A guaranteed start in NZ Cup on the line in Maurice Holmes Vase.

While there is no Terror To Love or Christen Me in the field, as always, this Friday's Maurice Holmes Vase has attracted a very handy field. Many trainers are no doubt in a similar mindset that in the absence of the two aforementioned stars, this is a great opportunity to win a Group 3 race and in doing so book a guaranteed spot in this year's NZ Trotting Cup. 

The Robert Dunn stable will be represented by Mach Banner, (ranked 21st in 1st cup rankings) who has been a model of consistency in his 4 starts this campaign. At his last start in the National Handicap, a fortnight ago, he led for the last 1400m,before being gunned down in the straight by the very in form Pembarton Shard. While this week's field is a big step up from what he has been facing, he is race hardened and has the manners to give himself every chance of a strong performance. The toughest competition may come from the northerner Besotted, while Four Starzzz Flash looked a big improver on his 1st up run. Such is the nature of the field, any of the 10 runners have to be considered chances.

The stable line up a further 5 runners for the night. Three of these are in Race 6 for the boys'. John assesses the hopes for the night: 


Massimo - Matt Purvis - "Did particularly well last start after an uncharacteristic early mistake. Providing the manners are there this time, he again rates as at least a good place chance."

Kotare Mahal - Jason Thomas - "Had nothing go his way last start in what proved to be a very stop-start affair. The class and motor is there so if the real "Taj"turns up, he is in this bigtime."

Real Kamwood - Tom Bagrie - This horse is a debutante for the stable. He has run some super races at times in the past. "Maybe a watch and see job 1st up, but he will be a horse to watch over the next couple of months."  

Race 7 - Blazin N Cullen - An inspired drive by Gavin Smith got this fella home last start at way over the odds. "He was driven upside down, because of the slow pace through the mid-race section, but still hung tough on a 26.5 last quarter to record win 7 for his career. This is a similar field to last time so he must be a good eachway chance yet again."

Race 9 - Comenche - "He has been going top races in similar conditioned races for some time and just keeps delivering.  He is well drawn again and definitely looks our best hope of the night."

Posted: Thu 05 Sep 2013