Champion combo looking for more Group One spoils
After recording her 3rd New Zealand record for the season (2.19.1) in last week's Nevele R fillies final, it won't come as welcome news to the beaten brigade that John thinks she will be better for the run in tonight's 2600m New Zealand Oaks at Group One level. While Ideal Belle looked somewhat of a moral beaten, breaking and losing valuable ground before the turn, John says he was confident that his filly would have responded to the challenge if required. "They can get to her," he reflected, "but getting past her is another story. She just loves winning."
While the barrier draw of nine has to be a concern, John appears unphased and puts it down as something that you just have to deal with. "There's plenty of pressure on the frontline and I'd say Raksdeal will want to lead and get there. We'll just pick a time to get going. She has raced tough before and just keeps on delivering." If successful in tonight's Oaks, this would be the 6th Group One scalp from a filly that has raced just the 18 times - 13 wins. One thing is sure -win,lose or draw, she won't be going down without a fight.
Just an hour later on the programme, John will continue his partnership with Say My Name. The Art Major colt has been competitive in the best company throughout his first season of racing. There are two things clearly in his favour this time - no Alta Orlando and a good draw. "I thought he was entitled to run Alta Orlando down last time, but he was just too good." With his season coming to a premature end after last week's Sires Stakes, it does mean one of the main threats has gone. While the draw does appear to work John's way, he is concerned about the speed outside him. "Chachingchaching is one that I'm sure will come out and have a look." "Our fella is very well and keeps progressing in the right direction. While he will be an even better horse at three, he is good enough to take a race out such as tonight's Sires Stakes."
Say My Name gives John a great chance of more Group One spoils in the $170,000 Sires Stakes
In the lesser races on tonight's card, the standout hope for the stable is clearly No Doctor Needed. Fresh from victory in the Southern Supremacy last time out, he has really pleased Robert and John since then. "He looks the class horse of the field and I am sure that the tote will reflect that." Safely through tonight's race all eyes turn to Cambridge for the jewels. He is rated a $9 chance on the fixed odds at present, with Tiger Tara the dominating favourite in the absence of a sidelined Locharburn.
Posted: Fri 16 May 2014