|Ascot Park Races
|Ascot Park Racecourse – 29 Findlay Road, Invercargill, New Zealand
|Saturday, February 18, 2023
With all that is going on in the North Island in New Zealand, it is easy to forget that the Invercargill Gold Cup is this Saturday at Ascot Park Racecourse with the actual feature being the Southland Guineas for three-year-olds. Despite all of the rain the track is rated a Soft 5, with the rail in the true position the entire circuit. Action out of Invercargill gets underway at 12:43pm NZDT.
Southland Guineas Top Tip – Specialty
The feature of this great day of racing is the Southland Guineas over a mile for NZ$100,000 at Listed level. The field assembled is full of potential rising stars with the only thing lacking being some northern raiders, which is a shame considering the great stake on offer. As it is we have Speciality coming out on top, which is hardly surprising considering the way he beat most of these in the Dunedin Guineas at his last start. He had been hampered by wet tracks and bad luck leading into that assignment and lived up to the potential he showed when finishing fourth in the 2000 Guineas in November last year. There is talk of him targeting an Australian campaign if he comes through this race without any problems. It will also be a timely boost for the riding career of Brandon May, who has struggled to establish himself in New Zealand since arriving from South Africa. This could be the horse that puts him on the map.
Race 6 –
3yo Gelding | T: Bruce Tapper & Varma Ramhit | J: Brandon May (57kg)
Invercargill Gold Cup Top Tip – Exchange
The time-honoured Invercargill Gold Cup comes up after the Guineas feature. The field assembled is hardly vintage, with a lot of dour horses and future hurdlers lining up for the testing 2600m contest. For that reason we have Exchange on top with the obvious class edge over any of his rivals; this is obvious as he is a clear top weight with 60kg to carry. He was beaten but far from disgraced a fortnight ago at weight-for-age level in the White Robe Lodge mile, finishing a game fifth in a much stronger line-up. The main concern is the sharp step up of 1000m for this assignment, but Brian and Shane Anderton have not been among the best trainers in New Zealand for so long by a fluke and know exactly what the horse is capable of. The blinkers come off, which should help him settle early, and on class alone he must be hard to beat. Some online betting sites are offering around $9 for a local victory, and it is definitely worth a look.
Invercargill Gold Cup
Race 7 –
6yo Gelding | T: Brian & Shane Anderton | J: Jacob Lowry (60kg)
Best Bet at Ascot Park – Colossal
The John and Karen Parsons-trained Colossal will be looking to return to winning form in this 2200m event after finishing a weakening eighth last start a fortnight ago. He had to work hard to find the front on that occasion and was given no peace, understandably dropping out of the race late. The winner came from near last, which is a great indication that the pace up front was just too frantic early on. Noted front-running jockey Kylie Williams steps into the irons and there is likely to be less pressure in this race, so he should get an uncontested lead early. This is a horse that needs to get into a consistent rhythm, and in another great betting contest he should hold his current odds of around $8.50.
Race 5 –
6yo Gelding | T: John & Karen Parsons | J: Kylie Williams (58.5kg)
Saturday quaddie picks for the Ascot Park
Ascot Park quadrella selections
Saturday, February 18, 2023
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