Here’s your preview of our upcoming raceday complete with Craig Baker’s preview of the day’s feature races, speed maps, a track report AND some tips from the office lads.
The track on Monday morning is rated a soft 5 with light rain predicted in the late afternoon on raceday.
Here’s what Pukekohe Park track manager, Emery White, and racing operations manager, Mark Nowell, had to say about the track this morning (Monday):
Pukekohe Park | Balmerino Stakes
The Group 3 feature may lack in numbers but not in quality with last season’s Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup winner Platinum Invador, Counties Cup winner Aromatic, Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic winner Defribillate and Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner Dionysus all contenders.
Likely favourite Aquacade, winner of last season’s Avondale Cup before finishing a gallant fourth in the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, resumed with a slashing run behind Legarto over a mile and the step up to the middle distance is ideal as she heads towards the Counties Cup in a fortnight.
Platinum Invader finished strongly for second last start in the Group One Livamol Classic over the same distance and is a strong chance if he produces the same form.
Flemington | Lexus Melbourne Cup
The 163rd edition of the $9.14m Lexus Melbourne Cup will be run tomorrow at Flemington at 5:00pm (race 7) and there are a host of chances for the ‘race that stops two nations.’
The time-honoured race has attracted a top-class field once again including many international riders.
Irish visitor Vauban for master trainer Willie Mullins has been a longtime favourite since his emphatic seven length romp at Royal Ascot in June. He has impressed the experts during trackwork at Werribee and Flemington lately.
Defending champion Gold Trip, that won a thrilling edition last year, will be ridden by ex-pat kiwi and super star James McDonald. Gold Trip’s regular rider Mark Zahra chose to ride Irish-bred gelding Without A Fight after the two combined for an impressive victory in the Caulfield Cup a fortnight ago.
FREE GENERAL ADMISSION
Facilities open: 11.00am
Hospitality opens: 11.30am
First race (of 9): 12.20pm
Group 3 Balmerino Stakes: 3.30pm
Fulton Family Stakes: 4.39pm
Last race: 6.01pm
View the fields: Click here
Check out the speed maps: Click here
Read our digital racebook: Click here
ATR CEO Paul Wilcox rates:
Race 6 | 3:30pm | Balmerino Stakes (G3)
Bet: Aquacade #6 (FFW)
Race 8 | 4.39pm | Fulton Family Stakes (L)
Bet: Habana #2 (FFW)
Race 7 | 5.00pm | Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1)
Bet: Vauban #5 (FFW)
Bet: Absurde #7 (Place)
ATR Sponsorship Manager John O’Malley rates:
Race 1 | 12.20pm | Ellerslie Events 1400
Bet: Geriatrix #3 (FFW)
Race 10 | 6.01pm |Auckland Thoroughbred Racing 1600
Bet: Agera #2 (FFW)
Race 9 | 5.00pm | Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1)
Bet: Absurde #7 (EW)