When some tracks are rated a heavy 11 that is incorrect information fed to punters.

Surely this has to come in under the "You're kidding" heading.

A 1.23.64 1200m at Awapuni on Saturday.

Yes, that's right - 1.23.64.

That's not quite running backwards, but it's damn close. It's way beyond slow motion.


That's the time the babies ran in the first race of the day. Actually "ran" stretches the real meaning of that word, crawled or struggled would be a better description.

Which raises an important question - the Awapuni track was rated a heavy 11. Our scale for measuring heavy tracks stops at 11. Why?

If a track is a genuine heavy 11 and then becomes five grades worse - which Awapuni did - then why can't that be assessed on an open-ended scale.

Awapuni was at least a heavy 17. Shame we can't ask the horses. They'd be happy to tell you.

What it means is when some tracks are rated a heavy 11 that is incorrect information being fed to punters.

Mystifyingly, Awapuni underwent a sand-slitting process a few years back, the same conditioning Te Rapa had that now makes it - outside sand-based Ruakaka - New Zealand's best wet weather racecourse.

The area around Awapuni had heavy rain, but then so did the Waikato area around Te Rapa. Yet Niki Piki Milo was able to run her 1200m at Te Rapa on Saturday - on a supposedly heavy 10 surface - in a slick 1.11.67.

Niki Piko Milo is a bit more experienced than the 2-year-olds at Awapuni, but that goes no way to explaining the 12 seconds' difference in timing. How can two tracks that have undergone the same improvement process be so different?


?Sea King is one of those individuals that strongly believes mental maturity is grossly overrated.

The class jumper is rising 9 and has only just started to get his brain together.

He showed that clearly when he jumped cleanly for a change to win Saturday's $50,000 Warren Storm Lifebrokers Waikato Steeplechase.

"He's a proper a***hole of a horse most times, but today he put it all together," said part owner Rachael Frost, who handed Sea King to Kevin Myers to train because she was sick of his antics.

"Remarkably, he's a lovely horse to be around at home, he's as kind as - until you gallop him, then he wants to run into other horses." Yes, that can be a problem in a race.

"That was the best behaved he's ever been," said winning rider Matthew Gillies. Sea King measured his fences beautifully and was extremely strong over the last two jumps.

That was Sea King's first proper steeplechase - he was third over the small Australian fences in last year's Grand National in Melbourne and will head back to that same race without racing again here.

?The jumping game, touted to be heading out the back door a couple of years ago, seems to be very healthy.

The two hurdles and two steeplechases at Te Rapa provided great contests with the $50,000 Porritt Sand Waikato Hurdles producing the most exciting finish of the 11 races.

Prologue got home by a whisker in a four-way go to give rider Aaron Kuru another reason not to regret giving up his high-profile national softball career.

Prologue is young as jumpers go and has now won four of his eight starts over fences with a lot more to come.