New Zealand: I Wish I Win can topple stablemate in Northland Breeders' Stakes
After a delay enforced by the Delta variant of Covid-19, New Zealand spring racing gets underway in earnest Saturday (Friday night ET) with a meet that provides an important guide to upcoming feature races.
The spring meet at Te Rapa racecourse is highlighted by the Foxbridge Plate (G2), run over 1200 meters (about six furlongs). In recent years it has become the most important lead-up to the Group 1 spring races at Hastings.
This year, however, with the cancellation of the late August meet at Ruakaka racecourse in the Northland region, its feature, the Northland Breeders’ S. (G3) for three-year-olds, likewise over 1200 meters, is also being staged at Te Rapa.
Multiple Group 1 winner #9 Avantage is strongly favored to repeat last year’s Foxbridge Plate success (Race 8), with #1 Tavi Mac – runner-up last year – again the best fancied to beat her. There’s unlikely to be much value outside that pair, however, and the Northland Breeders’ S. earlier on the card looks a better option for players.
Race 5 - Northland Breeders' S. (G3) (Friday, 9:52 p.m. ET)
Again there is a strong early favorite in the Breeders’ S., in this case #5 Imperatriz, who like Avantage comes from the all-conquering Jamie Richards stable. She was unbeaten in two juvenile starts and in the latter of those she left subsequent champion juvenile Sword of State nearly five lengths in her wake in the Eclipse S. (G2).
She showed her fitness with an easy trial victory at Ellerslie on Aug. 3, but there is very little value in her in what will be her first race in eight months.
The one to beat her could be her stablemate, #1 I Wish I Win. He also raced just twice last season, winning on debut and then finishing second in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. (G1).
I Wish I Win gave every impression that he would improve even further as a three-year-old, and if there is any further rain that might make the race a greater test of stamina, he should benefit.
Imperatriz can’t be left out of multiples, so I’m going to work on anchoring both her and I Wish I Win.
New Zealand, Race 5 at Te Rapa
- $5 win/$10 show: #1 I Wish I Win
- 50-cent trifecta: 1 with 5 with 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
- 50-cent trifecta: 5 with 1 with 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
- 50-cent trifecta: 1 with 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 with 5
- 50-cent trifecta: 5 with 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 with 1