The Harness Jewels meeting is quite literally, the jewel in the crown of New Zealand harness racing. Interest and turnover in racing is quite evenly split between the galloping and trotting codes in NZ, much like France, and thus it's this meeting which gets all the attention this weekend, every race is a Group One.
Previewing the card is Kiwi odds analyst extraordinaire Stephen Richardson. Welcome aboard!
Cambridge Harness Jewels Day
Saturday, June 2.
Race day prize pool NZ$1,275,000
Race 1 - 2 Year Old Fillies 1609m #1 Platinum Revolution is an Australian raider who has the draw and the right form to win but will have to break the record book as no Australian-trained runner has won a Jewels race. The favourite #8 Princess Tiffany is the runner to beat having won all four race starts and while the draw is a major concern, her trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have dominated past Jewel races (won five from nine races at the last Jewels meeting held at Cambridge 2016). Stablemate to the favourite and last start winner #7 Kayla Marie looks a great each-way chance but like Platinum Revolution will have to break the record book as from the previous 45 Jewel races run at Cambridge no runner has won from barrier seven. The runner to get the sweet trip is #9 Buzinga winner of her only two starts and drawn to trail Platinum Revolution. Selections: Buzinga - Princess Tiffany - Kayla Marie Race 2 - 2 Year Old Trot The obvious choice here is #4 Enhance Your Calm who has won all three starts and is from the Purdon and Rasmussen stable but the short odds are hard to take so best to look to some value which could come in the form of another unbeaten runner in #8 Tickle Me Pink. This filly broke the NZ record for 1700m two starts ago and although she has to start from barrier 7 I think she has the ability to overcome that. Her odds are long due to the draw but in 2 year old trotting racing it's not as tough an obstacle to overcome compared to the pacing races. #3 Full Noise looked very smart in his debut winning run and has since trialed well. Selections: Tickle Me Pink - Full Noise - Enhance Your Calm Race 3 - 3 Year Old Fillies #5 Shez All Rock won the NZ Oaks last start that impressively that it will be a brave punter who backs one to beat her. #12 Elle Mac finished 2nd to Shez All Rock last start and it's hard to see these two not filling the same positions again. #2 Dizzy Miss Lizzy won the 2 year old fillies Jewels race last season and can run a place from her handy draw. #1 Ruebe Star could fall into a place from her pole draw so is a must in any exotic combination bet. Selections: Shez All Rock - Elle Mac - Dizzy Miss Lizzy Race 4 - 4 Year Old Mares #3 Juice Brogden is trained on the track and will look to take full advantage of her draw. This sex age group of the Jewels tends to be won by runners outside the first three favourites so it's a good race to have an each-way bet in if you can find some value. #11 Opoutama has little form but is better than her recent runs would suggest and is just the right type to cause an upset. # 12 Partyon won here two years ago in the 2 year old Fillies Jewels and can never be left out of calculations. Selections: Juice Brogden - Opoutama - Partyon Race 5 - 4 Year Old Trot One of the best winning chances on the card is #3 Enghien the winner of the 3 year old Jewels race last year and has struck winning form at the right time. There are some nice types in the race but I couldn't make a case for this runner to be beaten. #1 Habibi Inta from the pole draw will get a nice trip and for a rough place show #2 Sertorious looked as though he is a tough type when placing last start. Selections: Enghien - Habibi Inta - Sertorious Race 6 - 2 Year Old Colts and Geldings The Purdon and Rasmussen trained #6 Jesse Duke is the runner to beat after a strong last start win, he has won four from six races and is an exciting type. #10 Extreme Stride is at long odds but could get a nice trip through from his second line draw so one not to overlook especially after his impressive last start win. Look to #12 Supreme Dominator to be finishing over the top of his rivals in the final 200m of the race. Selections: Jesse Duke - Extreme Stride - Supreme Dominator Race 7 - 4 Year Old Geldings and Entires One of the toughest races on the card to select the winner but I think #2 A G's White Socks the winner of two Goup 1 races this season can deliver from his handy draw, driver Ricky May will look to lead and apply the pressure over the first 400m. #5 Tiger Thompson isn't racing as well as he can but did look close to returning to winning form after his last start run. #10 Eamon Maguire is racing better than most of his rivals and if he can overcome his draw will be right there at the finish. #1 Northview Hustler is a place show at odds from his pole draw. Selections: A G White Socks - Tiger Thompson - Northview Hustler Race 8 - 3 Year Old Trot #8 Wobelee can break the 'hoodoo' to becomne the first Australian trained winner of a Jewels race (if Platinum Revolution hasn't done so already on the day). He has won five Group 1 races and should prove too good for most in this field. #1 Winterfell is the obvious danger but local money will have him too short on the day and he won't be at the right price. Best of the rest looks to be #2 Renezmae who should be able to capitalise on her good early speed from a handy draw. Selections: Wobelee - Winterfell - Renezmae Race 9 - 3 Year Old Colts and Geldings Champion driver Dexter Dunn combines with #2 Pat's Delight and from a handy draw it's hard to see this combination beaten. #5 Alta Maestro has plenty of early speed to get a nice sit and will be at good odds so is worth an each-way ticket. #3 Sheriff won the NZ Derby and although disappointing last start when 5th has to be given another chance. Selections: Pat's Delight - Alta Maestro - Sheriff The three best winning chances: R3 Shez All Rock R5 Enghien R6 Jesse Duke The three best each-way chances at odds: R2 Tickle Me Pink R4 Opoutama R7 Alta Maestro