Sitting around awaiting night games of AFL is very boring so I’ve had a look at a couple of Australasia’s premier Harness Races on tomorrow evening.
They’ll be conducted more than 5,000km apart but tomorrow’s New Zealand Derby and West Australian Derby will showcase the future superstars of Harness Racing.
At 6:55pm (Adelaide time, of course) the Kiwi version will get underway with brilliant but recently rocky gun Ultimate Sniper racing as the prohibitive favourite with stable mate Jesse Duke again looking to upset the apple cart.
Aside from the All Stars pair any other winner would be a huge boil over but this race has proven a buyers paradise with horses coming straight out of this race and ending up all across Australia where they can race for more prize money without the intimidation factor of the blue silks with the silver stars.
Ultimate Sniper is poison odds – even for multis – considering he was a last start galloper and three starts back was beaten on his merits by Jesse Duke who is seemingly improving and enjoying tackling his more famed stable mate.
Behind those two, Supreme Dominator has shown he can feature from a plum draw and you can go as wide as you like for fourth although Heisenberg looks a nice gelding who will almost certainly end up in Oz.
NZ Derby Selections;
1 (6) Ultimate Sniper $1.20
2 (13) Jesse Duke $7.50
3 (1) Supreme Dominator $12
4 (12) Heisenberg $26
And then, four-and-a-half hours later the West Australians will host their Group 1 classic aged Derby with a deep and competitive race assured.
One-time Kiwis Franco Edward and Major Trojan dominate affairs from a market perspective but with them drawn alongside each other the possibility is there that they’ll cut each other up.
Major Trojan was brilliant last week winning the Derby prelude whilst Franco Edward’s most recent run was a slashing second in a race where he circled the field from the back and just missed – against a similar bunch to this race.
Eloquent Mach follows through nicely and was the winner of the Western Gateway which is across the Derby trip so he’s right in this should the top two go to war.
Bletchley Park has drawn the ace so he’s in the mix as is Shockwave who will be on his back hoping for a late split but being three-back on the pegs is a nice place to be in a truly run staying race.
WA Derby Selections;
1 (4) Franco Edward (4) $3.10
2 (5) Major Trojan (5) $2.80
3 (11) Eloquent Mach (11) $8
4 (10) Shockwave $14
At Addington Raceway, the Easter Cup is another Group 1 with much to be hyped about as the Miracle Mile quinella go around for the first time since their Sydney triumph.
Unlike the Mile, this 3200m stand start is a test of endurance with most of the top open class pacers in New Zealand contesting.
Thefixer enters as favourite from Auckland Cup winner Turn It Up with Spankem the clear third pick. The start is obviously crucial and should any of the big guns miss away or go amiss early then it’s likely curtains.
This is a race not to be missed with the New Zealand Cup, Auckland Cup and Miracle Mile winners going head-to-head.
Thefixer enters with a slight fitness edge on his main rivals but it’s been evident how special Turn It Up may well be.
Aside from the All Stars trio, Jack’s Legend has proven his worth at this level and is in rich form, A G’s White Socks has been as consistent as ever and Henry Hubert has won his past two.
Easter Cup Selections;
1 (8) Turn It Up $3
2 (13) Thefixer $2.80
3 (12) Spankem $6
4 (5) Henry Hubert $10
R1 N3 Gran Chico $2
R2 N1 Smoke N Reactor each way $7.50 & $2.50
R3 N8 Enhance Your Calm $1.12
R4 N9 Letter Kenny Boy $1.33
R5 N3 Kings Landing $2.50
R6 Box F4 1-3-4-5
R7 N12 Spankem each way & boxed trifecta 8-12-13
R8 N2 Izmok each way $15 & $4.40
R9 Standout Trifecta 6 from 13 from 1
R10 N6 U May Cullect $1.50