NEW ZEALAND: This Saturday’s Waikato Draught Sprint at Waikato Racing Club’s Te Rapa track in Hamilton is shaping up to be the best field assembled in New Zealand so far this season.
The race has attracted seven individual Group One winners including arguably New Zealand’s best two horses in Wall Street and We Can Say It Now.
The experienced Wall Street, 2010 Mercedes Champion Sprinter/Miler, has won 11 of his total 19 races and over $1.5m. His last start saw him win the Group One Emirates at Flemington, home of the Melbourne Cup. This followed his Group One Spring double in Hawke’s Bay in the Kit Ormond Memorial Spring Classic (formerly the Kelt Capital Stakes) and the Windsor Park Plate.
The much less experienced and younger, at only three years old, We Can Say It Now has emerged as the most promising horse in New Zealand to challenge Wall Street for Horse-Of-The-Year honours. She has taken out two straight Group One wins in her last two starts in the Levin Classic in late November and, one week later, the Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock Captain Cook Stakes in Wellington.
Contenders in the race also include:
Mufhasa 2009 Mercedes Horse-Of-The-Year & Mercedes Champion Sprinter/Miler
Katie Lee 2010 Mercedes Champion Three-Year-Old and NZ Bloodstock Filly-Of-The-Year
Vonusti 2010 $1,000,000 The Oaks Stud Telegraph Handicap (Gp1) winner
Keep The Peace 2010 Mudgway Partsworld Stakes (Gp1) winner
Racing at Te Rapa this Saturday also features the Darci Brahma International Stakes (Group I) and the Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (Group 2).
Racing in Hamilton began in January 1866, when the local military commander arranged a sports programme that included four horse races. The Club held its first race day at Te Rapa on 8 November 1924, and the shift of venue was soon accompanied by a new Club title. The Waikato Racing Club has now developed at its Te Rapa site a racing centre that annually provides 20 racedays, generating total betting turnover of over $40m per annum.