Jewels contenders in action

NZ HARNESS NEWS

With this weekend’s harness racing action the final chance for qualifying for the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in a fortnight, we’ve worked our way through the nine categories to look at who, from the four meetings across the country this weekend, are still capable of making their way into the final fields for the big day.

2YO Emerald

Current Leader: Jesse Duke. Australian Invite: Petes Big Jim. Current Cut Off: Trojan Banner (11) $8420.

It’s a relatively quiet time for the two-year-old boys but with the heavy hitters tackling big racing at Addington on Friday night, there will be plenty of interest in Trojan Banner (11) at Cambridge on Thursday. A win would see him secure a spot while a non stake placing would leave him open to being passed by either Memphis Tennessee (12) on Friday night or Escelara (13) at Oamaru on Sunday. The rest, nine of whom tackle the Sires’ Stakes Final, are all well entrenched inside the final field for the Emerald. Major Express (10) could be the only one in trouble if he has no luck and those below him manage good results.

2YO Diamond

Current Leader: Princess Tiffany. Australian Invite: Platinum Revolution. Current Cut Off: Rise Above This (11) $6060.

It’s hard to see much changing in terms of the final field for the Diamond, although winning turns for the likes of Gold Rocks (17) or Linc’s Bute Girl (19) on Thursday night at Cambridge could make things interesting. Rise Above This (11) can secure her spot with a victory at Gore on Saturday while impressive maiden winner, Buzinga (12), can sneak in the back door too with a win at Oamaru on Sunday afternoon.

2YO Ruby

Current Leader: Enhance Your Calm. Australian Invite: N/A. Current Cut Off: Doff Your Cap (12) $2170.

Traditionally this has been the category where the moves happen - with a maiden victory usually enough to sneak anyone into the field who might be keen on making it. With a big field going around for good money at Addington, the possibilities here are pretty endless. There will be plenty of eyes on You Really Got Me (25) who is also in at Oamaru on Sunday, while Jake The Mus (16) is another who should work his way into the Top 12. But anything could happen here.

3YO Emerald

Current Leader: Sheriff. Australian Invite: N/A. Current Cut Off: Alta Shelby (12) $27,235.

One of the premier categories, it’s relatively quiet with only Addington contenders chasing a start this week. Ohanzee (11) might have the most to lose from his current spot while wins for Tennyson Bromac (15), Tuapeka Trick (15), Alta Maestro (21) and Mach Up (32) would be enough to see them sneak their way into the Top 12 depending on the results of those around them. Pat’s Delight (3), Hail Christian (6) and Funatthebeach (7) are all racing, but are safely in the field.

3YO Diamond

Current Leader: Elle Mac. Australian Invite: Sheez All Rock. Current Cut Off: Just Dance (11) $17,908.47.

The running of the New Zealand Oaks makes this one of the most intriguing categories of the weekend. So many horses further down the list could push themselves into contention should they prove successful, but it is those who aren’t racing in the Oaks who might make the biggest push. Kensington Kate (43) could earn a spot if she can win a lower grade race while Skipperland (25) and Tres Vite (24) could do the same at Addington. On Thursday night at Cambridge, Forever Pearl (17), Magical Miss (20), Yasmine Bromac (21) and Jenora (26) can all make the top division with victories. Whether they are still there however will be very interesting come Sunday night. Southland filly Easton Foxglove (30) can also squeak in at Gore on Saturday with a win. Just Dance (11) sits right on the edge, but does tackle a lower grade race on Friday night.

3YO Ruby

Current Leader: Winterfell. Australia Invite: Wobelee. Current Cut Off: All American (11) $20,461.40.

Just outside of the top half dozen, there’s three horses with a chance all going around at Cambridge on Thursday night in the Trotting Oaks there. Sequoia (24) has the most work to do while Safrakova (13) and Luck Of The Moment (13) are all within striking distance if they are able to get the W next to their names. All American (11) can consolidate with a victory in the Waikato.

4YO Emerald

Current Leader: A G’s White Socks. Australian Invite: Jilliby Kung Fu. Current Cut Off: Billy Badger (11) $30,293.

Just the four horses outside of the top four racing this week who are still in with a hope of making the field for Queen’s Birthday. At Cambridge, Somewhereinbrooklyn can do the necessary with success while Royal Bengal (14), Editorial (17), Mighty Santana (31) and Some Excusesomehwere are all close enough to earn a spot if they can win at Addington. Run Boy Run (10) is taking the slightly easier approach by heading to Oamaru on Sunday for consolidation of his spot.

4YO Diamond

Current Leader: Bonnie Joan - Australian Invite: Carlas Pixel - Current Cut Off: Delishka (11) $32,495

Another with real potential for changes with six horses all fighting for probably the final two spots. Ideal Rule (19) takes on a hot field from a good draw so could sneak in while Mad Lui Li (17), Shezza GNP (16) will also strut their stuff at Addington. Southland filly, Especial (15) can do the same if she can win on Saturday at Gore. Three Kisses (13), who sits just outside the order of entry, can do enough by winning on Thursday night at Cambridge.

4YO Ruby

Current Leader: Habibi Inta. Current Cut Off: Mystical Star (12) $24,510.

It’s tight in the middle section of this division with eight horses still in contention outside the top 11. Bonnie Highlander (11), Jaw D Nancy (15), Miracle Rising (16) and Ruthless Kayla (27) can all work into the field with wins at Addington. At Gore on Saturday both Pres The Belle (17) and Ace Commander (19) can also work into the field with winning efforts in a race where they go head-to-head.

NOTES:

The number in brackets is a horse’s current ranking.

In a race where there is no Australian invite, the 12th horse on the order of entry will gain a start.

Only stake bearing placings are added to a horse’s tally.

Read this first in the weekly Harnessed, subscribe here https://theinformant.co.nz/subscribe/register

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