New Zealand Preview & Best Bets – 18/11/2023
New Zealand Tips for Saturday, November 18
Our form expert provides New Zealand tips for today’s horse racing at Riccarton & Tauranga Racecourses and gives his best bets.
BEST BET 🏆
Race 8: No.10 MYSTIC PARK ($4 with Bet Right)
Team Pitman saddle-up a bagful of runners here as we ride with MYSTIC PARK who is second-up today and looks a solid chance of going back-to-back in this contest. Last start, the Ocean Park gelding destroyed his rivals in a BM65, here over 1200m. Fresh off a 20-week spell, he showed plenty of dash as he put four lengths on the huge 17-strong field, posting 1:08.3 for the 1200m. Joe Doyle sticks with him today as he takes on another 17-strong field and from gate seven, maps to settle right behind the pace. A repeat of that last performance should see him very hard to beat again.
NEXT BEST 🥈
Race 9: No.4 NOT GUILTY ($7 with Ladbrokes)
The Tony Pike-trained NOT GUILTY is high flying this time in and ticks all the boxes here to suggest she is a winning chance in this contest. Last start, the Not A Single Doubt mare was third-up when she took out the Listed Pegasus Stakes, here over 1000m. Ridden the perfect race by Lily Sutherland, she had the mare parked outside the leader, and riding patiently the entire trip, steered the mare home, holding all the challengers at bay near the line. The five-year-old will only strip fitter with three runs behind her this time in and Sutherland remains glued to that saddle for this assignment. Ideally drawn in gate three today, she is now a winner at Riccarton and looks the one to beat here.
BEST VALUE 💰
Race 7: No.8 MARY SHAN ($7.50 with bet365)
The Andrew Forsman-trained MARY SHAN hasn’t missed a beat, making the podium in all four career starts to date and looks well placed here to take home the trophy today. Two starts back, the Almanzor filly enjoyed a crushing win in a 1400m Maiden at Tauranga where she put 4.5 lengths on her rivals. Then last start, she was a good thing beaten when finishing a long neck second in the Group 2 Soliloquy Stakes. Settling in the box seat, the leaders slowed the tempo down suddenly, forcing Craig Grylls to slam the brakes on, which saw the filly drop back through the field, losing at least four lengths at the time. To her credit, she came back in the run home and hit the line strongly, arriving in time to claim the runner-up cheque. The step-up to the mile looks ideal for her here as Grylls sticks with her for this assignment. She maps to settle near mid-field from barrier eight and rock-hard fit from four starts now, she looks the goods here.
BEST BET 🏆
Race 7: No.2 BRANDO ($4.05 with BoomBet)
Another from the Walker & Bergerson stable is BRANDO who has shown improvement from four starts this preparation and looks ready to produce his best today. The Savabeel gelding won four of his five starts last campaign and has taken a little more time to find his feet. Last start, he broke his perfect record on this track by missing a podium finish for the first time when finishing fifth over 1400m in Open company with Jessica Allen aboard. Today, he steps-up to the mile again where he has five top-three finishes from seven attempts at the trip and his resume also shows he is a two-time winner here. Vinnie Colgan is the new pilot and from gate six, maps to settle near mid-field. The scene looks set for a return to the winner’s circle today.
NEXT BEST 🥈
Race 6: No.2 MERCURIAL ($4.20 with BlueBet)
The Stephen Marsh-trained MERCURIAL is now three starts into this preparation and looks well placed here to get revenge on his last-start defeater, Packing Rockstar. The pair of them went blow-for-blow over the final 200m when they clashed in an Open Hcp, here over 1400m. The Rockstar got the upper hand in the end, with just a head separating them as they hit the line. Today, Mercurial meets him better at the weights and draws slightly better as well. Sam Spratt sticks with him today and with a trouble-free run, he can turn the tables in this contest.
BEST VALUE 💰
Race 3: No.6 KABUGEE ($5.50 with Ladbrokes)
Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson saddle-up a handful of gallopers here as we run with KABUGEE who resumes off a six-month absence but sporting an impeccable fresh record, should still take beating in this contest. Last start, the Japanese-sired gelding ended a three-start preparation when he beat all but one home in a Three-Year-Old Hcp over 1400m on a Heavy 10 at Pukekohe Park. We haven’t seen him since then (May), but his resume shows he is unbeaten in three previous first-up runs and he is also two from two at the 1200m journey. Vinnie Colgan has his second ride on the four-year-old today and ideally drawn in gate three, his fresh legs just might get him home ahead of the rest.