5,360m of gruelling racing will give us a major indication as to who is the dominant mare and filly of the current generation.
At Addington Raceway on Friday evening, the New Zealand Oaks will be held with the three-year-olds clashing across 2600m for $150,000 in stakes.
24 hours later, the top open age pacers will contest the Queen of the Pacific, which pits the mares against each other throughout an arduous 2760m.
Also on the Addington card is a handful of ‘support’ races which are of amazing quality. The $170,000 Group 1 Sires Stakes for baby boys is ably supported by a Group 2 for the juvenile trotters and three listed races worth more than $250,000.
Let’s go inside the big races across the weekend and see whether we can nail down a few winners;
FRIDAY MAY 17th
Group 1 New Zealand Oaks ($150,000, 2600m)
The clearcut big guns here are Belle of Montana and Princess Tiffany. The former was considered a potential great of the sport after her marvellous NSW Oaks win but last week, Belle of Montana proved the superior horse on the night with a runaway victory in the Nevele R Fillies.
Offer me one to take home and I believe Princess Tiffany is the one but Belle of Montana has improved rapidly and has had Princess Tiffany’s measure when they’ve clashed.
These two will be fighting out the quinella – that much I am sure.
From there, Belle of Montana stable mate Havtime can take advantage of gate one whilst Kayla Marie was excellent last week. Kendra might also run a game race from three back on the pegs, should she land that spot.
1 Princess Tiffany (12)
2 Belle of Montana (6)
3 Kayla Marie (5)
Group 1 Sires Stakes Final for colts & geldings ($170,000, 1980m)
Smooth Deal has been considered the top seed in this division but stable mate One Change beat him on his merits last time out.
It’s questionable whether Smooth Deal may even take a trail on One Change and try give him the go-by in the lane. From there, Virgil and Flying Even Bettor – both from the All Stars barn – should be fighting it out for minor money.
1 Smooth Deal (2)
2 One Change (4)
3 Virgil (5)
4 Flying Even Bettor (6)
Race 1 – Cheerful (4)
Race 2 – Heisenberg (3)
Race 4 – Lone Star Lad (3)
Race 5 – Smooth Deal (2)
Race 6 – Ultimate Stride (9)
Race 7 – Amazing Dream (6)
Race 8 – Princess Tiffany (12)
Race 9 – Winterfell (10)
Race 10 – The Moonshadow (2)
SATURDAY MAY 18
Group 1 Queen of the Pacific ($100,000, 2760m)
Some magnificent mares clash here with the ultimate prize of Group 1 glory on the line and with a broodmare career not far away for some, this is a crucial opportunity.
Headlining the race are Emma Stewart duo Tell Me Tales and Berisari who have each won a leg of this Mares Triple Crown. Each were heavily backed in their respective races and performed accordingly. Tell Me Tales has already been a significant mover in the market – which may tell you who the stable thinks will be winning.
Behind those there are a heap of chances.
Delight Me is a one-time superstar of the sport, Pistol Abbey has a lethal turn of foot, Reciprocity has been a revelation in staying races, Soho Burning Love has talent and speed to burn whilst Our Step Up and Makes Every Scents are both wonderful mares.
1 Tell Me Tales (11) $1.80
2 Soho Burning Love (6) $26
3 Berisari (13) $4.80
4 Delight Me (3) $8
Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championships ($50,000, 2760m)
Andy Gath’s ‘bridesmaid’ squaregaiter McLovin gets a great opportunity here to secure Group 1 spoils thanks to the ace alley. His main danger – and last week’s conqueror – Savannah Jay Jay is drawn next door which makes things interesting.
Maori Law will be handy whilst Red Hot Tooth and Kyvalley Blur will be charging late, hoping the tempo is true throughout.
1 McLovin (1)
2 Maori Law (4)
3 Savannah Jay Jay (2)
4 Red Hot Tooth (12)
Race 4 – The Best Dream (6) $2.80
Race 5 – McLovin (1) $2.70
Race 7 – Tell Me Tales (11) $1.80
Race 9 – Im Daddy Warbucks (1) $3.20
Race 10 – Two Times Bettor (2) $1.40
Race 11 – Poster Boy (4) $1.10
Race 6 – Afterdinnerspeaker (5) each way $21 / $4
Race 7 – Eye See Diamonds (5) $2
Port Pirie Selections;
Thanks to the mess that is South Australian Harness Racing currently, Port Pirie plays host to the Group 2 Southern Cross Finals this weekend. There are a handful of quality pacers going around for a slice of the $50,000 pies.
Race 5 – Animal (8)
Race 6 – Bubbles and Cheese (1)
Race 7 – Wolf of West Bay (9)
Race 8 – Treasure (12)