It’s the Auckland Cup for the greyhounds on Sunday and the TAB are running the money back promotion for races 1 and 2.
Race 1 – 318m – Bonus Bet Back (2nd or 3rd)
Tough race to start with given writing this on a Saturday and the favourite is paying $4FF and one of the favoured runners is on the ballot. Bethany Jewel (9) looks to have the prized asset of box speed – her one race at Manukau didn’t end in glory but you suspect she’ll be better for the experience. Purple Heart (5) rates well and clearly has wheels but the problem is the start and all her wins have come from box 3 or closer to the rail. Thrilling Lad (4) rates second best on ratings for Manukau Sprints but is another who is suspect early. The value runner could be Hurricane Bob (3) who downgraded from C3 last start and immediately found form. C3 seems to be a struggle but most of these have been running in C1 and C2 races. A bit hit or miss but the draw helps and can show early speed. An open race but Bethany Jewel would be a decent each way bet if she starts.
Map was right but Purple Heart still managed to find a way through. Pity Bethany Jewel was scratched.
Race 2 – 318m – Bonus Bet Back (2nd or 3rd)
A competitive C5 sprint – one thing to watch for is that a number of runners from outside the northern circuit are racing so it’s hard to line up the different form lines. It makes it very much a raffle race but perhaps the one thing you could do to narrow down the options is to focus on the quality of recent racing. The Predictor shows the average class a dog has raced over the last 6 starts – that’s the L6 column next to CL (Class). All dogs races in C5 or C5Q races last start, but 1,4,5,6 have been racing solely in C5 while 2 has recently downgraded. I’m happy to scrape the egg off my face but I think Wild Pansy (4) is finding the top level a lot tougher than it was coming through. While the draw suits, I think Wild Pansy has yet to have run a time needed to beat these. Queen Nancy (2) is fresh after a short break and has the benefit on an inside draw and does have the best T&D. Of the C5 runners, I think Goldstar Nolan is overs at 10 – he has the best sprint rating, raced over a distance too long last start and won’t mind the draw. Another tough race but some each way value around Goldstar Nolan and Queen Nancy based on the opening prices.
Omelette for the rest of the week! Kenzie ran well but Pansy made the most of the draw and seemed to like Manakau. I’m left scraping egg off my face!
Race 8 – Railways Sprint (G1) 318m
It’s hard to go against the two favourites based on the ratings but this race will likely prove the mantra box speed is gold. With the speed in the race, a slow beginning will be terminal. Levi Bale (5) and Big Time Atlas (4) rate on top and the numbers suggest Levi has a slight edge. For value inside and outside.
Didn’t like this race as a punting prospect – a roughie won last year – and same again this year. Jump run and win. Interestingly, Padrina had 3 of the top 10 times in the last 90 days at Auckland.
Race 10 – Auckland Cup (G1) 318m
Logic suggests it should be Superstar – he jumps, he wins. The best of the rest should be Blazin Master (7) – who looks like the only dog to have the early speed to match the fav – along with Space Boy in 2. A bit of money for the red rug. Still, hard to go past Opawa Superstar who if anything should be improved after his first up run in the heats.