Kiss needs Lady Luck on her side in Group 1 Friday night

By Michael Guerin

Lady Luck and star juvenile filly Kiss seem to have gone their separate ways in the second half of 2023.

The Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan-trained filly has looked maybe the best young female pacer in the country with two wins and two huge placings in her four starts but she has come up with the outside of the front line in the $110,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

Not that she isn’t getting used to it as she has had to contend with barriers 7 and 8 (preferential) in her last two starts, a far cry from earlier this year when she drew barriers 1 and 2 in her only two starts of her first campaign.

At least Friday’s group 1 is over the longer 2200m, which should suit Kiss, but it is hard to envisage she will be seeing much of the marker pegs this Friday as the juvenile female pacing season starts to ramp up after the winter break.

Kiss meets last start conqueror Coastal Babe (6), Delightful Lady winner Treacherous Love (4) and another race winner in Akatea (1 the second line) in a rare race where the only three South Island trained fillies make a mockery of the “visitor’s draws” by drawing barriers 1, 2 and 3.

Both the fillies’ group 1 and the Northern Three-Year-Old Stakes (nine runners) attracted decent-sized fields but the Spring Cup drew only six starters. Consistent with last week’s lead-up race it was rightly allowed to go ahead.

The traditional kick off point of the northern spring open class season will see Copy That back on a 20m handicap over just 2200m and that will provide bookies with an interesting job trying to assess his right price as he was beaten in a similar field after leading effortlessly over a mobile mile last Thursday.

The horses who stunned in beating him last week, Hooray Henry, is back but better off this week with a 20m start while Nicholas Cage begins his possible New Zealand Cup campaign also off the front line.

So Copy That is going to have to be fitter than last week to if he wants to get his winning percentage back to 50 per cent.

He has had 67 career starts for 33 wins, so last week’s defeat dipped him below the 50 per cent but he can get back to that if he can overcome the 20m this Friday.

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