Te Rapa hosts two big features today and Xtravagant looks like taking out one of them.

Remarkably, perhaps, there will not be a Tavistock horse going around at Te Rapa today - last-start winner Longchamp having been scratched from Race 8 - but in-form runners Tatters, Bugle Call and Pacorus will race at Hastings.

Fully Funded (No3, R1) deserves to probably end his preparation with a win in the opener at Te Rapa. He was a touch unlucky to be beaten a nose at Ellerslie last start and should be able to trail the likely pacemaker Goldminer (No2) here. Fully Funded finds the finish very strongly in his races.

Not a huge amount of form in Race 2 for the juveniles, but a large amount of talent in the first starters, judging by their barrier trial efforts. Sacred Rhythm (No10), a possible for the Queensland carnival, won nicely at the Waipa trials and from a favourable barrier should be difficult to keep out. Jon Snow (No4) impressed with his finishing effort at Waipa and Lily Grecia (No13) and Ichiban (No1) are in with a shout.

Race 3 is a little tricky with a mixed bag of lead-up formlines.


Prince Of Passion (No3) has been very strong winning two and finishing second in his last three appearances. He has 59.5kg this time, but is a strong type. Bonniegirl (No7) won nicely when resuming two back and did well last start in a strong line-up. The interesting runner is Alleyoop (No2), a classy mare. She is resuming and could win this if well forward. She galloped between races at Avondale on Monday.

Derby runner-up Raghu (No1, R4) comes off a short break since then, but is the type to do well on the fresh side and the drop back to 1600m may not stop him. Stablemates Divine Duke (No2) and Vanilla Moon (No10) are right in this.

Well, Xtravagant (No1, R5, the $70,000 Breeders Stakes) would have to be off his game to be beaten in the feature and how could you predict that. He will blast around a good surface over 1200m and should just win. Plenty of chances behind him. This column has always been a huge fan of Serious Satire (No9), who is resuming after jarring up on summer tracks. She can finish off her races sensationally, but will be giving Xtravagant a massive start at the 400m. Pay attention to her effort though. Let Me Roar (No10) and Hollywood Lass (No14) have massive ability.

Rasa Lila (No3, R7, the $100,000 Travis Stakes) will appreciate the step to 2000m after her fast-finishing third in last week's Manco Easter and so, too, will Abidewithme (No1). Emily Monk (No8) is stepping up in class, but has always looked to have the ability to do so.

If Lewis Caroll (No8, R8) is forward, he will take all sorts of beating in the last. He is the real deal and has been handled patiently.