Day At The Track

Elle Mac too good in Oaks

08:29 AM 03 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Elle Mac,Harness racing
Mark Purdon thinks Elle Mac can win
HRNZ photo

The first classic of Auckland Cup week was over almost before it began.

Hot favourite Elle Mac led home an All Stars-trained quinella in the $125,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks at Alexandra Park last night, jumping straight to the lead and never getting out of third gear.

While the Alexandra Park specialist probably would have won regardless, she was all but gifted the race when second favourite and arch-rival Bettor Joy's winning chances were extinguished early. She was checked by a galloping rival in front of her, effectively knocked out of winning contention, and did a remarkable job to recover into fourth.

Elle Mac had all the ingredients for an Oaks winner, being by super sire Bettors Delight, trained by the All Stars and owned by huge sales spender Jean Feiss.


But it wasn't all plain sailing for All Stars hotshots in the three-year-old features last night as the Woodlands Northern Derby market was turned on its head when Chase Auckland tasted defeat for the first time in the Derby prelude.

He was forced to sit parked and couldn't grab stablemate Sicario, who was having his first start since last winter.

The result suggested Monday's barrier draw will play a bigger role than expected in who wins next Friday's Derby.

The other stars of the night were the Michelle Walls-Bernie Hackett training team, who won both early trots including the Northern Breeders Stakes with Majestic Ali paying $13.90.

Michael Guerin



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