What to expect from the Boxing Day races in Ellerslie

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 26 Dec 2020, 12:53PM
Super Strike winning at Ellerslie. Photo / Trish Dunell
Super Strike winning at Ellerslie. Photo / Trish Dunell

What to expect from the Boxing Day races in Ellerslie

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 26 Dec 2020, 12:53PM

An insurance policy may pay big dividends for trainer Richard Collett at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and he could even double down on it next week.

The Pukekohe trainer changed his plans with Super Strike, deciding to start in the $80,000 Stella Artois Championship after earlier indicating he would instead chase next Friday's Rich Hill Mile.

Bookies think he may have made the right choice with the stunning last-start winner as he is the $3.10 favourite to win, even carrying 60kg.

Collett's decision was based on two things. He wasn't sure Super Strike's rating of 80 would guarantee him a start in the Rich Hill and he thinks his original representative for the race, Super Pursuit, isn't quite ready for it.

"I think Super Pursuit needs visor blinkers and I didn't want to put those on him first time over 1500m so he will wait for a 1400m next Friday," says Collett.

"And at the same time this horse [Super Strike] wasn't certain of getting in the Rich Hill so it would have been silly to miss this race.

"But if he runs well on Saturday and wins he could still go around next week anyway."

While he has a good horse's weight, Super Strike has earned it and Collett thinks stepping up to 1500m he should be able to stay handier from his good draw.

"I'd like to think he would be no worse than three back and get his chance so I think he can still win with 60kg."

The danger looks to be Edit, who had no luck last start and has a 6kg advantage on the favourite.

Best of four

Stephen Marsh dominates the last race and while he thinks Tabata can win he has a warning.

"She is our clear best chance of the day and probably the next few days," says the Cambridge trainer.

"She has improved off her second at Te Rapa last start and worked well this week."

But Marsh stops short of declaring the mare only because he thinks stablemate Loose Cannon has an upset hope.

"Barrier 14 makes it hard but she could surprise so maybe she is a cover bet for those backing Tabata."

Deja vu

The team with Lord Painton will be hoping for a freaky history repeating vibe in the $80,000 Stella Artois Championship.

This day last year Lord Painton's older brother Master Painton caused one of the upsets of the Ellerslie season, winning this same race at $49.30 after a masterly ride from Lynsey Satherley.

It was the first time Satherley had ridden Master Painton and she only rode him once again in his 33-start career.

On Boxing Day, Satherley hops on Lord Painton for the first time for the same trainer in Stephen Autridge, who is these days in partnership with Kris Shailer.

Lord Painton is also a roughie, rated $41 in the early bookies markets.

Oh, and one more thing. Before winning this race last year Master Painton had finished fifth in the Twilight Cup at Ellerslie as his previous start. Where did Lord Painton finish last start? Fifth in this year's Twilight Cup at Ellerslie.

Just saying.