Everyone in the harness racing industry has an opinion on the pros and cons of most runners contesting the Harness Jewels races at Cambridge this weekend so we here at Harnesslink thought we would put our two cents worth into the mix.
Not only will the best in the country compete for over $1.2 Million in prize money but punters will also get their chance to win big with several big betting pools available on this year's Harness Racing Jewels Day at Cambridge.
Today we will look at the three 4yo divisions, that is the 4yo Emerald, the 4yo Diamond and the 4yo Ruby.
THE EMERALD - FOUR YEAR OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS
1) MAJOR STAR – (g, Art Major – Ciccio Star – Soky’s Atom) Has won seven races but this is his first time against the best of his age group. Draw a big help but appears more of a first four chance rather than a winning one.
2) DYNAMIC PARTY – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Dynamic Guest – Smooth Fella) The emergency for the race who has made it back in to the field. Nice horse but hard to see him being competitive here. Not for us.
3) MOSSDALE CONNER – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Mossdale Kara – In The Pocket) Has been thereabouts in a lot of the big age group races over the last two seasons without really threatening to win one. Draw a big help but place chances still appear best chance here.
4) RANDALSTOWN – (h, Badlands Hanover – Jessica Nicole – Ok Bye) Has won seven races but not in good enough form at the moment to be a chance in a field of this quality. Not fancied.
5) MIGHTY FLYING MAC – (g, Mach Three – Fleet’s Pocket – In The Pocket) Great third last start after doing plenty of work and has been placed in a Jewels at Cambridge before. He will go forward and is a first four chance with a run to suit.
6) GIVE THE WINK – (g, Bettor’s Delight Remmars – Smooth Fella) Has been going super all season. Nice second three starts back behind Elios in 1:55mr followed by a tidy fourth behind Besotted in the Taylor Mile in 1:53.5mr. He is a definite first four player.
7) LEWY RISK - SCRATCHED
8) ARISING EASTON – (g, Washington VC – Ararua Alley – Vance Hanover) Has won five races this season but four of those have been on grass. Draw and strength of field makes it a really tough ask. Not for us.
9) PACQUIAO – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Medea – Mach Three) Really nice horse who likes to race on the pace. From his draw here he could end up buried back on the inner which is not his go at all. Hard to see him getting into the finish from there.
10) BETTER ROCK ON – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Jingle Belle Rock – Caprock) Strung together a few wins in the spring in impressive fashion but has struggled to get back to that form since. Not the worst but hard to see as a first four contender.
11) MACH'S GLADIATOR – (g, Mach Three – Smooth Maker – Make A Deal) Hit a real purple patch form a couple of months ago with a string of impressive wins but seems to have gone completely off the boil lately. Not for us.
12) FRANCO NELSON – (h, Christian Cullen – Notafella Franco – Falcon Seelster) Has an outstanding overall record and if he had drawn the front line he would have been hard to roll. Instead he has a wide second row draw but he is still a major player here.
13) NORVIC NIGHTOWL - (g, Bettor’s Delight – Tania Bromac – Holmes Hanover) He is in career best form which he capped recently with a smart third in the Messenger. However he never really left the rails that night and he has a lot harder task from this draw. He is still a first four contender.
14) ELIOS – (g, Bettor’s Delight – Its Showtime – Falcon’s Future) The form horse of the race with the worst possible draw. If he had drawn the front line he would have been terribly hard to hold out. He is at the top of his game at the moment and as quick as he is tough. He is a huge chance even from this draw.
Having looked at all the variables in this race we have come to the conclusion that regardless how badly they have drawn, Elios and Franco Nelson are still the two to beat. Of the two, Elios gets the nod over Franco Nelson but there is very little between them. Their draws bring them back to the field a bit but they do have a class edge on this field. Major Star, Mossdale Conner, Mighty Flying Mac, Give The Wink, and Norvic Nightowl should be in the fight for the first four positions.
THE DIAMOND – FOUR YEAR OLD PACING FILLIES AND MARES
1) MALOO – (m, Bettor’s Delight – Monaro – In The Pocket) Nice honest mare. Is likely to trail or be three back on inner at worst. Draw makes her a first four contender.
2) BECKINSALE – (m, Falcon Seelster – Ballroom Babe – Presidential Ball) Well travelled mare who has won eight but six of those wins have been in the Central Districts. It is hard to see her in the first four even from draw. Not for us.
3) CHILLYSJUSTASTRUTTER – (m, Sutter Hanover – Chilly Dawn – Deal Direct) Under-rated mare in good form. Huge rise in class here makes her an outside chance for a place at best.
4) HELENA JET – (m, Jereme’s Jet – Matai Marlene – Holmes Hanover) A twelve win mare who has won her last three but second appears her lot. Should work to the lead from her draw and then trail Adore Me but can't see how she beats her. Is the logical quinella with Adore Me.
5) ADORE ME – (m, Bettor’s Delight – Scuse Me – BG’s Bunny) Just wins. She is in a different league to these. Will work to the front from her handy draw and from there they can't beat her.
6) ONLYFORYOU – (m, Art Major – Destiny – Presidential Ball) Looked super in the spring but out of sorts in her last few runs. More than capable of placing in this at her best but seems a wee bit off that at the moment.
7) RIVER POLKA – (m, American Ideal – Isle Of Inishfree – Roydon Glen) Been going great guns all season and Tony Herlihy drives so that is a big plus. Is a definite first four contender even from this draw.
8) TACTFUL LADY – (m, McArdle – Tact Philly – In The Pocket) Has won five in her career to date but her shocking draw coupled with the class of this field makes this way too hard. Not for us.
