Akuta draws well for Alabar Kaikoura Cup
By Michael Guerin
The Alabar Kaikoura Cup is shaping as the definitive New Zealand Cup lead-up in more ways than one.
Most of the realistic New Zealand Cup hopes for 15 days later will be in the Kaikoura feature over 2400m, the three most obvious absentees being B D Joe and the Australian stars Swayzee and Spirit Of St Louis.
The latter two trialed well from a standing start at Menangle on Wednesday so are good to go for Addington while B D Joe is likely to have his final lead-up race on November 3.
But them aside it is a Cup field at Kaikoura, with Old Town Road and Krug the two big-name additions from those who went around at Ashburton on Monday.
That not only gives the race the depth to be a huge pointer to the Cup but also the chance to answer one of the other big Cup questions for punters: will Akuta step away?
While there is no real suggestion Akuta won’t step away, after all he has won four of seven standing starts and being placed in two others, when a horse is into $1.80 to win the Cup you want him to tick all the boxes.
So Akuta drawing barrier 2, on a full front line, with potentially fast beginners standing directly behind him with a huge crowd both inside and outside him should be the ultimate test of whether he will handle the unique pressures of Cup Day.
If Akuta can step safely, sit parked for the third race in a row and win this Kaikoura Cup (lets not forget, he couldn’t last year) then maybe the Aussies are all that stand between him and our biggest pacing prize.
His stablemate Oscar Bonavena has snuck into the IRT South Bay Trotters Cup to add some depth to the trot feature on Monday while the NZB Sales Series Classic has attracted a smaller field than usual but an even punting line-up as the last race of the day.
To see the Kaikoura fields click here