The good news is they are racing at Tauranga today. The bad news is it might not be wet enough.

Wet enough, that is, in terms of being loose.

Experienced local trainer Jim Pender says the footing will be deep and heavy, but with drying weather a sticky track looks the likelihood.

You'd have to lie to say that's perfect, but we have to look at horses that have a proven track record in tough conditions.


With a gun to our head we will go with Our King Sway in race 4.

He's twice a winner at Tauranga in the wet and he looks well placed even though coming back from 1600m to 1400m. This should race more like 1600m. Seventh Up is unbeaten in two appearances at Tauranga.

Couple them up with others in multiple bets.

El Disparo (No4, R1) might be a good way to start the day. On paper he disappointed when favourite at Awapuni last start, but that track tripped a few up. This looks more suitable. Neala (No7) could put some value into the exotics.

Ocean Emperor (No7, R3) is taking a fair step up in terms of class of opposition, but we really don't know how good this bloke is yet.

Through injury he has had only nine career starts and could be a touch special. With a nice weight here he is worth the each way risk.

Race 5 is tough. When you get a race like that if often pays to go for value. The value here could come from stablemates Jacqui Ickx (No10) and Chatham Whisper (No6). Neither could fairly be called an everyday horse, but both are capable at this level. Jacqui Ickx turned in a nice second at the trials recently and the wide barrier might be an advantage in the second half of the programme. Command Royale (No2) left maidens nicely at Pukekohe and will probably start favourite.

Stablemates All Razzle Dazzle (No7, R7) and Tourmaline (No10) deserve to share favouritism in the last. All Razzle Dazzle has finished seconds in decent maiden fields in recent starts and won't be in the dunce class long. She has good wet track form. Tourmaline did not get all the breaks last start.

The wetter the better for Pacorus (No3, R6) in the Hawke's Bay Gold Cup. The rain appears to have left the Bay, but there should be sufficient moisture in the ground to allow Pacorus his chance, even though it may not be perfect. Five To Midnight (No2) and Savaria (No5) are probably going to be well suited the way the footing is.

Bonniegirl (No10, R7) has the best fresh-up record of all time - four from four. She won well at the barrier trials recently and the way the Baker/Forsman team is firing lately, she will get her chance, even though the barrier looks horrendous on paper. Like Tauranga, the inside at Hastings may not be the place to be late in the day.

Smashing (No8) is a leader and a damn good one, but if the rail is not the place to be she will be hampered.

Bostonian (No1, R2) is a classy juvenile who won well on debut at Avondale, running decent time on a dead track. He will face wetter conditions this time, but should handle it just fine on his breeding.

He is from a Keeper mare and his sire Jimmy Choux could eat mud on his breakfast.

Royal Success (No6, R3) has had three starts on a slow surface ad won them all. He looks very progressive and he and Opie Bosson will be difficult to keep out. Aotearower (No12) missed at Trentham last start, but judge her here on her previous. She is a determined finisher and won't mind the conditions.

Endean Express (No4, R4) goes up in weight, but drops back a grade.

She looks progressive and has Opie Bosson to assist.

Difficult to win three on end in the middle grades, but Magic Chai (No5, R5) will give it a good shot. This is 2500m and the way he gets to the line he will be well suited. Stablemate Sheridan (No7) is one of the main dangers. He finished a closed third to Magic Chai last start, but does not meet him much better off in the weights.

The last is difficult, but Vinevale (No3, R8) each way won't do you too much damage. She is due a win. Altius (No5) could be an upsetter in the multiples. Ignore the form on paper, he won well at the trials.

Fairly tough day at the office in Sydney as well. Don't discard Takedown (No1, R4). He has been to Perth, where he won, and Hong Kong since last racing in his home town, but reports are he has come up well in his new preparation.

He is a big horse and the 60kg topweight is not expected to stop him. There is essentially only a 4kg spread in this field.