The barrier draw is likely to decide tomorrow's Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa if it hasn't already.
Te Rapa's 2000m start, with its short run to the bend out of the home straight, can be tricky, especially at the elite level and it doesn't come more elite than this.
Lizzie L'Amour, Wait A Sec, Authentic Paddy and Rangipo are among the leading chances in the $400,000 feature and they will come out of barriers No 8, 11 and 10 with the scratching yesterday of Authentic Paddy.
When Lizzie L'Amour won the Waikato Gold Cup 14 months ago she drew barrier No 3, jumped straight into the trail behind the leaders on the rail without being required to use energy and easily outsprinted the opposition late.
From No 8 she is on the cusp of where you would want to be with most horses — going back or pressing forward early — but with her racing style it is fairly certain Matt Cameron will attempt to take her close to the pace.
The risk from this starting point is therefore being in some danger of being left wide around the bend as the field heads to the 1400m. It comes down to the degree of energy spent getting to the desired spot.
With success at this level and distance in the Zabeel Classic over the Ellerslie carnival Lizzie L'Amour rates highly if the right passage presents itself. Stablemate Coldplay is better placed from barrier No 6 given she is versatile in where she can race in the field.
She has had only one run at 2000m, unsuccessfully, but she has the right formlines coming into this. A gutsy win in the Rich Hill Mile on January 1 at Ellerslie then a fighting close third to Thee Auld Floozie on January 27, which should have her very hard and fit for tomorrow.
In that most recent race she was left in front in the home straight and exposed to the late finishers. One of the safest bets in the race is that Opie Bosson will ride her economically and present her at the right time to allow her the best chance at the 2000m.
Wait A Sec is a great chance, despite the ugly barrier. It will be up to Johnathan Parkes to work some magic to get him the right passage and if he can he will be right in the party. His gritty narrow Anniversary win at Trentham under 58kg was one of the Wellington highlights.
He had 60kg in the 1800m at New Plymouth last week and his effort for eighth was better than that reads on paper. He is much better placed at the weight-for-age scale here. Watch out if he gets the right run.
The same can be said of Rangipo. His form is better than his three fourths from as many starts this preparation. He went very well when close up behind Volpe Veloce in a too-short 1200m when resuming then was even closer in a four-way fight to Coldplay in the Rich Hill Mile.
Last start at Pukekohe, won by Brighton, had a fierce on-pace bias and he got too far off the pace with the winner running a brilliant 1.33. He is the value runner if he can get luck from his awkward gate.
Devise is on the verge of a big win and is slightly underrated. Beefeater won the big go at Taranaki last week and is right in the zone, but he has to jump from 53kg to 59kg and has yet to earn his weight-for-age stripes.
On his stunning Telegraph performance, which would have won victory in almost all other races, Kawi will be all the rage in the $200,000 BCD Group Sprint.
Trainer Allan Sharrock generally levels with the press so when he says the horse is in the best shape of his career, you have to believe it.
"He's come through what was a tough Wellington run in remarkable shape and at weight-for-age this time against the weight he carried at Trentham he's going to get every chance." There is talent in the race, but Kawi's only danger is the possibility of rain (No, we don't want to talk about it). On a decent surface Heroic Valour will put himself right in the picture to be Kawi's main danger. His placed form this preparation has been excellent and this race suits.
Start Wondering did too much work from a wide gate in the Telegraph and is much better placed here. He is two from two at Te Rapa and a real warrior in the right sort of race, as this is.