All Roads will prove himself the most improved horse in the north if he wins at Ruakaka today. And he can.
The winner of three of his past four looked super impressive winning at the last Ruakaka meeting and the step to 1600m to 2100m for the first time will be a positive rather than a negative says co-trainer Donna Logan.
Being part of the Logan/Gibbs team means All Roads (No 2, R4) is at least halfway towards his goal. The local stable has cleaned up through the past four Ruakaka racedays and look like achieving a similar result this time.
The danger to All Roads is Pacorus (No 1) who has similarly emerged as a real staying prospect lately.
Tavistock 3-year-old Excalibur (No 2, R2) did enough on debut to suggest he will be difficult to handle in the second. He has drawn out a touch awkwardly, but Leith Innes should be capable of finding him a respectable passage.
Cambridge (No 1, R3) will be hot favourite here despite his 60kg topweight and might find Oblivion (No 6), with 5.5kg less, a bit of a headache. Oblivion was a bit stiff when third here at the last meeting and looks on the verge of his best form. Annabelinda (No 4) did not get all the breaks last start.
Smichael (No 5, R5) is a promising sort. He made ground nicely when resuming last start and should be primed for this. High Class (No 9) raced as though she needed her resuming run and should be a lot more settled here. Sabotage (No 2) and Selfie (No 1) should be included in all multiple bets.
Consensus (No 2, R6) can run a decent race fresh as she has previously and Shezhardtocatch (No 5) looks much better suited here than in her two subsequent starts to winning on this track. The field Shezhardtocatch finished sixth in last start was much tougher than today's opposition.
The best race all day will be the Tavistock Northland Breeders Stakes in which unbeaten Heroic Valour (No 1, R7) takes on at least half a dozen classy young individuals. The Logan/Gibbs team produces four of them and The Soultaker (No 3), Wyndspelle (No 2) and Astara (No 9) are well capable of winning.
Heroic Valour has had two barrier trials to prepare him for his 3-year-old racing so he should be sufficiently up to the mark to go close to winning. But he will get plenty of opposition in the home straight.
At around $12, The Soultaker looks the each-way value.
Maid Of Steel (No 8, R8) may need one race to reach her peak, but don't leave her out of calculations in the last. With an apprentice allowance she will go around with just 51kg on her back. Rocknrolla (No 2), in career best form, has fitness on her side.