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Ladbrokes Blog: 2024 Otaki-Maori Classic Day Preview

3 minute read

We're off to Otaki on Saturday for an eight-race program that is headlined by the Group 1 Otaki-Maori Classic!

Picture: Racing Photos

For more racing and sports previews, visit the Ladbrokes Blog.

I've run the rule over every galloper and race, and you can find my full 2024 Otaki-Maori Classic Day preview below.

RACE 1 - 11:30AM: Cavallo Farm & Chris Rutten Bloodstock 3YO (1600m)

Talisker is third-up and ready to win.

The three-year-old gelding finished third, beaten less than a length at Ellerslie in January before finishing down the order in the Karaka Millions 3YO.

This is a genuine drop in class and he should receive every chance.

3 Units Talisker

BET NOW: Otaki Race 1

RACE 2 - 12:10PM: Vets On Riverbank Handicap (1600m)

Open race with plenty of winning chances engaged, including Champagne Sunday.

Champagne Sunday returned to winning form over a mile at Wanganui two starts back before a credible, if not a little luckless run for fourth at his latest.

He's hard fit this week and is drawn to receive every chance.

1 Unit Champagne Sunday

BET NOW: Otaki Race 2

RACE 3 - 12:52PM: Riverstone Café Handicap (1200m)

Platinum Attack faces a rise in class at Otaki on Saturday, but something like this does look the next logical step for him, and I think he'll win again.

The Santos gelding has made just three appearances at the races since debuting but has improved noticeably with each, culminating in an easy win in maiden company last time.

The 1200m suits and he's another that should receive every chance from an inside draw.

1 Unit Platinum Attack

BET NOW: Otaki Race 3

RACE 4 - 1:28PM: Harcourts Otaki Handicap (2200m)

Infer takes winning form into this race and looms as the one to beat again.

Infer returned to action with a nice effort to finish second beaten less than a length at Trentham last month and look plenty of improvement into an easy win at his latest.

Fitter third-up and out in trip, he is my best bet on the program.

4 Units Infer

BET NOW: Otaki Race 4

RACE 5 - 2:03PM: New World Otaki New Zealand St Leger Trial (2300m)

The Underbelly has found top hear and looks the one to beat in Saturday's NZ St Leger Trial.

Having returned to winning form in BM75 company here at Otaki on Boxing Day, the five-year-old hasn't taken a backwards step, recording consecutive wins at Trentham and Wanganui.

This is another rise in class, but he has continued to improve as the bar has been raised.

3 Units The Underbelly

BET NOW: Otaki Race 5

RACE 6 - 2:37PM: McMillan Equine Feeds Handicap (1200m)

Ace Royale will take improvement into his second campaign start and looks a winning chance at nice odds ($7.50 at publish).

The veteran son of Per Incanto ended his last prep a mart winner in BM74 company, and returned to only just miss at Wanganui a fortnight ago.

He's lightly raced and consistent, and he can have an each way play at the price.

1 Unit E/W Ace Royale

BET NOW: Otaki Race 6

RACE 7 - 3:15PM: Group 1 Otaki-Maori Classic (1600m)

I concede that early favourite Desert Lightning is in impressive form and fitting of his place on the top line of Otaki-Maori Classic betting, but I am keen to take him on with Aegon.

Aegon has been a great horse throughout his career, picking off some really nice races here in New Zealand early on, and racing well in Australia during several preparations as well.

He has been freshened since finishing down the order in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic at Pukekohe, but is a horse that does tend to find his best early in his campaigns, and he looks a touch of overs for mine at Otaki-Maori Classic odds of $9 (at publish).

2 Units E/W Aegon

BET NOW: Otaki Race 7

RACE 8 - 3:48PM: The Tele Otaki Handicap (1400m)

Alexandra Quick puts an unbeaten record on the line in this race and looks the one to beat again.

The Per Incanto mare stamped herself as one to watch by winning on debit at New Plymoht in October, and she returned form a freshen up to win in BM65 company last time.

With improvement, something like this looks the next logical step.

3 Units Alexandra Quick

BET NOW: Otaki Race 8

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