Be very careful backing sprint sensation Entriviere this weekend.
That is the advice from champion trainer Jamie Richards even before he finds out whether Derby Day is going to be at Ellerslie or Hastings, Sunday or Monday.
Richards has a huge hand in a number of the key races but admits he doesn't greatly see their chances affected by the increasingly less likely move to Hastings on Sunday if Auckland is ruled out by remaining at Covid-19 alert level 3.
"The only one of ours it would directly affect would be Holyhead [race five] because she has run off left-handed and wouldn't start at Hastings, but the rest of them would probably be just as good a chance regardless of where it was," he says.
His best bet of Derby Day is Amarelinha, the filly who would have started favourite in the classic had they not chosen to send her to the Sunline Vase instead, an easier and more logical lead-up to the Oaks at Trentham in two weeks.
"She is a very happy horse and I like the fact she has had three weeks between runs so she goes into this race spot on," says Richards.
He feels the same way about his Derby chance Perfect Scenario, who he rates a better hope than his $23 price with New Zealand's best jockey in Opie Bosson on board.
But while Richards adores his sprinting mare Entriviere, he warns punters to be careful getting carried away with her in the $100,000 Haunui Farm Kings Plate.
"I think she is a very good horse but she is going to need to be," says Richards.
"She was great winning the Concorde but that was carrying the minimum weight from barrier one and getting the perfect run.
"This week she has to carry the same weight as Spring Heat, who finished second to Avantage in the Telegraph last start and we have barrier 11 so might have to come from back and wide.
"I am not saying she can't win, because she is a really good mare, but I think she should have a caution sign on her this week because she has a lot of things against her."
Many of those same concerns also apply to stablemate Festivity in the same races so although both are class acts, they look under the odds.
The stable has at least two, maybe three reps in the Mufhasa Stakes, and Richards has been thrilled with how Need I Say More has developed.
"He got quite light [skinny] in the spring and that is why he trained off but he is carrying more weight now and that is a good sign.
"He is going really well, comes in well at the weights and has a good draw so he will be tough."
Prise De Fer is an interesting runner for the stable as he has raced at the highest level this season and looks the best horse in the opening race, but that sees him carry 61.5kg.
"I think he is the best we have had him for a long time and I'll be very surprised if he doesn't go well."