Firstly I’ve just googled the weather for Westport for their second day of racing on Saturday the 28th and it’s all good. Clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine which is a stark contrast with the steady drizzle Christchurch has been experiencing in the last few days which by the way is set to roll on for a few more as well.
The quaddie for Westport commences on race seven the Caltex Westport Handicap Pace for the two to four win pacers.
Lining up on the 20m handicap is the Westport Cup winner Maximan who is likely to start favourite. I think he probably deserves to be favourite but this race could prove harder to win than the cup given that the race is only over the 2600m stand and there are some useful horses off the front. I refer to Arising Easton who sat parked but toyed with the opposition when he won on the first day.
His driver Blair Orange is driving as good as he ever has if not better and is tactically very astute. If his charge can make a good beginning he will try and put a gap between himself and Maximan. If that was to eventuate he could lead and could win.
Graduate Under Fire is another who can roll along in front and he too needs to be on the ticket.
The second leg is for the one to two win pacers and again look to the first day form. In speaking of Graduate Under Fire he is also entered in this race so if he starts here he is a must have on the ticket.Lilac Desire, Bankcard and Lively Shard all raced well on the first day with the latter most likely the biggest improver of them, after all Lively Shard is a former Westport Cup winner so he should be highly competitive here.
I’m going to say the F word now so here goes take the “Field”. They will back Naughty Maravu off the tote but I think he is vulnerable and anything could win this race. Naughty Maravu was just that on day one when running second he ran off on the turn and collected a few others and was subsequently disqualified.
The last looks a little easier to tip. Alta Gerome won with plenty of style on the first day and I think he can win again. The step up will be something he can handle. Lilac Desire has been the bridesmaid three times in a row and is knocking on the door of success. Kaite Kash would be the next best.
Justin Le Lievre