What a great farewell present for training and life partners Natalie Young and Trent Busuttin if they could win tomorrow's $200,000 Manco Easter at Ellerslie.

It's New Zealand's final group one for the season and a win by Mabeel will go a long way towards congratulating the pair before they leave to train in Victoria from the start of the new season.

There is one hurdle in the way - an extremely wide barrier. In group ones you need every piece of luck available, but the No 19 reduces to No 16 if the emergencies are the only scratchings, which is likely, and Mabeel usually clears the gates quickly and is likely to get to the inside rail without expending too much energy.

Mabeel's form this preparation is superb. In the group one Thorndon at Trentham in January he was run down in the final 200m to finish fourth to Kawi, Stolen Dance and Sports Illustrated.


Mabeel went to the too-short 1200m Darley Plate and came from last at the 600m to finish sixth, 1.8 lengths away from another two topliners Sacred Star and Red Stryker.

Mabeel made an absolute farce of the Fairdale/Goodwood Studs Flying at Awapuni last start, bolting away in front despite the heavy 10 track and winning by four and a half lengths.

Trainer Nigel Tiley maintains Spoke To Carlo is almost as capable on a good surface as he is in the mud and tomorrow will be a good chance to prove that.

Snapshot cost himself victory by running erratically late in the race at his last Ellerslie appearance two races back and made up for that by stylishly leading throughout at Te Aroha last start.

Watch This Space finished second to Snapshot in that Te Aroha race.

With the weight differential being almost identical he must be given consideration if you rate Snapshot's chances. He is holding his form well after a clear-cut victory over Julinsky Prince two starts back.

The weight differential in that race was 7.5kg in favour of Watch This Space and this time it is reduced to 2kg. The 3.5 lengths between the pair at Tauranga balances that slightly and so does the wet track that day compared to what should be perfect conditions this time.

Julinsky Prince is highly capable in any conditions, but very much favours a little rain. The 59.5kg topweight presents him with a huge task, but he never shirks it.