Turn it up! A smorgasbord of racing this weekend

If you like racing but you have plans for tomorrow, cancel them. And whether it is the thoroughbred or the harness code or both, you can fill your boots.

Here are just a few of likely highlights on a day set to be a punter's paradise.

The rating 59-74 Mobile Pace at Ascot Park, 5.07pm

The preferential barrier draw conditions of this race have set up an even and intriguing lead-up to the Invercargill Cup.

Leading Southland 3yr-old Robyns Playboy will look to bounce back from his slightly surprising last-start defeat.

He meets fellow smart 3yr-olds Kingmaker and Ive Already Told You.

Please Shuddup heads the older brigade the 3yr-olds clash with.

The Invercargill Cup at Ascot Park, 4.38pm

Funatthebeach has been in brilliant recent form and will seek his fourth cup win in his past five starts on Saturday.

The scratching of his main rival, Alta Maestro, means the race looks his for the taking.

Letspendanitetogetha and Queen Bee Bardon look Funatthebeach's main rivals.

The Dunedin Gold Cup Trial at Riccarton, 3.12pm

This may not be a vintage line-up of stayers.

However, it is still an intriguing race and could help answer a few questions ahead of the Dunedin Gold Cup.

And it could confirm Anythingcouldhappn is the rising star of the South Island staying ranks.

The Stephen Woodsford-trained galloper has been highly impressive, winning his last three starts.

Another victory would complete an epic rise into the open ranks.

The Timaru Stakes at Riccarton, 4.22pm

In the listed Hazlett Stakes at Wingatui on Boxing Day, The Precious One was only just nutted by Sensei, who went on to dead-heat for third in the Telegraph.

The Precious One rocketed home straight past Signify (third-equal with Sensei) and beat the Telegraph winner, Enzo's Lad, though he was unlucky.

The Precious One will be out to turn the tables on Kiwi Ida after their quinella in the group 3 Canterbury Breeders Stakes during the New Zealand Cup carnival.

They will face stern competition from the likes of Get Schroeder, Tomm Jones and He's Gold, among others.

The Karaka Million at Ellerslie, 6.33pm

Former Wingatui horseman Jamie Richards will shoot for a hat-trick of training wins in what will be a scintillating clash of young blueblood speedsters.

His leading contenders, Probabeel (16), Yourdeel (12), and Aotea Lad (13) will have to overcome wide barrier draws to win.

The Team Te Akau trio will clash with the highly impressive Whiskey Neat. The Tony Pike-trained 2yr-old has looked classy in his first two starts and could well make it three in a row.

Karaka Million 3yr-Old Classic at Ellerslie, 7.48pm

Two Thousand Guineas winner Madison County can confirm his status as the country's star 3yr-old tomorrow.

He meets a line-up of familiar names, mixed in with some up-and-comers.

Surely Sacred fits in to the up-and-coming category. He has looked well above average in just three starts.

Australian raider Long Leaf adds a lot of interest to the race. On form he has to be a massive chance.

The Great Southern Star at Melton, 11pm

The battle trotting fans have been waiting for will finally take place in Melbourne tomorrow night.

Lightning-quick Interdominion champion Tornado Valley has home-town advantage and a slightly better draw in his quest to stave off the mighty staying motor of Marcoola.

The New Zealander looks better suited to the 2760m distance but Tornado Valley's gate speed means he will almost certainly receive a better run in the race.

This has to rate as the trotting battle of the season so far.

Speeding Spur and Temporale add to a powerful New Zealand attack on the southern hemisphere's richest trotting race.

The 4yr-old Bonanza at Melton, 11.59pm

Two of the incredibly talented crop of New Zealand 4yr-olds will attempt to book their tickets to the Chariots Of Fire in this group 1 feature.

Southland-bred-and-raced pacer Pat's Delight has drawn perfectly in barrier 2.

Spankem, who has taken his game to new levels in Australia, should offer plenty of competition for him from barrier 7.

Reigning Southland horse of the year Duke Of Wellington contests the race for his new Victorian trainer, Kerryn Manning.

There are other quality races that did not make this short list. Honourable mentions go to the Westbury Classic, Victoria Derby and Ladyship Cup, as well as an entire meeting at Trentham that did not make the cut.

Enjoy your Saturday of racing.

Happy trails

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