Turn it up!

Racing writer Jonny Turner previews the weekend's racing highlights from a southern perspective. 

The Canterbury Classic at Addington at 7.18pm tonight

Spankem just has to step away cleanly to again show his class and confirm his New Zealand Cup favouritism.

The race is set for All Stars domination, with Chase Auckland, Ultimate Sniper and Ashley Locaz my selections to fill the first four.

The Canterbury Park Trotting Cup at Addington at 8.18pm tonight

Oscar Bonavena versus Sundees Son is the clash trotting fans have been waiting for. Unfortunately, race conditions mean the question of who is the better trotter probably won't be answered.

Oscar Bonavena has a 20m headstart on his rival and his blistering speed will help him make use of that.

Despite the handicap scenario, it should still be a brilliant race.

The Guineas Trial at Riccarton at 2.30pm tomorrow

Northern trainers Ken Rae and Krystal Williams-Tuhoro can start their annual southern spring raid in good style in this race with Zelenski.

I thought her last-start run behind the talented Catalyst was excellent.

She was three-wide in the open throughout in group 3 company and she never flinched.

All About Magic is her main danger after he good second in the Canterbury Belle Stakes.

The improving Charlie Awesome looks a genuine threat, too.

The Coupland's Mile Trial at Riccarton at 3.10pm tomorrow

Gallant Boy certainly has the class to win, but faces a big task fresh up with 59kg.

He Kin Fly was unlucky in his last start, but can make amends for that when stepping up to his pet distance in this race.

For the third consecutive start, Kiwi Ida looks one of the the horses to beat with her 55.5kg weight.

Upperhand also gets in to this race nicely with 52kg and he will be a threat if he can handle his rise in class.

The North Canterbury Cup at Riccarton at 3.47pm today

This is a very open race.

Kaharau has sprung back to life in his last two starts and is proven in this kind of race.

Diorissimo keeps improving and is weighted nicely with 54kg.

Orepuki Lad should be much improved from his first up effort and he will relish the step up to 2000m.

His stablemate, Riviera Rock, was very good in his resuming run and can go well again.

The ever consistent Owen Patrick has to get a mention, too.

The graduation final at Ascot Park at 4.27pm tomorrow

It is nice to see good young horses come together for what should be an excellent race.

Willison was brilliant in running fourth in a really strong race at Addington in his last start and is the horse to beat for me.

Carlos Bromac will test him, as he has been good in his two southern starts.

Though this is a strong line-up, the two favourites look to have a class edge over their rivals.

The Livimol Classic at Hastings at 4.40pm tomorrow

The TAB think Melody Belle is a certainty to do what no horse has done before and win the Hastings triple crown.

It's hard to find an argument against that.

She's fast, she can stay the distance and she has got great manners.

Perhaps the bigger question is about who can run second.

For me, that is Mongolian Marshal.

The Epsom Handicap at Randwick at 7.05pm tomorrow

Star New Zealand galloper Te Akau Shark has a big task in front of him after he drew barrier 16.

Hopefully, some James McDonald magic will help him overcome that draw and show Australia how good New Zealanders think he is.

Though he has not won, the horse looks primed for this race following good reports from trainer Jamie Richards.

The horse will need to be at the top of his game, as there are few tougher 1600m challenges than running up the Randwick rise.

The Metropolitan at Randwick at 7.45pm tomorrow

Former Otago star Patrick Erin opened at massive $151 odds to defend his title this 2400m group 1 feature.

At his best he could give gold coin punters a big run for their money.

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