The Christmas lights will be twinkling at Ellerslie tomorrow evening. The twilight meeting is extremely popular at this festive time of year… with a surprise element. The meeting is an invitational jockey event so it is like Secret Santa as to which jockey rides which horse.
Go Racing has two talented horses lining up.
Three-year-old filly Rip Em Up has finally got a draw to go her way securing barrier 2. “We’re pleased she will be able to settle handier and be amongst the horses. This is the first time she has had an inside draw in her career, so from there she should really be able to get an economical run,” say Syndicate Manager Albert Bosma.
Rip Em Up has had a short break after her last start, also at Ellerslie, so will run fresh up with trainer Stephen Marsh eyeing the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic for three-year-old fillies on Boxing Day second up.
Marsh has been pleased with her efforts in training. “She has been working well since coming back into the stable and her final gallop over 1200 metres on Tuesday was sharp. Cheek burrs have been added to her gear for the first time and the blinkers and nose band have been removed.” Lisa Allpress who currently sits second on the Premiership will ride.
Fast-finishing Maktoum lines up in race 5. “In his last two starts he’s had the fastest 600 metres sectional in the race,” says Albert. “He won brilliantly two starts ago despite his knack for continually drawing badly. Unfortunately tomorrow is no exception and he races from barrier 9. So he’ll get back in the field but if he gets clear running we know he’s got a devastating turn of foot to finish it off.” In form senior jockey Leith Innes will ride.
The Twilight Cup is a rating 72 race over 1500 metres worth $30,000 and is a qualifying race for the Dunstan Championship run on Boxing Day.
Says Albert, “Go Racing has history with this race winning the inaugural Dunstan Championship two years ago with Ruud Not Too. We would love history to repeat.”
Exciting stayer Starrybeel is the opening act for Go Racing action on both sides of the Tasman this Saturday.
Connections of the last start winner have their sights set on the Dunstan Stayers Final on New Year’s Day at Ellerslie worth $100,000. To qualify this exciting stayer needs to grab the thick end of the points on offer in the Rating 72 benchmark 2200 m worth $30,000 at Ellerslie this Saturday.
Michael McNab will ride with a hefty 58 kilos. Say trainer Stephen Marsh, “There are a couple of question marks – track conditions with the recent rain and running on the right-handed track. So it will be a good test for him. It is great to have Michael McNab back in the saddle too, as he did a lot of the early work on him.”
In Sydney, Campari is hoping for kinder track conditions with a touch more give in them, than the good 3 she raced on last time if she is to race in the Benchmark 78, 1500 metres $125,000 at Rosehill.
“She wants just a touch of give in track and a good three is pretty hard in Australia. Ideally we’d like good 4/soft 5 so her start will depend on track conditions.” On the positive side, Campari has a good weight of 54.5kg and apprentice Sam Weatherley will claim a further 2 kg, taking her down to a possible 52.5 kilos if he can make his full claim.
If conditions are too firm for the 4YO O’Reilly mare, there is a good alternative on Friday the 14th at Canterbury Park in a 1550 metres worth $80,000.
Last but not least three-year-old Fairy Me Home (Shamexpress x Fairy Tipsy) will debut for Chris Waller at Newcastle in the Colts, Geldings and Entires maiden 1400 metres worth $35,000.
Syndicate Manager Albert Bosma was impressed with his last trial. “He’s an exciting prospect. He ran second in his trial last month up against much more experienced horses with Hugh Bowman on board. We were pleased with how he held his own as an unraced maidener. It’s very encouraging and he is bred to get a trip, so we can see him stepping up in distance from here.”