|Pukekohe Park Racecourse – 222/250 Manukau Road, Pukekohe, New Zealand
|Saturday, February 18, 2023
With upgrading on the Ellerslie track currently in progress, Auckland Thoroughbred Racing is holding an eight-race program on Saturday at Pukekohe Park. The feature races on the card — the AJC Avondale Guineas and Avondale Cup — both are Group 2 events. The track is expected to be a Soft 6 with no rain forecast on the day. The rail comes out 5m the entire circuit for the meeting commencing at 12:20pm NZDT.
AJC Avondale Guineas Top Tip – Loosespender
Loosespender has had only three race starts and has won two of those. In his last run this grey son of Turn Me Loose raced up on the speed, then took the lead with 250m to run and kicked clear from his rivals to score an easy victory in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas when sent out at long odds. His only defeat came at this track when he finished fourth after racing greenly after hitting the front into the turn. He was unraced when the nominations for the New Zealand Derby closed, but trainer Ben Foote has advised that connections are seriously considering paying a late nomination fee. His performance on Saturday will determine whether they proceed down that path or not. Loosespender is currently on the third line of betting at $5.50 for Saturday’s race and $18 with online bookmakers for the NZ Derby.
AJC Avondale Guineas
Race 5 –
3yo Gelding | T: Ben Foote | J: Kozzi Asano (57kg)
Avondale Cup Top Tip – Aquacade
Aquacade is around $4 to win the Avondale Cup and, following her six-length runaway win at Tauranga last start, is a deserving favourite. She has progressed through the grades well having won three of her last four starts. That last-start victory was her first start in open company, so to win so easily shows the true potential she has. This four-year-old mare by Dundeel will not have any problem seeing out Saturday’s trip or handling the soft track conditions, and it’s hard to see her not notching up another victory. She is currently the favourite for the Auckland Cup on March 11.
Race 7 –
4yo Mare | T: Lance Noble | J: Warren Kennedy (54kg)
Best Bet at Pukekohe – Volare
Volare is backing up from her fourth-placing last week at Te Rapa after getting crowded at the start and losing ground. This Peter & Dawn Williams-trained mare put up a huge run to win two starts back over 1600m at Matamata when racing three wide early, then taking the lead into the straight to hold on well. In six starts she has never finished further back than sixth. Top ex-South African jockey Warren Kennedy is back in the saddle, and Volare is currently around $6 on the fixed-odds market with online betting sites.
Race 4 –
4yo Mare | T: Peter & Dawn Williams | J: Warren Kennedy (57kg)
Best Value at Pukekohe – Texas
Texas is well worth a second look after finishing fourth last start on the Cambridge synthetic over 2000m. He never looked comfortable racing on the surface, so it’s best to forget that run. He won well two starts back over 1600m when sent out as the favourite and should prove hard to beat if he can run up to that form here. He is Derby-nominated and having his first start over 2100m. He is currently at around $12 and is well worth an each-way ticket in the final race of the day.
Race 8 –
3yo Gelding | T: Nicholas Bishara | J: Jake Bayliss (59kg)
Saturday quaddie picks for Pukekohe
Pukekohe quadrella selections
Saturday, February 18, 2023
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