New Zealand Preview & Best Bets – 24/02/2024

New Zealand Preview & Best Bets – 13/04/2024

 

New Zealand Tips for Saturday, February 24

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

 

MATAMATA

 

BEST BET 🏆

Race 6:  No.4  CHURCHILLIAN 

Tony Pike saddles-up CHURCHILLIAN here who is in career-best form and looks well placed here for back-to-back victories today. Last start, the Churchill mare sat outside the leader to the turn then fought on gamely to hold off the challenges and take out the Group 3 Anniversary Hcp over the mile at Trentham. Down in class here, she drops back to the 1400m where she is already a four-time winner and today has Michael McNab at the helm for his third ride on the mare. In winning form now, she looks the testing material in this contest.

 

NEXT BEST 🥈

Race 8:  No.3  TERRA MITICA

The Lance Noble-trained TERRA MITICA has won two of her past three and looks well placed here for back-to-back victories today. Last start, the Ulysses mare bounced back from finishing fourth in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Pukekohe Park and cleaned them up in an Open Hcp, here over 2070m. Ridden an absolute treat by Warren Kennedy, she sat better than midfield on the fence (with cover), then straightening, the gap came and Kennedy took the invitation and she quickly gathered them up and raced away to win comfortably by a length on the line. The five-year-old is in Listed company today and up in weight, but has Kennedy sticking with her and now a winner at the track and a two-time winner over the trip, she looks winning material again.

 

BEST VALUE 💰 

Race 3:  No.1  BRAVE SPIRIT

The Ritchie & Murray-trained BRAVE SPIRIT is third-up today and looks ready to strike. Last start, the Swiss Ace gelding made it four-straight podium finishes when he took home third prize in a BM65 over 1200m at Tauranga. He came from well back that day to be beaten less than a length on the line. Michael McNab was aboard that day and steers the ship again in this contest. Drawn nicely in gate five and fitter for two runs back, he should be there at the finish again.

 

 

OTAKI

 

BEST BET 🏆

Race 5:  No.4  THE UNDERBELLY

Robbie Patterson saddles-up THE UNDERBELLY here who is in career-best form of late and looks every chance of making it four-straight in this contest. Last start, the five-year-old brought up the hat-trick in fine style when he destroyed a BM75 field over 2060m at Wanganui. Ridden a treat by Craig Grylls, he box-seated behind the leader and enjoyed the trail to the turn. Then Grylls simply eased him off the fence and that was all she wrote, as the gelding cruised to the line to win by almost three lengths, eased over the final stages. This looks no harder and already a track specialist (winning three from four to date), Grylls steers the ship again and he looks the best of the day.

 

NEXT BEST 🥈

Race 8:  No.8  ALEXANDRA QUICK

The Allan Sharrock-trained ALEXANDRA QUICK comes in nicely at the weights here and unbeaten in two starts to date, will take beating again. Last start, the Per Incanto mare was fresh off a 12-week spell when she pulled off the run of the day by coming from nowhere to grab victory in a BM65 over 1200m at Trentham. She settled last in the 11-strong field and at the 600m mark, was under pressure was spotting the leader eight lengths. Looking 100-1 at that point, Matt Cameron went to work on her and she responded in kind, storming home over the final 100m to grab a very unlikely win. The 1400m today looks ideal for her today and with Cameron remaining aboard and down 3kgs in weight here, she looks a major contender for the main prize.

 

BEST VALUE 💰 

Race 7:  No.2  PUNTURA

The Robbie Patterson-trained PUNTURA is high flying at the moment and in career-best form, looks a super chance of making it four in a row today. Last start, the Vespa gelding did it tough early, travelling second, one off the fence without cover, but Craig Grylls had it under control. Turning for home, he took the six-year-old wide towards the outside fence (looking for firmer ground), and in the run home, held them all safely at bay to win the Group 1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham, crossing the line more than a length clear in the end. He meets similar company here over the same trip (where he is already a four-time winner) and has Grylls as the pilot again. Conditions look ideal for him today (Soft 5) and he should give us a bold sight for our hard earned today.