New Zealand Preview & Best Bets – Saturday February 25

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


New Zealand Tips 25/02/2023

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





Race 7:  No.6  ZOURION  ($3.20 with TAB)

The Mark Walker-trained ZOURION was impressive on debut and fitter today, looks a solid winning chance in the contest. He was last out of the gates at Taupo but found himself in front 200m later in the 1100m event. Travelling well, he led them into the straight where he was momentarily headed by one, but found plenty in the run to the line and went on to win. Fitter and more experienced for that run, he has Opie Bosson on his back today and should prove hard to run down again.



Race 4:  No.2  TROBRIAND  ($3 with Palmerbet)

Mark Walker saddles-up the top-two in the field and they appear to have the race between them. We’re giving the nod to TROBRIAND here who looks to bounce back from his defeat in the Listed Karaka Million last start where he finished third to his stablemate (Tokyo Tycoon) in the 1200m event. In the big field of 14, he settled mid-field on the fence and had to be eased off heels passing the 600m mark, which cost him ground and momentum. Opie Bosson then had to wind him up again for another burst but by then, the stablemate had all the momentum and went on to grab victory. To his credit, Trobriand finished strongly and was matching it with them in the final 100m. Today, we have a much smaller field and race tactics will be the key. We lean towards Bosson getting the upper hand today on a heavy track.



Race 5:  No.9  NEIGHBOURHOOD  ($7 with bet365)

The Lance O’Sullivan Team have NEIGHBOURHOOD engaged here who is third-up and looking good for victory. Last start, the Pins gelding came off a rusty first-up run and turned it around when he arrived in time to take out a BM65 over 1400m on this track. Ridden a treat by Joe Doyle that day, he settled mid-field, one off the fence, then on straightening, crossed off heels and finished too strongly for them. He will only strip fitter today and already a two-time winner at the track and trip, Doyle sticks with him and he looks a genuine player here at odds today.






Race 4:  No.5  BELLUCCI  ($4.50 with Ladbrokes)

Peter Didham saddles-up BELLUCCI here who has hit the ground running this preparation and looks likely to go on with it today. Last start, the Per Incanto mare made it back-to-back victories when she stormed home to grab the main prize on the line in a BM65 over 1200m at Hastings. After jumping from gate 12 (of 12), she settled back with the tailenders, eight lengths off the pace. Travelling three-wide, no cover, she was the widest of them as they straightened. One crack of the whip from Craig Grylls and she put in a ‘Kiwi’ like finish and got there on line. Grylls is two from two with the mare and sticks with her today. The 1400m looks ideal for her now and much better drawn here, she will take beating.



Race 7:  No.7  LA CRIQUE  ($2.90 with Palmerbet)

This looks like a race in three with the Team Alexander-trained LA CRIQUE looking a serious player second-up today. Last start, the Vadamos mare came off a 15-week break where she finished fifth in the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa. Connections were concerned about her performance (beaten seven lengths), but no abnormalities were found post-race. Nicely drawn in gate four today, Craig Grylls sticks with her as she clashes with Levante again and the lighter-weighted Wild Night who will be throwing their hats into the ring as well. Unbeaten (two from two) when second-up and already boasting Group 1 glory, she can bounce back today and take the trophy home.



Race 3:  No.5  ACCIDENTAL TOURIST  ($4.60 with TAB)

The Mark Walker-trained ACCIDENTAL TOURIST is second-up today and looks in this mix against this field. Last start, the Telperion gelding came off a 16-week spell and well ridden by Craig Zackey, he came from mid-field to grab third prize in a BM65 over 1100m at Te Rapa. Fitter for that run, he will find the 1200m here more to his liking and with Zackey engaged to ride at Matamata today, Michael McNab takes the reins for his first ride on the three-year-old. Placed second-up previously, and already a 1200m winner, he can give this a real shake today.