Robbie Burns a strong chance in Ashburton Cup

Robbie Burns a strong chance in Ashburton Cup

Robbie Burns has been racing well since he has come back to the South Island and a last start third hinted that he must be a great chance in today's Ashburton Cup. He meets a small but even field, with fellow frontmarkers Raukapuka Ruler and James Dean looking the toughest to beat.

Robbie Burns was thrown in the deep end by Robert and John, starting in the New Zealand Cup and the Free-For-All, both during Cup Week. In the latter of these in particular, he put in a strong run for 7th behind Ultimate Machete. He was then given a short break before a resumption last week at Addington, where in a leader dominated race, he was a strong late finisher behind Tiger Thompson.

Now a six year old, Robbie Burns has battled injuries and setbacks throughout his career, but he has still managed the ten wins and is bordering on $150,000 in stake-earnings. He is generally a safe beginner from the stand and John will no doubt look to put him in a good position to take advantage of the handicapping.

James Dean is the likely leader in the race and does look a strong chance, while last season's Great Northern Derby winner Raukapuka Ruler should be due to put on his best form after two runs back from a spell.

There are three debutantes to start the day in the form of Anytime - Race One and Spot On and Heisenberg - Race Three.

Anytime is a a three year old Bettor's Delight filly owned by Wendy Nordqvist and qualified back in  November. She has been kept up to the mark for today with a couple of strong workout runs in which she recorded a win and a second. Out of a Christian Cullen mare Corbell, she is a full sister to Micky Gee which goes around as a strong chance in today's feature. From her second line draw today, she will need a little bit of luck, but must be a good chance in what appears an even maiden field.

Another debutante for Wendy Nordqvist is Spot On to be driven by Dexter in Race Three. An Art Major colt, Spot On qualified in behind stablemate and today's rival Heisenberg, at the end of November. He again finished second behind Heisenberg at the workouts a fortnight ago, but finished strongly on that occasion. He must be an eachway chance.

Heisenberg is another Art Major colt and has done eveything that he could be expected to, with two winning runs at trials and workouts. Drawing the better of the two Robert Dunn runners today, he does appear to hold a slight advantage and that is the way that the bookies have framed things also in their fixed odds market.

Sacred Angel goes around in Race Five. She had no luck when first up last week, but gets a great draw today and should get her chance to shine. She will be at big odds, but is far from a forlorn place hope from the draw.

Promising trotter Bonnie Highlander resumes in Race Eight. She has not raced since May, but was a workout winner at the end of November. She will be well ready for today and is a very good eachway chance in what appears a very open field.

Lovetodream loves the big Ashburton track and should be very hard to beat against the mares in Race Nine over the mile. She is a great winning chance.

Summer Wealth a maiden winner here during Cup Week completes the day in Race Ten. He had little joy in the juniors races the last two, but looks better placed here. He is another excellent eachway hope.

Posted: Sun 24 Dec 2017