Two facts almost certainly define tomorrow's (Saturday) $200,000 Harcourt's Thorndon Mile at Trentham.
Number one is Stolen Dance has an additional 1.5kg advantage over Kawi compared to when Kawi narrowly beat the northern mare in the $200,000 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
Number two is the positioning in running of the pair.
In the Zabeel there was a general shuffle in the horses in the second half of the field on the home bend. Kawi was behind Stolen Dance coming into the home bend, but by the 350m Kawi had slipped past Stolen Dance and the mare's natural advantage had been lost.
Trainer David Greene is hoping for a complete swing in those circumstances this time.
"She's never been passed when she's been in front in the home straight ever and that's the tactics we want to employ this time," Greene told the Herald yesterday.
Greene feels there might be another slight advantage - Stolen Dance's record when on the fresh side. "She had a bit of a break after the Zabeel and she's probably 5 or 6 kilos heavier than at Ellerslie.
"If you have a look at her record, all her best races have been when she's fresh." Kawi has drawn gate No 4 and Stolen Dancer is two barriers wider.
"I imagine she will be a couple back one off the rail from her draw. I can see a couple that will drop behind her early in the race." Kawi and Stolen Dance both have explosive sprints late in their races and the home straight should be a complete gunfight. Any 3200m race is exciting and the Wellington Cup will be a great contest, but the closing 400m of the Thorndon is not to be missed.
TAB bookmakers have installed Kawi as a $2.70 favourite for the Thorndon Mile, with Stolen Dance a $3.80 second favourite.
Stolen Dance will have the services of leading rider Danielle Johnson once again.
Very little separated winner Jimmy Mac and third-placed Pentathlon in the lead-up race at Trentham to the Wellington Cup and they meet each other at exactly the same relativity in tomorrow's $200,000 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup.
The difference this time is twofold. Jimmy Mac having to carry 57.5kg over 3200m will be even more difficult than the 58.5kg he lumped over 2200m in the lead-up. Also, Rosie Myers will be more aware of Pentathlon than her first experience with him last start.
Pentathlon raced like a natural 3200m horse in that lead-up and will be difficult to contain with just 53kg and a nice barrier.
Each way forever:
Pentathlon, R9 Trentham. Has raced through the grades, but has raced like a natural 3200m throughout. Great lead-up third and difficult to see him missing the money in the Cup.
Maiden, but won't be long: Hardcase, R1 Ellerslie, Sunday. Maidens don't have a great record in special conditions races, but this bloke looks pretty good. Will give a great sight late.
Each way again: O'Reilly Cyrus, R5 Ellerslie, Sunday. Up against a short-priced favourite in the Karaka Million, but looks the goods and you only have to check the record of Queensland trainer Liam Birchley in this race.