9) THE FASCINATOR – (m, Bettor’s Delight – Impish – Falcon Seelster) Lovely mare in good form. Smart second two starts back to Sky Major, getting home in better than 55 seconds. Could end up four deep on inner from draw but can finish in first four with a little bit of luck in the running.
10) CHRISTY BREANNA – (m, Lis Mara – Holmes Dream – Holmes Hanover) In career best form following her brilliant 1:51.7TT in April at Ashburton. She hasn't faced a field of this class before but the bolter for first four takers.
11) RUSSLEY HASTE – (m, Mach Three – Russley Fiction – Road Machine) Has had a good season but form has tapered off and draw compounds the issue. Not for us.
12) WHISPER JET – (m, Jereme’s Jet – Nitouche Franco – Soky’s Atom) Has looked super at times and ordinary at other times. Hard to know which Whisper Jet will show up. If the right one does, she is more than capable of placing here.
13) LAURAMEGAN – (m, Tinted Cloud – Sensitive Poplar – Holmes Hanover) Last two runs at Auckland have been terrible but didn't look comfortable right handed. Back left handed here. Seven win mare with her share of ability so don't discount completely.
14) STEEL THE LIGHT – (m, Falcon Seelster – Star Empress – Fake Left) Six win mare who is the emergency for the race. Her draw and the class of this field will make this too big a task if she does gain a start. Not for us.
Adore Me looks unbeatable from the draw. Helena Jet should work to the lead and then trail Adore Me but second seems her lot. There are several other contenders for first four positions but form and the way the draws have fallen would suggest Maloo, River Polka, The Fascinator, Christy Breanna and Whisper Jet to be the main players.
THE RUBY – FOUR YEAR OLD TROTTERS
1) BONECHIP – (g, Monkey Bones – Lyn Chiola – Chiola Cola) He has been mixing it with the best lately. Great second to Sheemon two starts back, beaten just 0.4 of a length. Manners are an issue at times but has been placed seven from nine behind the mobile. Add in Tony Herlihy and he is a real contender.
2) OH NOVA – (m, Diedre Don – Tracy Nova – Chiola Hanover) Smart wee mare with a big sprint but several here look a touch better at this point in her career. Draw helps but outsider for a place at best
3) KINCASLOUGH – (m, Love You – Donegal Flat – Pine Chip) Is in career best form but this is a step up from the class he has been racing. good draw makes him a first four contender.
4) BALLYRONAN – (m, Love You – Lough Neagh – Sundon) Has compiled a tidy record to date but two many here look better at the moment. Not for us.
5) PARAMOUNT QUEEN – (m, Love You – Paramount Star – Sundon) Quality mare who has been in the first three in 16 of her 20 starts to date. Recent form has been excellent. She was placed in last year’s Jewels and is more than capable of doing so this year as well.
6) PRIME POWER – (g, Monarchy – Mega Belle – Sundon) At his best from this draw you would say he would win this race but there is a question mark after a less than impressive performance at his last start. His Trainer is confident he has him right again and hard to roll on his home track if that is the case.
7) ROYAL ASPIRATIONS - (h, Monarchy – Aspiring Gal – Sundon) The enigma of this year’s race. Ran a brilliant New Zealand record over 2,600 metres against the best trotters in the country four starts back but that seems to have taken the edge off him with his next three runs well short of his normal standard. At his best he would be a huge winning chance but seems short of his best at the moment.
8) QUITE EASY DAMIT - (g, Quite Easy – Geddown Damit – Sundon) Has shown plenty of promise in his career to date but draw and class of field make his task impossible. Not for us.
9) WINGSONHAI – (g, Pegasus Spur – Merinai – Tuff Choice) Has a tidy record but not going as well as he was earlier in the season. I cannot see him in the first four. Not fancied.
10) DOCTOR BONES – (g, Monkey Bones – Manakau Bay – Camtastic) Finally living up to his reputation, winning his last three with ease. Not far behind the best at three. His draw is no help but still a first four contender.
11) ASTRAL TRAVELLER – (g, Earl – Whiz Angel – Gee Whiz 11) Has won seven races but just a length or two off the best. This coupled with his draw makes it too hard for him. Not fancied.
12) PRINCESS SOPHIA – (m, Monarchy – Farisa – Chiola Hanover) Handy mare but draw and class of field makes her task impossible. Not for us.
13) SHEEMON – (g, Monarchy – Solar Fire – Yankee Reb) This year he has finally stepped out of the shadow of Prime Power and Royal Aspirations. He has copped the worst possible draw but can still roll these with the right run. With Dexter in the cart you can't say he won't get that run.
14) THE BOG – (m, Monarchy – Spin Ya Wheels – Grant Our Wishes) Emergency for the race. Promising trotter but draw and the class of this field makes his task impossible if he did get a start. Not fancied.
This race is a bit of a nightmare to predict. The two big guns drawn on the front line in Prime Power and Royal Aspirations have both been under a cloud after less than impressive performances at their last starts while the form trotter of the field in Sheemon has drawn the worst possible barrier. Several others such as Bonechip, Kincaslough, Paramount Queen and Doctor Bones have all been in career best form so an upset is more than possible. In the end we settled on Sheemon, even from the draw. Dexter is in unbelievable form at the moment and that should be just enough to give Sheemon the edge. The obvious dangers are Prime Power and Royal Aspirations while Bonechip, Kincaslough, Paramount Queen and Doctor Bones are all serious place chances.