Riccarton marks the start of what will be a big week of racing in the Canterbury area. Feature race on day one is the Two Thousand Guineas a race usually dominated by the Northern raiders and there is no reason to think otherwise looking at the field. Best guide for betting at Riccarton during cup week is to follow the Northerners. At least then you have a very good chance coming away with a winner or two or three. That doesn’t mean the Southerners couldn’t do the same either. Below are my selections for the ten race card. I have also included selections for the NZ Trotting Cup meet for this Tuesday at Addington, day two of the NZ cup carnival.

DAY 1 @ RICCARTON – Two Thousand Guineas Day

Race 1 – Both the Myers runners, HE KNOWS & STEELFIX have to be respected while ex-northerner LET’S DIVORCE is a chance based on her previous form. Stable is in good form and should be at good odds. While another northerner but who didn’t show anything on debut down south is ROYAL DUTCHESS. Maybe best watched for later.

Race 2 - Another Myers runner, OVERTHERIVER should be the hardest to beat here. Went a big race for second when resuming but didn’t do much next start at Trentham. Maybe track conditions that day to blame. BAMBOO is another northerner from the Bull stable who has won on the course before but has had to overcome injury problems. At his best would be hard to beat. ZAH GIRL should appreciate the big roomy Riccarton track and should also be considered while DOMINIO has found a new lease of life since moving south winning two of three starts.

Race 3 – The Jason Bridgeman runner BRONTE LASS should be hardest to beat after running on strongly here last start finishing second. While another Myer runner PENCURI should also be respected though may need the run. For multiples THE HAND OF FAITH could bob up at good odds.

Race 4 – Another Bridgeman runner WOLFWHISTLE should be hardest to beat here. Jumps in the ratings and raised 5kg but a up and comer on the rise. Danger to him could be the Rogerson runner COLONEL CARRERA who ran second to Puccini in the Waikato Guineas last season and who ran a good second last start after leading. Other dangers; MUNGO JERRY if he starts and RED RIPPER if allowed to dictate his own rules in front.

Race 5 – CAPTAIN KIRK is top selection here. Good winner resuming. If he can lead might be hard to peg back. Dangers; SCAPOLO and SILVER ECLIPSE.

R6 – The Gray runner ETERNITY is first pick here. Raced too wide last start but should have benefitted from the run. Has a great record second up and drawn wide might not be a hindrance if the track conditions have a little bit of give in it. The magic man onboard another plus. If you don’t know who the magic man is then it’s Chris Johnson. Dangers to the selection; DONNIE BRASCO & REBOUND.

Race 7 – Many winning chances in the main race of the day but someone has to win. Going with VINNIE EAGLE. If he can jump away on terms and race handy or close to the pace could be hard to hold out at the finish. RIDING SHOTGUN won well here last start and the way he finished off his race suggests the extra distance should suit while PRINCE MAMBO has been coming along nicely and has been set for this race by the trainer.

Race 8 – The Bull runner WERRIBEE is first pick here. Has 59kg and a wide draw here but as mentioned earlier if there is some give in the track then maybe the draw won’t play such a big part. Only other concern is that he has shown nothing in three previous starts on the course. To good to risk however. Dangers; both the Latta runners COHIBA & JUSTA SECRET. Cohiba could only manage seventh place when resuming at Otaki but she was second favourite that day. Should have improved with that run under her belt and is a threat while JUSTA SECRET was a little disappointing last start whereas the start before she finished fifth in the Canterbury Belle Stakes here. Might pay to forgive her last run.

Race 9 – A pretty open affair with plenty of winning chances. Going with WILLY DUGGAN who was disappointing last start. Is much better than that and has performed well on the course before. Any rain would be of great assistance to it’s winning chances as well. GO JOELI finished second in last year’s NZ cup and looks like coming into some form at the right time while JUGGERNAUGHT is another contender who is coming to hand quite nicely. Finished fourth last start behind Wolfwhistle and has placed at the trip. Others to consider; CANTERINO, MUNGO JERRY, O’CEIRIN’S SECRET, DELICIANO. Maybe a box trifecta for a percentage might be the way to go here.

Race 10 – Looks like a near capacity field to end the ten race program and doesn’t get any easier here to finish off the day. Going with the Myers runner SEALED BY A DANCE. Finished fifth last start after leading. Has a wide draw to overcome hopefully maybe ridden differently this time and be at front in the end. Dangers; COOLANGATTA another northern raider to be respected in this lineup who won fresh up three starts ago albeit in a slow time, EDENSONG who won well here last start on her Southern debut and PREFONTAINE the Myers runner if she can gain a start must be considered.

There you have it folks. Hopefully I might of steered you into a few winners for tomorrow’s ten race program at Riccarton. Good luck if you decide to have a punt there. Looking forward to it.

DAY 2 @ ADDINGTON – NZ Trotting Cup Day

Unlike with the galloping code the Southerners more than hold their own against their Northern counterparts when it comes to the big harness meetings at Addington on Cup Day and Show Day. It usually pays to stick with the well known stables who usually come to the fore this time of the year eg. Purdon/Rasmussen, Cran Dalgety, Tim Butt, Tony Herhily stables to name a few. It's gonna be a long day with the big 12 race card.

