Well, we haven't quite got to a definitive point either way with the state of the Hastings track, but things are a bit clearer.

Overnight Thursday, rain (Met Service 1 - all others 0) took Hastings to a slow (8), but a humid fine day yesterday is expected to have dragged sufficient moisture to get things back to a seven by this morning.

That may not be too bad given the inside 6m is new ground, last used at the Hawke's Bay Cup meeting in autumn.

The $200,000 Makfi will be a beaut. No certainties, but Kawi (R7, No 1) looks the best bet of the four standouts, which also include Hasselhoof (No 4), Stolen Dance (No 10) and Valley Girl (No 13). Hasselhoof and Stolen Dance have improved since their first-up at Ruakaka and Valley Girl, the winner of that race doesn't need to.


This will be a crack to officially end winter racing.

Trainer Allan Sharrock knows extremely well what Kawi needs to win fresh from a a break.

He's done it before and he can do it again if the Hastings surface is as decent as expected. The only question is the Makfi might be fairly chopped up by six previous races on the programme.

Hasselhoof is the big improver along with Stolen Dance. Don't miss this race.

The local Logan/Gibbs stable can have another bonanza meeting at Ruakaka (5 wins - 2 - 5) at the past three meetings.

They have four runners in the first and the race looks a bit of a raffle. The first more logical chance comes with Beaufighter (R3, No 13), who in his past two outings has promised a win is close by.

The 3kg Sam Weatherley rips off his back should be crucial. It means he will carry 7kg less than stablemate Greencast (No 1).

With Lord And Master (R4, No 3) and Zafrenzy (No 2) engaged Logan and Gibbs should quinella the staying race. Zafrenzy won well here last meeting under a featherweight 51kg, but goes up this time to 56kg with no allowance. That might give the edge to Lord And Master.

The stable produces the hugely talented Wyndspelle (R5, No 2). He has drawn two and is ready for a major effort on his home track. Indecision (No 8) and Mystery Show (No 9) are the obvious dangers.

Two more stable runners Rocknrolla (R6, No 1) and All Roads (R8, No 1) will almost certainly go around as favourites in their races and will be difficult to stop. So will Gold Rose (R7, No 11). She has run two beaut 1200m races and will greatly appreciate the step to 1400m this time.

In the supporting races at Hastings, Ugo Foscolo (R2, No 2) will give a good sight. He has drawn the rails and with the inside 6m being the place to be at least for the first half of the programme he should be too swift.

Yet another Logan/Gibbs runner Mongolian Falcon (No 1) is the danger, but he is still relatively new in the brain department and from a wide gate may not be able to match Ugo Foscolo for speed, but he will be ranked highly by season's end.