Day At The Track

Welcome Stakes preview

06:50 PM 24 Mar 2015 NZDT
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Waikiki Beach - Looks the horse to beat in this years Welcome Stakes
Waikiki Beach - Looks the horse to beat in this years Welcome Stakes

The time honoured harness racing classic for two year olds, the Welcome Stakes is up for grabs on Friday night and we thought an in depth preview was in order.

New Zealand Welcome Stakes

1) Arden's Choice - Starts: 3    Wins: 0    Secs: 2    Thirds: 0    Life: $9,550

Lovely filly who followed up two big runs leading into the Young Guns Fillies final at Alexandra Park by throwing her toys out in the big race with an early gallop.

Ability not in question and while two or three of the colts may have her measure, she is more than capable of holding her own against most here.

Trifecta and first four chance from the draw.

2) Classie Brigade - First Tote Start

Beautifully bred son of Bettor's Delight from the former top racemare Trigirl Brigade 1:52.3 (pld) $143,711) who was a $60,000 purchase at last years Australasian Classic sale at Karaka.

Has been prominent at trials and workouts in Canterbury but yet to win one yet from four attempts.

His last trial was his best effort though with a 4 1/2 length second to Waikiki Beach at Rangiora.

A work in progress for us and not in this field at this stage.

3) Sophisticated Lady - Starts: 2    Wins: 0    Secs: 1    Thirds: 0    Life: $4,668

Very good run on debut in Leonard Memorial when a smart second to Northern Velocity.

Disappointing in the Caduceus Club Classic last Saturday at Invercargill but in her defence the track was very wet and she didn't look comfortable in it at anytime during the race.

Still learning what the racing game is all about and at this stage we would prefer her in a fillies race rather than up against the colts here.

4) Waikiki Beach - Starts: 1    Wins: 1  Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $16,300 

Outstanding debut at Invercargill in the $25,000 Kindergarten Stakes where he zipped the last 400 metres on a slushy track in 26.7 

This big impressive looking son of Somebeachsomewhere was super impressive at last Wednesdays workouts at Rangiora and showed real speed off the gate which is a big plus here.

The draw makes him the one to beat in our book but it won't be easy with Chase The Dream in here as well.

Include in everything.

5) Vanquished - Starts: 1    Wins: 0  Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $1,150

Another well bred son of Bettors Delight who cost $26,000 at last years Premier sale at Christchurch.

Has won a couple of workouts but not against the horses he faces here.

His first up fourth in a field of five from barrier one was just ok and too many here  have the wood on him for us to see him as a major player.

Not for us.

6) Ice Crusher - First Tote Start

This smart looking son of Chistian Cullen cost $68,000 at last years Premier sale at Christchurch.

Was looking sharp at trials and workouts in January after which he had a brief let up and he has come back in late March with a couple of tidy runs including a quiet third today at Rangiora.

Has run time and looks a progressive type to us and appeals as a roughie to spike up those trifectas and first fours. 

7) Motu Premier - Starts: 3    Wins: 0   Secs: 1    Thirds: 2    Life: $9,091

Lovely Bettors Delight colt who has gone three smart races in his career to date.

Unlucky third in the Sapling Stakes after jumping a shadow on the corner which was followed by a run at Invercargill for second on a slushy track which he didn't seem to handle all that well.

Last start third third to Chase The Dream was full of merit as he drew the widest in the small field and worked mid race as well.

A must have for all combination takers.

8) Chase The Dream - Starts: 4    Wins: 4    Secs: 0    Thirds: 0    Life: $99,414 ($99,414)

Unbeaten in four starts as a juvenile but that record is under threat here from his stablemate Waikiki Beach.

Has great ringcraft which all the smart two year olds have and has an all round game being both quick and tough.

You can't do anymore than win and being a Bettors Delight he won't give up his unbeaten streak without a real fight.

But for the draw would have been first pick.

Include in everything

9) MacKenzie - First Tote Start

This daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven from the former outstanding racemare Kept For Pleasure 1:56 ($542,343) was an $82,000 purchase at last years Australian Pacing Gold sale at Sydney.

Has been very prominent at trials around Canterbury and is being aimed at the APG sales race series in Australia.

Big strong filly who has shown the ability to work in her trials and workouts.

Quiet trial win at Rangiora today but home in 27.1 and not out of her depth here but draw makes it hard.

Include in first fours

SELECTIONS 

This really is an All Star barn benefit.

The draw makes us lean towards Waikiki Beach who has looked special at trials and his one raceday start.

The obvious danger is Chase The Dream and these two look the obvious quinella.

Motu Premier is a clear third choice for us in front of Arden's Choice, Ice Crusher and MacKenzie who should fight out that fourth placing.

Harnesslink Media

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