Who to back on IRT New Zealand Cup day

By Michael Guerin

The five horses (maybe six) you should back on IRT New Zealand Cup day and why:

1: Don’t Stop Dreaming (R9, No.2): Unbeaten before his last-start defeat at the hooves of Merlin in the Harness Million but as we all know the draws are vastly different this time. But what really impressed last start wasn’t the fact that Don’t Stop Dreaming circled the field and sat parked to run second but even when tired in a sizzling last quarter he came again at the line. He is a good horse and unless there is silly pressure early, he should win.

2: Republican Party (R5. No.7): He was so brave winning at Ashburton last start and his only defeat this campaign has come behind Akuta when the latter led. Conversely, when RP led the start before he was able to beat Akuta, who would smash these. There is a stack of gate speed here and plenty of hardened old warriors, Cranbourne in particular, who will appreciate the drop in grade and return to the mobile but you get the feeling Republican Party might be the best horse with the most confidence.

3: Queen Of Diamonds (R7, No.10): You will go broke backing horses drawn one on the second line over 1980m, especially in Group 1 races, but hear me out. This filly is flying and while she trailed to beat stablemate True Fantasy at Ashburton last start she actually had to work from a wide draw first and won easier than her margin suggested. The start before she was super coming from back in the field against many of these. I’m not sure True Fantasy is going as well as she can but if she waltzes to the lead it may not matter but her defeats MAY have cost her some respect and there is a lot of gate speed here, including the filly Queen Of Diamonds follows out. That raises the possibility a vacuum is created by the front line inside draw horses early and she gets a decent run through and maybe even the chance to get off the markers and be midfield outer after 800m. If none of that happens she might finish a brave 3rd or fourth but at around $5 it is worth taking the risk and you might know your fate early.

4: Masterly (R1, No.3): Everybody like backing the first winner on Cup Day, then playing with house money afterwards. Masterly might be that horse. He proved to us he is an open class trotter in waiting when he destroyed good 3-year-olds in the Sires’ Stakes back in May and he resumed with a luckless but better than it looked seventh in the Hambo last start. Trainer Paul Nairn reports he worked well with Resolve on Friday and while he may not be super fluent in his gait yet that will matter less up against the markers, which is where he could end up as he is one of only three off the actual front line. If the Paul Nairn colours (the Caduceus colours) are leading at the bell in the first on Cup Day, do you really want to be on anything else?

5: The Cup! You didn’t think I was going to leave the Cup out did you? Because if I did you would have rightly called me out for avoiding a banger of a race that isn’t easy to pick because it has a lot of moving parts. Try factoring in travel, standing starts manners, front line versus second line and the doubts over long-time favourite Self Assured and you have a lot of ways this ends. What would I do if I had $100 and wanted to turn it into $200? I’d split bet Copy That and Rock N Roll Doo. They could be lead and outside leader at the bell and if they are it will take a special horse to run past them both. But Copy That has shown lately he can win from off the speed, in fact way off the speed, so he doesn’t have to lead. There are plenty of other chances and scenarios but it you want to play to win that split bet gives you the most realistic chance at doubling your money with the least risk percentage.And a reason to yell at the TV or join in the famous Addington roar.

The TAB has also sent through a summary of early notable bets for Tuesday.

$289 @ $8
$400 @ $6

Ohoka Le Bron:
$1,000 E/W @ $7
$700 @ $5.5
2x 500 @ $4.5

Streaming Live:
3x $100 @ $15

Republican Party:
$1,000 E/W @ $2.5
$1,000 @ $2.5
$900 @ $2.5
$400 @ $2.5

$500 @ $8
$300 @ $7

Queen Of Diamonds:
$825 @ $6
$400 @ $6

Don't Stop Dreaming:
$1,000 @ $1.75
$650 @ $1.75
$1,000 @ $1.7

$300 @ $6
$500 E/W @ $5.5

Franco Indie:
$400 E/W @ $4.2
$300 @ $4.2
$500 @ $4

Copy That:
$1,000 @ $3.8
2x $500 @ $3.8

Rock N Roll Doo:
$2,000 @ $5.5
$500 @ $5
$315 E/W @ $5

Akuta: $250 @ $6.5

Old Town Road:
$1,000 @ $8
$715 @ $8
$205 E/W $8
$200 E/W @ $8

Here's Herbie:
$1,000 @ $5
$500 @ $4.5


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