Well, here we are at New Zealand’s biggest harness racing week of the year. Most of the best horses in New Zealand will be up against each other this week, starting with Tuesday…
If I say that, hopefully, we will be starting on Thursday, I don’t mean we’ll be part of it. Only once, ever, with dear little Dodo (Master Ado) have I had a horse run in The Cup Meeting. While all the tenors are fighting it out in Christchurch, we are going to shimmy 50 kilometres south to Ashburton, to give Elena her first race day start in slightly less town-hall company. Unfortunately, some of the big guns have the same idea, but hey .. you have to race!
Anyway, Tuesday the big boys will be up and I thought I might try to give you some tips. As with everything, except musical and theatrical history, my heart gets in the way of my head, so I’ll just give you my list of ‘I would love them to win and if I ever was a bettor (which I ain’t) I would back..’s.
Race one: De Gaulle .. a great man and a very nice horse owned by very nice people
Race four: Fake Chance for a place. The superstar favourite, who should be in the Cup, has ruined this race for the second echelon
Race six: torn between Running on Time, potentially one of the very best trotters in NZ, and The Fat Controller who is the uncle of our Duchess…
Race eight: Kotare Mach. Hot favourite, but we love the Kotares (our one is just across there in the paddock)
Race nine: Ronnie Coute .. GO RONNIE! (another relation)
Race 10: the cup. They unfairly denied Special Ops a start, so I’ll be cheering for the Monkey King. But anyone can win (and I pick Australia 1-2-3) as long as – and I have most of the right-thinking racing world with me in this -- its not that toxicomane called Changeover
Race eleven: sneaky outsider tip of the day: Passion and Glory (a little bird…)
Race twelve: Oh! Raggy! The ‘family’ horse… could he? might he? Cross your fingers for Raglan. (Alas he’s up against another horse I love called Second Wind, so maybe its quinella time)
And cheers for M J Fulham, Biella Star, Explosive Turk and all the other pals… but please, don’t spoil the Cup Carnival for me on Day One: no Changeover