Ellerslie Preview: Ideal lead-up for Charles Road

4 min read

Ellerslie G1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup $500,000 3200 metres

Charles Road (Myboycharlie {Ire}) has a real sense of timing about him and has delighted Wexford Stables this preparation.

The proven stayer has found the line strongly for fourth in all three of his lead-up outings and the step up to this extended trip is ideal for him.

Venger Masque (Ire) (Monsun {Ger}) is well-seasoned for this off the back of his Listed success in the Tourney Cup at Moonee Valley. The roomier Ellerslie course will suit him and he’s performed well in strong Australian company.

Five To Midnight (Domesday), placed in this event 12 months ago, gets down to a luxury 56kg for him and he’ll be a threat off that mark while Gundown (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) won the Nathans a week ago so dominantly that he’s entitled to respect and 3200 metres is unlikely to faze him.

The lightly-weighted Glory Days (NZ) (Red Giant {USA}) is another who seems likely to lap up the distance and G3 Wellington Cup placegetter Prince Jabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) will appreciate a drier track than he struck at Matamata last time out.

Yourdeel has ace hand

Ellerslie G1 Sistema S. NZ$200,000 1200 metres

Yourdeel (NZ) (Dundeel {NZ}) was so impressive winning the G3 Waikato Stud Slipper that he’s hard to go past here, even with the outside gate.

The Jamie Richards-trained youngster bolted up at Matamata and continued the smart progress he is making after finishing third off a wide run in the Karaka Million.

Yourdeel beat his stablemate Aotea Lad (NZ)) (Savabeel) by six lengths in the Slipper. It’s hard to see him turning that around, but he’s genuine and a strong place prospect.

Aretha (NZ) (Charm Spirit {Ire}) claimed the G2 Matamata Breeders’ S. in fine style and that was only her second start so it’s reasonable to assume she can find further improvement.

Rainbow Dash (NZ) (Showcasing {GB }) and Aalalune (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) were minor players behind Aretha last time out and they are chances again for multiples while the interesting runner is Just Zerene (Zoustar). The Australian filly has had no luck in her career and can’t be taken lightly.

Belle to chime again

Ellerslie G1 Bonecrusher New Zealand S. NZ$200,000 2000 metres

All eyes will be on Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) when she shoots for her fifth Group 1 win of what has been a glorious season for all concerned.

The current Queen of the New Zealand turf has won up to a mile and her racing pattern, a mix of class and determination, should be again seen to advantage over a middle distance.

On The Rocks (NZ) (Alamosa {NZ}) left his G1 Herbie Dyke S. rivals with no excuses when he triumphed at Te Rapa with something in hand and should prove to be a major player again.

Danzdanzdance (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) was a flop in that race, but her two previous Group 1 wins were so dominant that she deserves a second chance. As a past top-flight winner, Consensus (NZ) (Postponed {USA}) is comfortable in this company and her recent form suggests she can pocket more expenses for an upcoming Australian campaign.

Rondinella (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) by contrast is new to Group 1 racing and everything she has done to date is an indicator that she won’t be out of place.

Defending champion Saint Emilion (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) will be all the better for recent racing and he’s dangerous if left alone in front. Stablemate Vin De Dance (NZ) is another accomplished Group 1 performer and once in form he generally holds it well.

Family comes first

Ascot Listed Supremacy S $100,000 1000 metres

The Luciani family should be a force to be reckoned with here with Lou represented by Prim And Proper (Alfred Nobel {Ire}) and son Dion by Amarillo Rose (Slater). Both fillies have made top starts to their careers and look sure to ultra-competitive.

There’s little to choose between Rubick Rose (Rubick) and Beethoven (Helmet) with the score one apiece in two previous meetings while Is A Bombshell (Smart Missile) has trialled well ahead of her debut.