This Saturday the latest elite level race in New Zealand will run at Trentham Racecourse, the 2012 Telegraph Handicap field and betting of particular interest to Aussie punters as our own Atomic Force is the short-priced favourite to win.
The Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m), scheduled to run as Trentham Race 9 at 5:46pm (local time), originally drew a capacity final field.
Since acceptances, however, #1 Mufhasa has been scratched after being allocated the hefty 61kg topweight and then drawing awkwardly in barrier 16.
Of the remaining hopefuls it is Darren Smith’s Newcastle galloper Atomic Force who is the clear favourite in the Telegraph Handicap 2012 odds at Luxbet.
Sent across the ditch after a smart win at Canterbury in November, the Danehill Dancer six-year-old outclassed the Kiwis on January 1 to win the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) on a Slow (8) Ellerslie track.
Carrying 58kg to victory with Nash Rawiller aboard after overcoming barrier 12 of 14, Atomic Force has been well supported to make it a double shot of Group 1 success in New Zealand this weekend.
Rawiller retains the ride and they are now the 59kg topweight of the Telegraph Handicap field, but they will advantage greatly coming into the ideal barrier four draw.
“He should get a nice run there on Saturday now,” Rawiller said earlier in the week.
“Sometimes the speed is from the outside and you think you’re getting into a good spot and next minute you can be in an awkward spot.
“I don’t know if it’s a huge advantage but I’m certainly drawn to give him his chance to carry the weight and win.
“We’re very confident the horse will fly the flag for us again.”
In the latest markets Atomic Force is the $2.30 Telegraph Handicap betting favourite with only two other rivals at single-figures to win.
Following Atomic Force in the markets is Guiseppina ($6 Luxbet), who has lots of work to do from the extreme outside gate, and Durham Town ($9) who is drawn at the opposite end of the field on the rails in gate one.
While drawn wide, Johar mare Guisppina is due to be ridden by ace Kiwi hoop James McDonald and was impressive last start back in November when winning the Listed Levin Stakes (1200m) at Otaki.
Falkirk four-year-old Durham Town from the Ruakaka stables of Donna & Dean Logan was outclassed in the Railway Stakes when finishing five and a half lengths away eight to Atomic Force, but their run was hampered by an awkward barrier 11 and their inside draw on Saturday will suit better.
Durham Town will also like getting back to a more manageable weight having struggled under the 57kg with Vin Colgan aboard in the Railway.
The start before they claimed a good half-length win in the Group 2 Concorde Handicap (1200M0 on December 3 when ridden by Jason Collett on 52.5kg.
They have 53.5kg for the Telegraph Handicap and Railway jockey Colgan retains the ride.
Another horse backing up from the Railway Stakes is John Bary’s runner-up The Hombre who has Group 3 winning form in Australia.
Atomic Force is a versatile sprinter who is proven on all types of tracks.
Their recent Canterbury win was on a Heavy (9) course, but they have also won on a Good (3) track at Caulfield back in August.
Trentham Racecourse, home to the Wellington Racing Club, is currently rated a Dead (4) and is expected to remain so at jump time on Saturday with no rain forecast.
View the full 2012 Telegraph Handicap odds and betting options right now at Australia’s No. 1 online bookmaker Luxbet.
Not only do Luxbet offer the best Aussie horse racing odds, they also are the go to bookie for punters looking for a better price on New Zealand and other international features.
2012 Telegraph Handicap Final Field & Barriers
Trentham Race 9 – 21/01/2012
|#||Form||Horse||Barrier||Hcp. Rating||Weight (kg)||Jockey||Trainer|
|2||36411||ATOMIC FORCE (AUS)||4||107||59.0||Nash Rawiller||Darren Smith|
|3||55745||O’Cartier||12||102||56.5||Hayden Tinsley||Joch & Karen Parsons|
|4||54420||VONUSTI||15||102||56.5||Noel Harris||Tim & Margaret Carter|
|5||41654||EL CHICO||10||99||55.0||Lisa Allpress||Michael Pitman|
|6||00X04||ATAPI (AUS)||18||98||54.5||Jim Byrne||Richard Otto|
|7||X3267||DOUBLE BARREL||9||96||54.0||Darryl Bradley||Moira Murdoch & Dominic Olson|
|8||12449||IMANI||8||95||54.0||Robert Hannam||Terri Rae|
|9||X1272||THE HOMBRE (AUS)||20||95||54.0||Jason Waddell||John Bary|
|10||81118||DURHAM TOWN||1||93||53.5||Vinnie Colgan||Donna & Dean Logan|
|11||X5600||EGO||7||93||53.5||Paul Taylor||Ben Foote|
|12||X2601||GUISEPPINA||22||99||53.0||James McDonald||Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie|
|13||3X4X1||GASTON (AUS)||14||90||53.0||Kelly Myers||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson|
|14||X4220||UPSALA||11||90||53.0||Matthew Cameron||Kenny * Lisa Rae|
|15||12101||BABY GUINNESS||21||94||52.0||Craig Grylls||Karen Fursdon & Gemma Sliz|
|16||11441||SO ELUSIVE||13||94||52.0||David Walsh||Michael Pitman|
|17||11232||STARGURU||19||88||52.0||Rosie Myers (a)||Patrick Campbell|
|18||5X122||CHARMA||17||85||52.0||Mark Sweeney||Graeme & Mark Sanders|
|19||12512||EIGHT SCHILLINGS (B1)||3||85||52.0||Sam Spratt||Stephen McKee|
|20||3X354||ROUGH ODDS (B2)||2||84||52.0||–||Richard Collett|
|21||25320||KAPTIN KIRUP (IRE) (B3)||5||82||52.0||–||Michael Moroney & Andrew Clarken|
|22||76742||REUBEN THORN (B4)||6||75||52.0||–||Grant Searle|