New Zealand Racing Tips September 18

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New Zealand Racing Tips Saturday September 18

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The Steven Woodsford-trained MISS CURIOUS (best odds $6.50 with Sportsbet) is second-up here and showed enough when resuming to suggest she is in the mix in this contest. Last start, the Nom Du Jeu mare was fresh off a 17-week break when she tackled a BM64 over 1400m at Ashburton. Never closer than three off the fence, she travelled without cover to the turn. On straightening, Corey Campbell was blocked and tightened for room all the way to the line and did a great job to get the mare home in fifth place, beaten less than three lengths in the end. Already a two-time winner over the mile, the step up to the 1600m here looks ideal. She is a track and distance winner and has saluted second-up previously. Too many boxes are ticked here to ignore her claims.


Danny Frye saddles-up two stable runners here with topweight OUR ECHO (best odds $10 with Palmerbet) looking a serious player, first-up in more than six months. Last start, the Echoes Of Heaven gelding wound-up what was a successful campaign when he finished a close-up fourth in a BM65 over 1600m at Wingatui. That day, he faced the mile trip for the first time and had to do it from gate 11 (of 14) carrying 60kgs. He sat on-speed and fought on bravely to be beaten just two lengths on the line. Chris Johnson has the reins for the first time and has drawn the middle of the field in barrier eight. The five-year-old has placed when resuming and his resume shows three runner-up finishes from four starts at the track. The shorter trip should suit and he will be there when it counts.


The promising ART DE TRIOMPHE (best odds $2.90 with Palmerbet) has returned to the track in red-hot form and looks on target to continue the good work here. Last start, the Vadamos filly resumed off a 17-week spell and took on her own age group in a 1200m Hcp at Ashburton. Drawing the outside gate (8), she settled last of the eight, six lengths off the pace. Turning for home, Kylie Williams pulled her wide where she ran home strongly and after taking the lead inside the final 200m, went on to win by two lengths on the line. Williams remains aboard here and she will have to deal with another wide gate (11 of 14). A winner when second-up last preparation, the three-year-old carries the same weight here and looks the testing material.






The Catherine Cameron-trained CHEVAL PROMETTEUR (best odds $2.40 with Sportsbet) already boasts an outstanding resume and continues to impress this preparation. Last start, the Declaration Of War gelding was third-up off a lengthy 35-week absence when he recorded career win number four over the mile trip at Te Rapa. Settling second that day, Sam Spratt kept him four and five horses off the fence (in search of firmer ground) which in the end paid dividends. He straightened up nearer the outside fence and went on with it from there, winning by more than a length on the line, tactics paying off there. Spratt sticks with the six-year-old here and on the firmer going, will prove hard to beat again.


Unbeaten in three starts to date, the Jamie Richards-trained IMPERATRIZ (best odds $1.95 with Palmerbet) looks ideally placed here to make it four-straight. Last start, the I Am Invincible filly made it a hat-trick when she was first-up off a lengthy 35-week absence. Lining-up in the Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa, she had the run of the race, and on straightening settled down to battle it out with I Wish I Win. Although her lack of race fitness was telling, she fought like a caged tiger to eventually get the better of things and managed to take it out by a length on the line. Danielle Johnson rode her a treat that day and after three winning rides on the filly, she remains aboard here. Drawn the fence, everything looks in place for another victory.


After a shock first-up defeat, the Jamie Richards-trained AVANTAGE (best odds $3.30 with Bet365) will be out to atone for that loss here and looks well placed to fulfil that plan. Last start, the Fastnet Rock mare was fresh off a 20-week break when she lined-up in the Valachi Downs Foxbridge Plate over her pet-distance of 1200m. Trapped three-wide without cover to the turn, she straightened up and basically had nothing left to give, weakening right out of it in the end to finish mid-field. A Vet’s exam showed no abnormalities so it was put down to a lack of fitness on the day (a bizarre outcome considering she has won six of nine previous first-up runs). Drawn much better here, the 103 rated mare looks to settle in the first half-dozen from gate five but should have plenty of cover there in the 14-strong field. She is yet to miss a podium finish in four visits to the track and has Danielle Johnson sticking with her here in search of her 7th victory on the mare. Champions have off-days and it may pay to forgive and forget that last run. At her best, she starts in the red here.


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