The Karaka Million and the Ford' />
There are two important retrospective formlines for tomorrow's $200,000 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes at Awapuni.
The Karaka Million and the Ford Diamond Stakes, both at Ellerslie, deserve additional video scrutiny for the pointers they provide for this race.
And the inescapable fact is that The Heckler probably comes out on top of a list of highly impressive runs in both races among horses engaged this time.
Kaaptan, Seven Schillings, Corsage and Obsession, along with The Heckler, all came out of the Ford Diamond last start with plenty of game points.
Kaaptan led for much of the Ellerslie home straight on softer ground than he would have preferred to win the race and you had to admire the grit of that performance.
Seven Schillings led, then battled strongly into second place and Corsage didn't get all favours and was beaten only a neck and a nose.
Obsession perhaps got into the worst of the footing closer to the inside and did well for fifth.
You never discredit a winner and Kaaptan was magnificent, but The Heckler was turned sideways halfway down the home straight in a roughly run race and actually took ground off Kaaptan in the closing stages in fourth place.
We didn't get an accurate read on that pair in the Karaka Million because Kaaptan stood in the starting stalls.
But what you can't forget about that race is the stunning finish The Heckler produced to win by 1.5 lengths, literally driving past the opposition late in the race. It was magnificent.
And that points to The Heckler being ideally suited to the jump from 1200m to tomorrow's 1400m.
The third formline to take seriously is St Fevre's dominant win at Te Rapa last start.
Behind him that day were two very strong chances tomorrow, St Germaine and Veldt.
St Germaine did well to come across heels in the home straight that day and finish strongly for second.
The important factor is that as a filly she drops from 57kg to 54.5kg, a 2.5kg reduction, while St Fevre goes from 55kg to 56kg.
A 3.5kg reversal at this level is important. Both have drawn good barriers - St Fevre No 3 and St Germaine No 6.
It would be unwise to disregard Veldt's fifth in the St Fevre's race.
He got back and wound up quite late to be only 2.5 lengths away.
Murray Baker who co-trains The Heckler and Veldt said:
"Veldt is definitely going to appreciate the 1400m. He's better suited to that distance and gets home very good.
"The Heckler is also suited. I'm very happy with both horses."
Veldt's outside barrier is the only question mark on his chances.
Corsage deserves some luck. She was completely shut out of the Karaka Million when she should have been in the placings, then struck a wet track in the Matamata Breeders Stakes. She was unlucky again when denied room in the Ford Diamond at Ellerslie.
As much as the Sir Slick-MacO'Reilly-Vosne Romanee clash is huge in the Gold Cup, this is going to be a special group one race.