The Tauranga track passed muster yesterday morning to continue with today's racing with possibly heavy rain due later this afternoon.

An interesting combination after 96mm of rain midweek.

Roughies will pepper the results, but probably you shouldn't be looking for that chestnut of winter programmes - a get-out rough bet in the last.

The favourite will be Mr Luigi and he's probably the bet of the day.


That he was beaten into second at Ellerslie last start was so painful it almost qualified as a crime. He should have been winning by lengths and if you backed the horse that beat him consider yourself lucky.

Carrying 60kg topweight on a track cut up by eight earlier races and potentially heavy rain is hardly ideal, but in his brief career Mr Luigi has shown he can handle pretty heavy footing.

No TAB early odds on that race available yesterday, but he should come up at around $3 this morning, at which he can probably be trusted to give it his best shot.

Beauty's Rose (No8, R1) does not have form on the heavy stuff outside a second placing at a barrier trial before racing, but she is by Thorn Park, most of whom have ability in the wet. Also she has youngster of the moment Sam Weatherley in the saddle and the 4kg is going to be gold today. She rates at least an each-way hope in the first. Emily's Choice (No13) went a beaut to be beaten only one length in fourth when resuming at Avondale last start. The wetter track here will help.

Race 2 is tough. Galaxy Miss (No6), El Duque (No8) and He's Cavalier (No2) are a trio to work multiples around. All three are very competitive in these conditions.

Battle Time (No2, R3) was a good thing beaten at Ellerslie two races back then there were excuses when beaten out of the money last time.

He has a touch of class and is already a winner on this course. What beats him should win.

Plenty of chances though. Shot In The Dark (No1), Stradivarius (No3), Acrylic (No4), Duke Of Millfield (No7) and Master Platinum (No9) all have ability. One of the better races of the day.

Platinum Command (No6, R4) awaits a run in the feature race being the first of the emergencies. If she runs here she should be at very short odds and should win.

The 60kg beat her narrowly at Trentham last start and she looks well placed in this race.

El Disparo (No4, R5) won so well at Ellerslie last start that he should be tough to keep out today. He worked right away from the opposition last start and has had plenty of time to recover. Doucette (No11) is a tough honest mare who took a well earned win last start. She puts herself in the race and fights very hard.

The $40,000 Kiwifruit Cup, Race 6, will come down to what handles the conditions best.

Weight and all Storming The Tower (No1) will run a race, but Our King Sway (No9) has a decent weight concession and is a previous winner on the course. Miss Celebrity (No3) is tough and honest and handles wet tracks. Her latest form is excellent. Pump Up The Volume (No3) won well at Manawatu last week.

This is a tougher field, but he will be strong late. Secret Spirit (No9, R7) looked exceptional last preparation and is the type who should throw in a big effort fresh from a break.

She just might be too good for the opposition.

In the $50,000 Tauranga Classic Platinum Command (No15, R8) can win if she gets back in the field, even though it is not an easy race. Summer's Day (No7) is race-fit and ready to step up to this level.