Fear not at going to the top of the handicap for your selections in tomorrow's $100,000 Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup, they are the feature's best-weighted runners.

Maygrove looks to have a tough task with 60kg topweight, but he carried that to success last start in the Counties Cup.

Five To Midnight, who chased him home in that, is second topweight on 56kg and third-placed Promise To Reign is down on the minimum.

Promise To Reign has just 53kg, but is the worst-weighted horse in the Cup. In finishing third at Counties, he picked up significantly less money than Maygrove and Five To Midnight, but meets Maygrove on the same weight differential and is worse off against Five To Midnight.


Admittedly, part of the problem is Promise To Reign is a one-win horse, albeit a talented one, and the handicapper is unable to give him relief on the 53kg minimum.

Conversely, while our rules insist on a 60kg topweight, there is never a tendency to give beyond that as they regularly do in Australia. Maygrove stays at 60kg and Five To Midnight drops back 1kg.

Which should see him winning. The short head between them at Counties is enough to say that with even luck the 1kg will be the turnaround factor. Perhaps the fact this is the opposite way around to right-handed Counties should, if even slightly, assist Five To Midnight, who is trained left-handed at Awapuni.

Opie Bosson takes over from Johnathan Parkes on Maygrove.

Promise To Reign has to be respected. He loomed to win at the 300m at Counties and was beaten less than half a length. He should be able to possie up nicely from his handy barrier, an important factor over 2400m here. A handy barrier won this race for Lizzie L'amour a year ago.

Snow Secret deserves some of the money. She got hooked up behind horses on the home bend in the Wanganui Cup last start and was making ground strongly late for a close fifth. This much bigger track suits her better and she has a win and three placings here from six starts.

Love Affair, with just five race starts behind her, takes a giant step up in class to take on some of the best mares around in the group two Cal Isuzu Stakes.

She is not ideally placed under the set weights, forfeiting the big weight advantages she would have over most of the rivals in a handicap, but she is so talented she will be the public favourite to get away with it.

There was a huge amount to like about the winning run of Love Affair when resuming on Counties Cup day. She steadily worked through her gears in the home straight and was still building that momentum at the line, stopping the clock at an impressive 1.22 for the 1400m.

The way she continues to build that speed she should be better suited to the 1600m tomorrow. But it will not necessarily be easy. There is ample class involved, even if most of the leading chances are looking for more distance and are prepping for the 2000m Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie over the carnival.

Love Affair's stablemate Stolen Dance is one of those. With decent pace tomorrow she could be powering into the money late.