Another busy Friday night for the team
It will be another busy Friday night for the team with 15 runners to go around over both islands. John is up in Auckland tonight driving Need You Now, so Tim Williams, Bob Butt and Gavin Smith will deputise at Addington in his absence.
The night's feature is the Group One Great Northern Oaks, Race Seven at Alexandra Park. We are represented in the 2700m event by a very in-form Need You Now. A smart winner two back in her Nevele R heat on this track, Need You Now was a good second in last week's Waikato Guineas behind Bad To The Bone. Back to her own sex this week, Need You Now has to battle two major obstacles - hot favourite Amazing Dream and the visitor's draw of barrier eight.
With Amazing Dream likely to get an uncontested lead tonight, John will be hoping for a genuinely run race and the chance to get home over top of them late. She is one of the best fillies going around and another peak run here should see her earn a Group One placing.
Above N Beyond hasn't raced since the Alabar Classic nearly three months ago. He is drawn well for his resumption in Race Five, the Woodlands Stud Northern Derby Prelude. Driver John Dunn felt that while well drawn, he is unlikely to be in the early rush off the gate tonight.
"No I would doubt it. There is plenty of speed outside him and he is first up. He will definitely benefit from the run tonight."
The Auckland programme starts for us in Race Three, where we have four trotters that will go around.
"You Really Got Me missed away last time and then had a late gallop. He's not actually been going too bad but needs to trot all of the way."
"Resonate was a big run last time. He's a really good trotter and if he can step and trot the trip, then he is a big winning hope."
"Woodstone has been doing it tough off the long marks and off 45m tonight and only the sprint trip, it is probably too tough. The same applies to Bourdeaux. He's a newcomer to the stable and has to overcome 55m. He's been away from the track for awhile so will be sure to improve on the run."
Pretty Majestic was in sublime form winning last week's Waikato Breeders stakes from a 50m handicap. In tonight's Northern Trotting Stakes for the fillies and mares she stands out as not only the form runner of the race, but also gets a major let-up in the handicaps, with tonight's backmark only 30m.
"She does look the one to beat the way she has been trotting," said John.
The final stable rep this evening at Alexandra Park is unbeaten filly Passion And Power in Race Eight.
"She has been impressive alright," said John.
"Back to her own sex tonight and from a handy barrier draw, she is entitled to start a pretty short-priced favourite."
Debutante Sky Delight from the Barry Purdon stable may be the toughest to beat having trialled up well leading into this.
John flies out to Sydney tomorrow morning where he will partner up with the good mare Bettors Heart in the Ladyship Mile.
Posted: Fri 28 Feb 2020