A couple of weeks after the Formpro Amazing Chase, we’re back at the same venue for the Wanganui Cup.
The bookies reckon it will the top two dogs from the Amazing Chase who will fight it out in the Wanganui Cup.
So is there a chance for an upset or will it be a match race between the two favourites?
Our stats show a distinct bias towards box 1 – 20% of winners over 520m have come from box 1 at Hatrick. Another 13% have come from box 2 and the two favourites have drawn the inside two boxes. The two outside boxes have the worst record but we have seen winners come from the outside boxes provided they have the box speed to cross and lead.
For 520m races at Hatrick, 40% of winners lead at the post the first time around with 62% of winners being in the first two. At the other end of the spectrum, missing the jump can be lethal with just 15% of winners coming from 5th or worse with a round to go.
The speed map shows one dog is most likely to lead and that is Bigtime Wendle. The saving grace for the two favourites is that Wendle doesn’t really head towards the rail so there should be plenty of room inside providing the two favs get away well enough.
Based on the map, Paddy is a good chance to push up on the inside. He’s seems to have a real will to win and the lack of speed outside Paddy should help him get into one of the two lead positions.
Nature’s Gent is 5 from 5 in the red rug. He won’t be the first out of the boxes but as he record shows he knows how to find his way to the front.
In the heats, both Paddy and Nature’s Gent ran 5.12 for their opening sectional compared to Bigtime Wendle who literally blazed out of the boxes in 4.93.
It’s also worth remembering that Bigtime Tears made them cry in the Breeders Stakes final when she screamed out of box 7 and was never caught.
The bookies and punters both see it as a two dog race. Everything else being equal, that should be the case tonight.
The one caveat – and it is not insignificant – is the start. Wendle looks likely to lead away from the middle and that may not be bad for the favourites as we have seen from the speed map. She’s definitely stronger at the start than the end of the race where she struggles.
In the heats, it was Nature’s Gent who had the standout middle sectional after a slow start. He ran a top class sectional of 13.36 a length faster than any of the others in the three heats.
Bigtime Tears actually managed to put in the best closing sectional although her middle sectional was somewhat slower than Nature’s Gent’s.
Paddy’s splits didn’t really stand out last week – he seems to have the ability to do what is required to win. More to the point, we know that he has the ability to win.
As the bookies market shows, there would be no surprises if it ends up being a match race between Paddy and Nature’s Gent.
Based on his strong winning record, Bigtime Paddy deserves his favouritism. However, Nature’s Gent holds the track record and at his best will be a match for Paddy.
The start will be critical and the one dog that will put itself in the race from the start is Bigtime Wendle. Any trouble at the start will help her chances. The other runner who could easily be forgotten in this field but has the proven ability to lead from the outside boxes in big races is Bigtime Tears.
The lids are up at 8.21pm.