The qualifying races are now completed and the order of entry can be finalised and will be published by NZTR early afternoon tomorrow (Tuesday 12th) with the nominations for the other three races.
Good to see three of the top qualifiers are locally trained with the 2 yo series headed by Rae Racing's Deploy, the stayers headed by Chevron, after a very impressive last start win and the progressive final headed by Cakebytheocean, both trained by Chris Gibbs.
The stayers series doubles as the ITM/GIB Whangarei Gold Cup and the top four qualifiers are Chevron, Quiz Kid, Letrim Lad and Rising Road.
The sprinters series looks a very competitive race with proven sprinters like New York Jazz and Tightlign being challenged by the rising Zelenski, Ever So Easy and Diamond Girl. Just scraping into the field with only one start in the series is Irish Girl and she could prove the hardest to beat given her excellent Ruakaka record for the Rae Racing stables.
A lot of locals will be keen for the highest 2yo qualifier Deploy to continue her winning form. The Sepoy 2yo could be the find of the season because the Group 3 Cambridge Stud Northern Breeders Stakes for $80,000 is on August 20th, so a win on Saturday would be a great pre-cursor to adding black type to her pedigree.
The aptly named Cakebytheocean has dominated the progressive series and will be the logical favourite for trainer Chris Gibbs and the ownership group headed by Kylie Bax.
It will be interesting to see if all three top qualifiers for the 3yo series, Turn The Ace, Seresin and Smart Rocks head north as they maybe considering bigger spring options, but $60,000 at this time of the year with fit in form horses must be an attractive option.