Profile has found a race that suits her well and she should go close to winning at the Marton meeting at Trentham today.
It's probably not significant that Profile (No 6, R5) was beaten when seventh at Awapuni last start. For starters she was only 2.9 lengths from winner Miss Appleton and with the race run at weight-for-age she carried 57kg and under today's handicap conditions she drops to a luxury 53kg.
She can finish off strongly and the small field here will suit. Charmont (No 3) looks the main danger.
The price will not be flash, but the quinella with Whispering (No 5, R1) and Smashing (No 3) looks a good way to start the day. Whispering is aiming at the headlines and her past two victories have been stylish.
Smashing is speedy and should be improved for her first-up third at Trentham on December 3. She should have freshened nicely since then.
It's perhaps surprising part owner and trainer Tarissa Mitchell has chosen not to grab an apprentice claim for Irish Call (No 1, R2), but she knows what she's doing. The 59.5kg topweight looks ugly, but there is not a great deal of scale in this handicap and he had the same weight when he ran home strongly over 1400m at Ellerslie last start.
This 1600m is a better distance for him. The $3.30 Final Field odds yesterday looked reasonable value. Beefeater (No 6) looks the danger. Maybe a quinella here as well.
Dark Universe (No 1, R3) helped beat himself when he raced too fiercely at Ellerslie last start. Despite using a lot of energy fighting his rider, Dark Universe finished off strongly to be 2.5 lengths off winner Hall Of Fame. That was in a stronger field than this and he should be competitive.
Rock On (No 5, R6) helped beat himself when he was slowly away at Awapuni last start. He was good late, finishing off well into fourth behind Captain Lincoln. He is a solid type and will appreciate the step up to 2300m. There are many chances here and one of the strongest of them is Sopraffina (No 4).
The 60kg looks pretty stiff for Sampson (No 1, R7) in the Marton Cup, but it is not as bad as it looks. Although 60kg is never easy in a staying contest, he is well off compared with race favourite Jacksstar (No 2), meeting him 4.5kg better than their last clash. This is a nice race for Sampson and if he gets an economical run he can test the favourite.
Johnny Lincoln (No 9, R8) did not get all favours last start, being blocked when about to make his finishing run 320m out. He got going again out wide and finished off nicely.
Plenty of winning chances in the last and one of the best value could be northerner Waipipi Lad (No 5, R8). His form looks ordinary, but he was not that far away behind Ruud Not Too in a strong field at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
At Thames tomorrow, postponed from mid-week, a quinella in the main race looks nice - Zacada (No 1, R3) and Laddie Of Oakview (No 2) look a perfect pair.
Zacada finally got his due after some excellent 1600m minor placings, when he stepped up to a middle distance at Ellerslie and outclassed his rivals to win drawing away. He races well on the speed and should zip over a nice 2000m around Thames.
Laddie Of Oakview has been racing in good fields and last start finished third to Verdi and Endean Rose, either of which could take this race.
Another who has been racing in better fields is Go Nicholas (No 4, R1). He was beaten only a nose and a neck behind Splurge at Ellerslie over the carnival and looks the logical horse for the opener tomorrow.
Three placings in as many starts this preparation entitles Al Pacino (No 1, R2) to favouritism. He wouldn't need to improve much on his recent efforts to take this.
The finishing efforts lately of Civique Rose (No 6, R6) up to 1600m suggests that over a longer distance this time she should go close to winning.
Now that Maid Of Steel (No 1, R7) has come solid she should continue on with it. There has been plenty to like about her past two wins and with the aid of a 2kg apprentice allowance she should go close to completing a treble.
Lady Ferner (No 8, R8) has a terrible draw to overcome, but if Mark Du Plessis can get her a decent passage she will go close.