at Otaki on September 24. He came back after a break following that and won by a clear margin at Awapuni last month.

The opening race should be an interesting contest between two good stayers Pondarosa Miss and Survived. Both are coming off unplaced runs, but the pair look better placed in this race.

Pentathlon is the $4.20 TAB favourite in the Marton Cup at Awapuni ahead of Sampson at $6, New Zealand Cup winner Jimmy Mac on $6.50 and Madonna Mac at $7.

Weekend pointers

No Kawi this time: Saavoya, R3 Ellerslie: Drops from weight-for-age class to R85 and has a lovely barrier.

In the right form: Duchess Kate, R7 Ellerslie. Beat a smart type in Hiflyer here last start and drops to own age group this time.

Nice race: Mime, R6 Ellerslie. Strikes a useful field, but will find this easier than the 1000 Guineas last start.

- NZ Herald

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