On all levels patience is a wonderful virtue in horse racing.
If you wait until the last race at Matamata for a major plonk today you might be rewarded with a return on Sacred Master.
The smart 4-year-old did not appreciate the slow track when expected to win at Ellerslie on January 1. He drops here from 59kg to 56kg and that's going to help. Provided conditions stay summery he and Leith Innes should enjoy the back end of the Matamata card.
Douro (No8, R1) is another who was not suited by the wet conditions in January at Ellerslie. His previous form on decent surfaces had been first class and look for a big run today on his home track. He is a very promising horse. Mary Quant (No5) and Waipipi Lad (No10) are musts for multiple players.
Race 2 is a difficult maiden affair, but Simplicity (No10) caught the eye winning at the barrier trials and from a decent draw she could be a debut prospect today. She looks to be precocious enough for the 1200m on a decent surface.
After two wins from as many starts, beating the talented What Choux Want both times, Sassy 'N' Smart (No1, R3) is going to be all the rage in the babies' race. On her home track from a nice barrier she's going to be difficult to contain, but Mongolian Falcon (No3) can be a worthy opponent. Not much more could have gone wrong in his debut third although much of it came down to his greenness and he should be better mentally prepared for this. He looks a magnificent type with a huge future for his Asian syndicate.
The No1 barrier looks attractive on paper, but with his inexperience he will need to prove he has the mental capacity to handle being surrounded by horses if he doesn't jump to the front and lead them up. Luna Rossa (No4) also impressed on debut and also showed she had at that point a bit to learn. The race of the day.
Race 4 is interesting. Difficult to win the first two starts to the races, but Lewis Caroll (No5) was so stylish in taking his debut race he has to be considered a chance to achieve that. He got away to score by three lengths at New Plymouth and although this will be much harder he will give it a good shot.
Snapshot from a perfect barrier is going to take beating.
Sheselusive (No3) will be competitive. Preetha Varma (No5, R5) has had no luck since she left maidens three starts back at Tauranga. She looks smart and with a slight freshener should be ready in an easier field than she has been facing. Sewell (No3) has been racing very well.
If the juvenile race is the loveliest race on the programme, the open 1600m, Race 6, is the most interesting. Lauren Tate (No5) has better form than most of these. The 59kg is as much weight as you like to see mares carry, but there is not a lot of scope among the real chances in the race and she should be competitive. Plenty of chances, Gustavo (No4) should be right in it and Vavasour (No3) should find the 1600m too short after 2100m and 2400m wins.
Four out of five is as good as it gets and local Snapshot (No3, R7) from a perfect barrier is going to take beating.
Pace Setter (No8) was impressive winning under 60kg at Matamata and drops to 54kg this time in a higher grade. Irish Moon (No5, R8) needs a change of luck and it could come here on the home track. The barrier is bad, but luck could go his way. In a very tough field, Onlyarose (No10) and In Style (No3) are in with a chance.
Keeping Tom (No3, R9) is a value late in the card and at Wellington today, Capella and Mime are real chances in the last two races.