THE 2017 New Zealand 1000 Guineas is one of the most anticipated races of the season and it all goes down at Riccarton this Saturday.
The $300,000 group one feature is carded on the same day as the New Zealand Cup, but the 1000 Guineas has attracted the attention of punters since markets opened earlier this year and there are some top-quality fillies in the line up.
Prom Queen has Australian ambitions and it currently dominates the market, but Dijon Bleu is searching for its fourth-straight win and it could pose the acid test to the punters’ elect.
It’s a whopping 12-race card at Riccarton this Saturday and we have free racing tips, form and odds for every race.
Race 1 – R65 Handicap (2000m)
Slammer has battled in two runs this campaign, but improvement is expected now. The four-year-old looked good last campaign when winning its maiden at Riverton and punters should expect a much better showing now.
Keep The Lot doesn’t have the best form at Riccarton, but it won well two starts back in this grade and it had no luck last start. It won’t get caught wide from the inside barrier and it could be the value runner.
Race 1 tip: Slammer to win at CrownBet.com.au
Race 2 – R65 Handicap (1400m)
Moreira has won only two from 20 starts, but it hasn’t been getting the best of luck this year. Both career wins have come on this track and it has faced harder rating 65 fields than this. Draws awkwardly in barrier 15.
Show Lover was formerly trained by Stephen McKee before heading south. The five-year-old is much better than its race record suggests and it produced a big finish behind King Kane last start. Danielle Johnson is a good jockey to have in the saddle.
Race 2 tip: Show Lover to win at Neds.com.au
Race 3 – R85 Handicap (2500m)
Son of Zac is a three-time winner at Riccarton and it showed plenty of fight last time out. That came over 2200m and the rise in distance should suit the four-year-old perfectly here. Chris Johnson is riding in incredible form so consider.
Where Are You comes south after winning at Ellerslie last start. The Shaune Ritchie-trained four-year-old scored by 1.8 lengths on a slow track and although conditions are different here, it should be tough to beat.
Race 3 tip: Son of Zac to win at CrownBet.com.au
Race 4 – R85 Handicap (1800m)
Sanasar rarely runs a bad race on this track and it was only narrowly run down in the shadows of the post by Shadow King last start. The son of Savabeel has finished out of the money in only one of its six starts here and that form should stack up again.
Shadow King must be respected here after defeating a similar field last start. The four-year-old came late at them last start to score the win and it’s another with great form on this track. It has drawn well in barrier four and looks a top winning hope.
Race 4 tip: Sanasar to win at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 5 – Open Handicap (1400m)
Scapalo is the class runner of the field. The 18-time winner is a track specialist and its biggest worry is carrying the big weight of 61.5kg, but it has defeated much better fields than this during its time. We’re expecting punters to come for it late.
Batman could be the dark horse of the field after finishing fourth at Ashburton last start. That form out of Ashburton has been solid this season and Batman rarely runs a bad race at this course and distance. Gets a 3kg claim and punters could get each way odds.
Race 5 tip: Batman to place at Neds.com.au
Race 6 – Welcome Stakes (1000m)
Al Hasa is the dominating favourite at $1.55 after finishing a close second on debut. The Te Akau-raced two-year-old ran a neck behind Crystallize at Ellerslie and that juvenile form looks best for this. We’re not surprised about the short odds in a moderate stakes field.
Thunder Bay is a local runner which has finished second in both starts to date. The Pitman-trained filly finished second behind talented runner Avantage and although it didn’t get close, the runs were still credible.
Race 6 tip: Al Hasa to win ($1.55) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 7 – R75 Handicap (1200m)
Barabas might only be a two-win gelding, but its form has been good since moving down south. The former northerner was a half-length winner on this track in October before getting an unlucky run last start behind Starvoia. That form is strong and it should be well-backed.
Margarita Mover has yet to win in four starts this campaign, but it has improved with every run. The four-time winner was finishing off stoutly in a similar race last start and it could get the last shot at them as they should run quickly up front.
Race 7 tip: Margarita Mover to win at Crownbet.com.au
Race 8 – New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m)
Dijon Bleu is from the powerful Lisa Latta stables and it has won three consecutive stakes races leading into the Guineas. The filly by Burgundy looked a touch green at Ellerslie last start, but it still picked up its opposition with ease in the straight. That came after a commanding 1.8-length win at Hastings and it should provide a decent enough challenge for the favourite.
Prom Queen is most certainly the princess of the turf in New Zealand. The three-year-old filly has won eight of her nine career starts, including all five starts at Riccarton. It has blistering gate speed and it has put margins into the likes of Sensei, Aim Smart and Bombard. There’s little doubt that it won’t handle the mile and the $1.70 on offer was at one stage $7 with bookmakers in the futures markets.
Race 8 tip: Prom Queen to win ($1.70) at Neds.com.au
Race 9 – Jockey Club Trophy (1400m)
Bruegel is a past winner second up and its effort for fourth fresh up was solid. The Kevin Myers-trained gelding blundered the start and had to make ground late, despite being blocked during the run. It has a tricky draw of 10, but the 2kg claimer helps.
Lady Amadeus is a consistent four-year-old which finished fourth behind Barabas at Riccarton last start and that came after winning its maiden by 1.3 lengths. The Te Akau-raced runner has good breeding behind it and we’re expecting a nice run.
Race 9 tip: Bruegel to place at CrownBet.com.au
Race 10 – New Zealand Cup (3200m)
Pentathlon didn’t get a start in the Melbourne Cup after finishing third behind Cismontane, but this is a significant drop in class. The Wheeler-trained stayer has been out of the winners’ circle for a while, but it’s unbeaten on this track and the $3.40 looks about right with bookmakers.
Imperium finished off well for second behind Aspen Lass on Saturday and it will be better for that run. The son of Encosta de Lago x. Ethereal hasn’t quite lived up to its mum, but a New Zealand Cup victory would take it a long way. It gets the weight advantage on the favourite and that could be enough to see it winning.
Race 10 tip: Imperium to win ($4) at Neds.com.au
Race 11 – R65 Handicap (2000m)
Larrikin has won and placed three times from five starts. The five-year-old fought hard behind Wagner last start and its win prior came by 2.5 lengths. That was a strong performance and it looks one of the horses to beat.
Garfunkel is a past winner on this track for Kevin Myers and it was making late ground at Rotorua last start. The five-year-old will appreciate the rise in distance and Myers should have it ready to go.
Race 11 tip: Garfunkel to win at CrownBet.com.au
Race 12 – R75 Handicap (1600m)
Director scored a tough win on the first day of the carnival and it looks a nice type in the making. Chris Johnson once again links up with the five-year-old and it gets a change of luck with an inside draw.
Glory Days has won three from seven starts and all three wins have come this season. The Bill Thurlow-trained mare has drawn deep in barrier 22 so it will need plenty of luck, but it has the ability to storm home.
Race 12 tip: Director to win at Sportsbet.com.au