Racing: Big wet, tricky bets on Ellerslie's big day

By Mike Dillon

Jacksstar (orange cap) would have liked a good surface for the Auckland Cup. Photo / Supplied
Jacksstar (orange cap) would have liked a good surface for the Auckland Cup. Photo / Supplied

It started raining around 3.45pm in Auckland yesterday, by 4.45pm you couldn't see the car in front just as a weather forecaster declared the rain would intensify after midnight.

This isn't just rain, it's Bangkok rain. Okay, at least we were sure of a wet track at Ellerslie today after the official footing came up as a dead 5 yesterday morning.

That changes things. To keep it simple, Jacksstar would have been our special tip for the day in the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup on a good surface. He can still win it, but like trainer Gary Vile, we're a little wary.

Include him in your multiples because his Avondale Cup closing sectionals were terrific (even though only sixth) and before that he should have won the Wellington Cup.

Five To Midnight will love the wet conditions and is a leading chance with Lisa Latta's second runner King Kamada better served if the track is only just into the slow range.

Megablast will love the wet and so will Mister Impatience. Wet tracks can negate class, but the above should give you a good cover.

Mr Knowitall (No3, R1) can be difficult to catch but on his good days he is well up to winning the opener. He will handle the conditions regardless of how bad they get. There is a question mark over impressive winner last week Ja Ja Binks (No5), who has yet to race on a wet surface. She is the best horse in the field and if she manages to get through the ground she will win.

Race 2 is a bit of a head-scratcher, Jet Charged (No1) has run some beauts, especially when there is rain around and with a 3kg apprentice claim she comes right into the race. Difficult to know how Elusive Meteor (No5) will manage the conditions. He comes from a very astute stable and if they decide to run him they will be confident he will manage.

El Disparo (No5, R3) is one of the best value runners all day. He has won a similar race to this at Ellerslie and handles wet tracks beautifully. He will be fitter now for his first-up Te Rapa third and will be in the fight somewhere at the 350m.

Comin'through (No6) is a very progressive type and there was much to like about his win here last week. Victory Drive (No2) and Blue Lagoon (No9) are musts for multiple bets.

Regardless of the track conditions Odisha (No7, R4) is going to be difficult to beat. Her latest form on good footing has been great, but she has also won on a heavy 11 on the way through to this grade so she is no mug in the wet. She will progress beyond this level.

Former Australian mare Daniela Rosa (No1) has a stunning wet-track record and will be fitter for her one run back from a break. There are plenty of upset chances in this.

Difficult to know if All Roads (No3, R5) will be competitive if the track is deep and too testing. He is on his way through to good things and Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Zac Purton takes the ride. Our King Sway (No1) will be well suited by a wet track.

Serious Satire (No6, R6) has to come back to 1400m from 1600m to run in the group two Westbury Classic, but with the track testing it will race more like a 1600. She has been fighting well in her races and has been waiting for rain.

We have to hope this has not been too much rain. With 55.5kg she might have the measure of her stablemate Thee Auld Floozie (No1), winner of the Thorndon Mile. Plenty of chances though with Rising Shot (No7), Lasaria (No2) and Girl Of My Dreams (No3). Good race.

Form can mean very little when 2-year-olds get to these major races on heavy footing. Every trainer is guessing about their chances. We have taken the odds that Hasahalo (No7, R7) will get through the ground because of her short choppy stride.

If she can, the momentum she can build will be difficult to hold out late. Karaka Million winner Melody Belle (No6) is by Australian-based Commands and most of them handle "off" tracks. Tough race in the conditions - be careful.

Sofia Rosa (No10, R8) has not started on a heavy track, but her slow track record is four starts for two wins.

That's good enough to put her right in the Bonecrusher Stakes.

Her two runs this time back have been excellent and she should be able to be placed anywhere Danielle Johnson would like.

Difficult to know how Kawi (No1) will manage. The footing will be much worse than he prefers, particularly late in the day, but his class will take him a fair way. Von Tunzelman (No7), although badly off at weight-for-age, has only to handle the conditions to be right in it. Authentic Paddy (No4) will adore the conditions.

Ekarosa (No15, R10) will be right at home in the rain affected footing. Her form on top of the ground has been okay and she will find lengths late this afternoon.

- NZ Herald

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