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Racing writer Jonny Turner previews this weekend's most intriguing races.
Johnny Globe Stakes
Addington tonight at 8.47pm
In his two wins to date, Heroes Square has looked like he has real X-factor about him.
Just how much X-factor he has might be revealed tonight.
He takes on a really smart field filled with up-and-coming 3yr-olds looking to give themselves a shot at the New Zealand Derby.
Heroes Square has already beaten some of his rivals, which bodes well and is why he is my top pick.
There is little among his rivals who are headed by Smooth Deal, Minstrel, Cloud Nine and Steel The Show.
This should be a cracking race and a good pointer towards next month’s derby.
Selections: Heroes Square (11), Minstrel (7), Smooth Deal (9), Cloud Nine (4).
Young Quinn Raceway
tomorrow at 3.39pm
They have won six of the past seven runnings and this race is all about Purdon-Rasmussen power again tomorrow.
First Class was excellent behind Krug, who is clearly the best 2yr-old in the country, in the Sapling Stakes.
His gate speed solidifies his position as top pick ahead of stablemate Delightful Dude.
Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson rarely lines up a 2yr-old, so American Lightning must be respected on that alone.
Ardens Ace is talented, but coming from the unruly over a sprint trip will be challenging for him.
Selections: First Class (6), Delightful Dude (2), American Lightning (7), Ardens Ace (10).
Trentham tomorrow at 3.15pm
Southern Guineas form will be on the line when Gore and Southland Guineas winner Lightning Jack steps out in a hot field tomorrow.
The way the 3yr-old has been powering home from off the speed suggest he could be up to his northern rivals.
Levante picks herself on top following her run of wins.
The Te Akau pairing of Star Of Bombay and Exaltation will not make it easy for the southerner either.
Selections: Levante (3), Star Of Bombay (5), Exaltation (8), Lightning Jack (2)
Trentham tomorrow at 3.50pm
The southerners are in the rare position of dominating the betting on a North Island feature.
Wekaforce is shooting for a hat-trick of wins after blowing away her rivals, including Sensei, in her most recent start at Riccarton.
Sensei has been below par in his past two start and may be back to his best if the Trentham track does not improve on the dead5 rating it was showing yesterday.
Enzos Lad is a genuine Trentham specialist and looks a stronger hope than stablemate Sensei.
Selections: Wekaforce (5), Enzos Lad (2), Santa Catarina (7), Red Chois (8).
New Zealand Oaks
Trentham tomorrow at 4.25pm
I have said in this column before that stretching 3yr-olds out over longer distances can be a great leveller.
That would mean I would usually take a cautious approach to selecting a horse such as Jennifer Eccles.
Barrier 19 adds to that caution.
However, the filly looks to have all the class and tractability needed to win a New Zealand Oaks.
So, it is hard to make a strong case against her despite that draw.
Those willing to wager against her are going to get a nice price about some talented horses.
Especially Loire, who is already proven at this level.
Selections: Jennifer Eccles (1), Loire (2), Karalino (7), Meghan (9).
All Star Mile
Caulfield at 6.45pm tomorrow
I think Melody Belle’s age and experience will be a massive factor when she clashes with Alligator Blood.
Although this is a rich race, it is hardly a vintage field outside the two favourites.
Melody Belle should handle most of her other rivals.
She just needs to get past star 3yr-old Alligator Blood.
I think she can.
Alligator Blood is a star, but his age and inexperience against hardened older horses could count against his chance of beating New Zealand’s star mare.
Selections: Melody Belle (9), Alligator Blood (11), Regal Power (4), Kolding (1).