News & Events

The Wild Card top pick in Alex Park feature

By Michael Guerin

The scratching of New Zealand Cup entrant Aslan from tonight’s feature race at Alexandra Park leaves The Wild Card as an anchor in the $50,000 Pick6.

The pair were supposed to have met in the $15,000 main pace but Aslan has been withdrawn, effectively ending his small hopes of making the NZ Cup field.

The Wild Card may be aiming for a different level of Cup, most likely the Franklin Cup at the end of November, but he still looks to have lengths on his rivals in race seven tonight. He was one of the big improvers of the winter for trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett, eventually claiming wins over stars like Sir Lincoln and Let’s Elope. He is almost the perfect intermediate grade pacer, with manners, gate speed and toughness, qualities which look set to carry him to the cusp of open class.

And even though he hasn’t raced for six weeks he should continue that march tonight. All six of his career wins have been at Alexandra Park, five over tonight’s distance and with his early speed he should be able to head forward and wrest control of the race. But even if driver Tony Herlihy chooses not to do that the small field ensures he can’t be worse than a few lengths off the leader at the 400m mark and from there he should be too good.

While there will be plenty of punters willing to anchor The Wild Card in the Pick6, horses worth taking one-out in the other legs are hard to find tonight.

Early in the night though punters should have little trouble making a bank for themselves with a couple of handy youngsters well placed in maiden grade. Imajollywally cost punters plenty when his concentration let him down last start but should repay them in the first race. Silver Whisp comes into race two beautifully after beating a similar field last start in a race that was penalty-free because it was part of the invited driver’s series.

Race four brings together some handy fillies and mares in Mumsie and Vincennes, the latter having a huge reputation for trainer Doug Gale last season, suggesting she is far better than maiden grade. And race nine gives Ray the perfect chance to return to the winner’s circle off a very fair 20m handicap in a weakfish field. The conditions of the race could make Moment Of Truth his danger as he is drawn to trail potential leader Silver Stream and looks well placed as a 14-race winner.