Race 1 – Usually the first race for trotters in the past have unearthed an up and coming trotter but looking at the field there doesn’t seem to be one. Looks a difficult race to kick start Cup Day. Going with QUEEN KENNY. If she can step and trot all the way she is a good chance to win. Dexter Dunn onboard a plus. EYRE I COME big win fresh up for Mark Jones at Ashburton last start. Needs to step away to be a winning chance as with MEL GIBSON.

Race 2 – Going with both the Purdon/Rasmussen stable here. BACKUP drawn in gate 5 over the sprint distance of 1950m a lot better off than stablemate TOKOHOKA drawn the outside of the second row. Biggest threat the unbeaten Cran Dalgety gelding BUNGALOW BILL to be driven by Dexter Dunn.

Race 3 – RARE OPPORTUNITY from the Purdon/Rasmussen stable should be the hardest to beat here. Won well last start at Ashburton and was placed previously behind Donaldson who has raced in much stronger company (entered in race six). Possible dangers; SARATOGA & EXPERIMENT

Race 4 – DALTON BROMAC from the Brendon Hill stable should continue on his winning way though DARCEE down from the North should relish the mobile start and maybe a threat. For multiples KATE DE GOLDIE won well fresh up in which was only a sprint home from the quarter. Should get a nice cushy run from gate 1 and worth including in your multiples.

Race 5 – MESSINI should strip a lot fitter now after finishing second first up upon returning from Oz. Should get a good run through from two on the second row. Dangers; FLY LIKE AN EAGLE to be driven by Mark Purdon a plus, GOLD ACE topliner also returning from recent stint in OZ and MIGHTY FLYING MAC a rough show from gate 3 with Luke McCarthy in the cart.

Race 6 – STENT should be hardest to beat here. Has always been one of the top trotters in more recent times. Dangers; SHEEMON who won impressively last start at Kaikoura and DONALDSON who should get a good run from two on the second row following in behind The Fiery Ginga.

Race 7 – One of the big races of day behind the Cup. The Purdon/Rasmussen stable represented by no fewer than five runners in the NRM Sires Stakes final. Going with the well drawn Northerner here HUGHIE GREEN who comes down South with a big reputation. To be driven by Maurice McKendry who is no stranger to winning this race. For second going with ART UNION from the Dalgety stable drawn in gate 3 and winner of his last 3 starts. Should get a good possie from the draw and would not surprise if there at the business end of things. My third selection for the race comes from the Purdon/Rasmussen team in CHANGE STRIDE who should get a good sit from gate 2. Probably the least fancied of the Purdon/Rasmussen stable but with the good draw could be one to spice up multiples.

Race 8 – If the Purdon/Rasmussen stable aren’t successful in the previous race then they should get some compensate in the form of VICE CONSUL here. Not an overly strong field for cup day. Possible dangers; MR BRIGADIER if he can get a clean getaway could bob up at nice odds & MR FRANKLIN who is usually a reliable beginner from the stand which is a big plus on Cup day.

Race 9 – TE KAWAU ran on well for third at Ashburton last start while BIO MARINUS stuck on well for second in the same race after sitting parked for over lap fighting on strongly in the straight. Dangers to the two; ONEDIN MACH who’s been in good form down South and who fought on strongly recently at Kaikoura. WILLOW who won fresh up at Ashburton recently when well supported from the Purdon/Rasmussen team must also be respected.

Race 10 – To the big one of the day and there is no denying that TERROR TO LOVE has been primed for an unprecedented fourth NZ Cup win and will be no surprise if he manages to pull it off. Two dangers for me are the two Purdon/Rasmussen stablemates; ADORE ME who won the Ashburton Flying Stakes impressively and HANDS CHRISTIAN who ran second in the same race. Both are primed to provide stiff opposition to the fourpeat attempt. Others to consider both the Ozzie raiders; FOR A REASON & SEEL N PRINT. Should be a great race no matter what the result.

Race 11 – PRINCE FEARLESS was let down by his manners last start. If the son of Majestic Son can get a clean getaway from the unruly has to be a major player. Dangers the unbeaten SPLASH COLA fresh up and one for odds SUNNY RUBY who has plenty of ability and won a cup trial last Thursday in decent enough time and COMMANDER PARIS whose been trotting solid races of late should be included.

Race 12 – If we’re still standing come the last race of the day we’re doing okay. From the handy draw at 2, ITZ BETTOR TO WIN should be hardest to beat over the sprint trip of 1950m. Another from the powerful Purdon/Rasmussen stable and it will come as no surprise if they have had a good NZ cup day. Dangers; PANTHEON who blew the start last time out at Kaikoura. Handily drawn at 3 and behind the mobile start will be no surprise if he is more competitive this time in. SOMEARDENSOMEWHERE disappointed somewhat when resuming. Found lead easily enough from wide gate but showed no fight in the run home. May have needed the run.

Well that’s day two of the NZ Cup carnival for this Tuesday. Hopefully we’ve found couple of winners in there somewhere. Good luck if you’re going to have a punt at Addington this Tuesday. Have a great weekend's punting everyone