New Zealand Preview & Best Bets – Saturday February 4

New Zealand Preview & Best Bets – 20/04/2024

New Zealand Tips 04/02/2023

Our form expert provides New Zealand tips for today’s horse racing at Wingatui & New Plymouth Racecourses and gives his best bets.





Race 5:  No.7  ROMANCING THE MOON  ($2 with Palmerbet)

The Mark Walker-trained ROMANCING THE MOON is in great touch and will be looking to bounce back today. Last start, the El Roca filly missed her first top-four finish in eight career starts when she crossed the line in sixth place in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas over 1400m at Trentham. Drawn wide that day (10 of 16), Craig Grylls pushed forward on her where she settled third, traveling three-deep to the turn. She did a great job to finish as close as she did after being hampered turning for home. Beaten 2.5 lengths by stablemate Cognito, she had excuses that day. Drawn much better here in gate four, she maps to settle just behind the pace (with cover) and the extra trip will also do her no harm. She looks well placed here to return to the winner’s circle today.



Race 7:  No.5  SECOND THOUGHT  ($3.50 with Ladbrokes)

Riccarton Park-based SECOND THOUGHT is second-up today and did enough when fresh to suggest she is in this contest up to her eye teeth. Last start, the Ghibellines mare came off a 10-week spell and finished an impressive third in a BM80 Hcp over 2000m on her home track. She enjoyed a nice run in the back half of the field (on the fence) and ran home strongly until her condition gave out over the final 100m, leaving her with the bronze medal for the event, beaten a length on the line. Kavish Chowdhoory was aboard that day and has the job again in this contest. Fitter for that first-up run, she can take the Gold Cup home today.






Race 6:  No.10  MARY LOUISE  ($8.50 with Ladbrokes)

The Robbie Patterson-trained MARY LOUISE is in top form this time in and looks well placed here to challenge for another victory at odds today. Last start, the four-year-old made it three wins from four starts this preparation when she took out a BM75 Hcp over 2100m at Otaki. Together with runner-up Apache Anne, the two of them put 3.5 lengths on the rest of the field that day. Craig Grylls returns for today’s assignment after steering her to victory at Trentham when resuming. Today she sees the New Plymouth track for the first time but she has the runs on the board and is capable of giving this a real shake at odds.



Race 7:  No.5  FREEDOM REINS  ($8 with Palmerbet)

Lisa Latta saddles-up a couple here as we run with FREEDOM REINS who is in top-shelf form this preparation and looks a genuine winning chance today. Last start, the Turn Me Loose filly came off consecutive runner-up finishes and went one better, breaking through for her Maiden win over the mile at Trentham. She drew the car park that day (13 of 14) and settled last after drifting back through the field. She came wide before the turn and straightened the widest runner, ten horses off the fence. Despite covering more ground than the early explorers, she ran home strongly to put two lengths on them across the line. Stepping up to the 1800m here, she looks rock-solid in condition and even at this stage, looks a prime contender for the Oaks if she can retain her current form. Ryan Elliot has the job in the saddle today and with another trouble-free run here, the filly looks a winning chance again at odds.