With defending champion Self Assured now out of the Auckland Cup, there’ll be extra focus on two of tonight’s features at Alexandra park.
After developing a corn last weekend the 2020 New Zealand Cup champion was scratched from tonight’s Franklin Cup and then the Auckland Cup, with co-trainer Mark Purdon saying he didn’t have enough time to get the champion match fit for the 3200 metre Group One.
Self Assured, who hasn’t raced since his dominant win in the NZ Cup at Addington in November, will now be aimed at big money races across the Tasman, including the Hunter Cup in Victoria in February and the Miracle Mile in Sydney a month later.
The star pacer’s defection means Amazing Dream and New Zealand Cup runner-up Spankem are joint Auckland Cup favourites at $2.90 with Copy That at $3.20, Ashley Locaz at $11, The Fixer at $15, and South Coast Arden Coast at $17.
Coincidentally all these contenders will be action tonight.
Amazing Dream will start a $1.10 favourite to win her seventh Group 1 when she takes on the Rosslands Stud Queen of Hearts Mobile Pace while all the rest will front up in the Group 2 Lincoln Farms Franklin Cup.
Spankem ($2.90), Copy That ($3.80), Thefixer ($8.50) and Ashley Locaz ($11) will all start off 30 metres, while South Coast Arden ($7.50) is off 10m.
Just who does what has taken on new significance with Self Assured now literally out of the running for the $200,000 Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve.