Aside from backing a winner, there is no better thrill for any horseracing fan than to savour top-level runners competing against one another.
The field for the R400,000 Hawaii Stakes (Grade 2) over 1400m tomorrow may only contain nine runners but you could make a winning case for every one of them.
It is a conditions race with runners carrying set weights based on age plus performance but even on that basis most of the horses are closely handicapped.
Perhaps the best guide is the last race many of them contested, a Conditions Plate over this course and distance. That race was won by New Predator with Bulleting Home 2.30 lengths behind in fourth, Kangaroo Jack another 2.20 lengths back in fifth and Will Pays fi nishing sixth, beaten 5.70 lengths.
The going was soft and Kangaroo Jack was reported not to be striding out. Rain has kept away so far and with the going likely to be on top and with Gary Alexander’s charge now 6kg better off , he should be able to reverse the form with New Predator.
The same could apply to Bulleting Home who is now 3kg better off for a 2.30-length beating.
However, New Predator could also have lots of room for improvement on that performance as he was having his first run since returning from Cape Town.
Talktothestars had his chances blown at the start on Tuesday night and got too far back but did well to finish just 4.75-lengths behind Pivotal Pursuit.
If he stays 1400m Coenie de Beer’s runner is a serious contender, along with French Navy,
Romany Prince and Rafeef.