Miss Oahu says mahalo for rock hard track at Woodville on Sunday
A good 2 track at Woodville on Sunday could be just the conditions Miss Oahu needs to score an overdue win.
The Pins six-year-old mare doesn’t have the greatest winning strike rate, but her record of just two wins from 23 starts is more a reflection of her hatred of getting her feet wet.
It’s no coincidence that her favourite track is Hastings, where she has racked up a win and five placings because of the regular better footing. Her only two failures there were in slow and heavy ground.
Woodville is also a kind track to Miss Oahu. She broke maidens there in January of last year - on good 2 ground - and ran second at her last visit when it was a dead 4 when she ran into subsequent Pegasus Sprint winner Casaquinman.
On Sunday she has to contend with the outside gate of the nine runners but trainer Lisa Latta says she has the speed to go forward and cross them.
At her last start she could not get on the front end after being tightened at the start, settling fifth in the running.
But when rider Robbie Hannam was able to clear heels at the 200 she really stretched out late, unleashing easily the fastest last 600 metres in the race of 34.62 to get within half a length and a long head of winner Euka Lady.
“She worked very well on Wednesday and will like the good conditions she will strike,’’ says Latta. “If she runs as well as she did at Hastings last time she will be hard to beat. She’s racing well and deserves a turn.’’
Stablemate Master Lincoln, on the other hand, “needs to front up” in the sixth race, says Latta.
“He’s been disappointing but I might have backed him up a little too soon last time.’’ The horse’s Otaki failure came only 11 days after he ran a bold second at Wanganui.
“He’s better with his races spaced a bit.’’
It will be 27 days since the Mastercraftsman four-year-old’s last start when he lines up on Sunday and Latta says the horse worked well on Tuesday.
“He strikes a very even field and if he can perform up to his run at Wanganui he is capable of featuring in the finish.’’
Latta has engaged top jockey Sam Collett this time, suspecting Madan Singh was not strong enough for the horse at Wanganui.
“But Woodville is very firm and, while the track has a great sole of grass on it, a shower of rain would not hurt.’’
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Sunday at Tauherenikau
Race 1: Lincoln Hanover
“He’s done very well since his first-up run at Awapuni and continues to please me. He has come up with the outside gate which isn’t ideal but he has the speed to get across them. The step-up in distance will help and, while the top two horses look hard to beat, he is capable of taking this out.’’
Race 6: Platinum Rapper
“She has trained on well since her first-up win. Tauherenikau is a track that does not get overly hard, which we are looking for. This race will tidy her up to head south. There are some handy types in it and she is up a rating band but I am happy with her progress and expect another good run.’’
News in brief
AUTUMN PREP: Trainer Lisa Latta may consider an autumn campaign with Lincoln Falls if he comes through his gelding operation well, kicking off with the Group III Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on April 27. The horse, who did not see out the derby trip last Saturday, went out to the paddock today for a freshen-up before visiting the vet.
RETIRED: Bush Whacked has been retired. Despite showing promise at trials the Sepoy three-year-old showed in three starts for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh that he simply didn’t want to be a racehorse.
TOUCH FLAT: Rider Robbie Hannam told stewards he thought Platinum Touch was feeling the effects of her debut run and felt flat after beating only two home at Trentham.
LOST DREAMS: Dreams Of Platinum has been sold to Australia. The four-year-old mare won one race and placed seven times in 21 starts, earning nearly $35,000.