Splurge ready to tackle Aussies

NZ sprinter can defy golden rule in Bris­bane sprint af­ter win­ning im­pres­sively at home at his last start

Weekend Herald - - RACING - Mike Dil­lon Lisa Allpress: Opie Bos­son: Matt Cameron: Sam Col­lett: Chris John­son: Danielle John­son: Michael McNab: Johnathan Parkes: Sam Spratt:

Un­ques­tion­ably, our horses are match­ing up to the Aus­tralians as never be­fore.

But there is one golden rule — don’t take a sprinter to Aus­tralia, they have the world’s best.

In a mod­est way Splurge will at­tempt to put a dent in that adage in this af­ter­noon’s A$ 125,000 ($ 134,700) Bris­bane Rac­ing Club Sprint over 1350m.

And don’t take our word he will give it a good shake, even the Aus­tralian TAB has him as the $ 4.60 favourite to achieve his goal.

Splurge has for a while given the im­pres­sion he has what it takes to make it into the head­lines, win­ning seven of his 11 starts, but none of those as im­pres­sively as his last- start vic­tory at Te Rapa.

Un­der 59.5kg top­weight he came from last, ran the 1200m on an of­fi­cially slow track in 1.11.33 and eased back to nearly three- quar­ter pace in the clos­ing stages.

It was the ef­fort of a horse ready for Aus­tralian com­pany.

To be fair, this i s a mid- range Aus­tralian sprint line- up and Splurge, with Opie Bos­son aboard, will be tough to beat with luck in run­ning on the tight Doomben cir­cuit.

It rained all night on Thurs­day and the like­li­hood of a slow track will not be a dis­ad­van­tage.

Today’s Bris­bane fea­ture, the A$ 650,000 Doomben Cup, looks an­other per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the im­ported It’s Some­what.

Godol­phin, with­out a per­ma­nent jockey to re­place James McDon­ald, is fly­ing James Doyle, one of their English re­tained rid­ers, back to Aus­tralia for just two en­gage­ments dur­ing the Bris­bane win­ter car­ni­val and this is one of them.

Since win­ning the group 3 Craven Plate in Oc­to­ber with McDon­ald aboard, It’s Some­what has been un­beaten in three races this prepa­ra­tion, the group 2 Ajax Stakes, A$ 3m Don­caster and last start the A$ 350,000 Hollindale Cup.

His record shows he clearly does not mind the wet con­di­tions.

For a Don­caster win­ner he i s ex­tremely well placed on es­sen­tially level weights with this op­po­si­tion.

The O’Sul­li­van/ Scott trained Sound Propo­si­tion makes his Aus­tralian de­but in this race, but looks badly placed on the same 59kg al­lot­ted the Don­caster win­ner.

The first race at Te Rapa today is a beaut, throw­ing up at least half a dozen promis­ing types that are go­ing to make the grade.

One of the most im­pres­sive maiden win­ners lately has been Blue Shadow ( No 10, R1).

She fairly bolted past the lead­ers in the home straight to win at Mata­mata last start and from a handy bar­rier should get the run of the race.

Stephen Marsh holds a strong hand with Col­lay ( No 11) and Amas­tar ( No 7), the lat­ter win­ning her only two starts. She has a bad bar­rier to con­tend with and luck will play a big part in her fin­ish­ing po­si­tion.

Col­lay over­came a bad early check and was forced to cover ex­tra ground to win when re­sum­ing at Taupo. She does not lack fight.

Perry Ma­son ( No 1, R2) and Ours ( No 4) should fight out the ma­jor prize in the maiden hur­dle race. Perry Ma­son looks as though he learned a lot from his first hur­dling cam­paign and was not beaten that far when topped off by Noth­ing Triv­ial on this track last start. Ours is now pre­pared by Kevin My­ers and as such de­serves plenty of re­spect.

Sea King ( No 1, R3) has been a great per­former at Te Rapa, even if his record looks big­ger over the big­ger steeple fences than over hur­dles. Even with 70kg top­weight he will take stop­ping in the Waikato Hur­dles. He is well used to car­ry­ing big weights.

Ngatira Gold ( No 6) should be im­proved by his re­cent rac­ing and with a much lighter weight needs plenty of at­ten­tion.

Bat­tle Time ( No 5, R4) is dif­fi­cult to fol­low. He ran a beaut first up on this track then started giv­ing ground a fair way out in the Easter Stakes at Eller­slie at his only start since.

It may just pay to for­get the Eller­slie run be­cause a peak ef­fort here would just about see him get home.

Mighty Solomon ( No 3), El Pescado ( No 2) and Sev­enth Up ( No 1) are at the top of the hand­i­cap and all have the abil­ity to win.

Sev­enth Up has a dev­as­tat­ing fin­ish, but whether he is able to pro­duce it un­der 60kg in this foot­ing re­mains to be seen.

Pro­file ( No 13), with just 54kg, could spice up mul­ti­ples.

The Big Opal ( No 3, R6) gives My­ers a great chance in the Waikato Steeple­chase. His record of four wins and a sec­ond from six steeple­chase starts is stylish.

That win by Ekarosa ( No 5, R8) last start was no fluke. She has had a lot go wrong in her ca­reer, but has plenty of abil­ity and could go close again.

Toorak Tower ( No 11, R10) could be value in the last. He is a big bloke and has prob­a­bly taken time to be­come solid.

This is a fresh start and rac­ing in that state should suit him. A se­lec­tion of New Zealand’s lead­ing jock­eys of­fer their best rides for the week­end and, where ap­pli­ca­ble, last week’s re­sult.

Strada Roc­cia – Awapuni ( race four). ( Lala Land – 2nd)

Splurge – Doomben ( race eight). ( Hall Of Fame – un­placed).

Zanyetta – Te Rapa ( race eight). ( Deals In Heels – scratched)

Wim­ble­don – Ro­torua ( race one) ( Wim­ble­don – scratched).

Let Her Rip – Ro­torua ( race seven). ( Let Her Rip – scratched).

Mer­itag­gio – Ro­torua ( race six). ( Col­lay – scratched).

Esprit De Corps – Ro­torua ( race three). ( Monarch Chimes – scratched).

Alinko Prince – Awapuni ( race seven). ( Start Won­der­ing – un­placed).

Lola Jane – Ro­torua ( race four). ( Brook­bars – un­placed).

Pic­ture / Tr­ish Dunell.

Splurge, win­ner of seven of his 11 starts, tack­les Aus­tralia’s sprint­ers for the first time at Doomben today.

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