New Zealand Oaks Headlines Addington Card

IT'S a massive evening of high-class premier chasing action at the Addington Raceway on Friday with three group races to be decided.

Peter Fenemor

12 May 2022

IT’S a massive evening of high-class premier chasing action at the Addington Raceway on Friday with three group races to be decided.

Heading the card is the $50,000 New Zealand Oaks (race 10) where local conditioner Tony Hart is strongly favoured to provide the winner of both Kiwi Restricted Age blue-ribbon events.

Last month Hart mentored Diego Jem to victory in the New Zealand Derby – Friday he will parade the warm NZ Oaks favourite Charlotte Lu (pictured) to the 520m traps wearing the red racing vest.

FIELDS AND FORM ADDINGTON FRIDAY

Charlotte Lu demolished her heat rivals when she freewheeled to her effortless eight-length, 30.19s victory. 

“Charlotte Lu is in career best form – peaking at the right time. I’m really happy with her following the heat and I’m really happy with her draw,” advised Hart about his charge he prepares for Jose Arthur who is also the owner of Diego Gem.

Arthur will be seeking to recoup her sponsorship dollars in the event as she and husband Donald own the sponsoring Selwyn-Rakaia Vet Services.

The Robin Wales prepared Opawa Pick charged home to claim her heat victory in 30.42s, while Mandy Jewel was strong in the manner she delivered her 30.33s heat win for Craig Roberts will also be represented by Mable Jewel after she was cut back by 1.75 lengths by Opawa Pick.

Okay, the phenomenal training record by Dave and Jean Fahey must be respected when it comes to black type racing. They have provided seven previous NZ Oaks winners.

The Fahey’s have advanced Opawa Gina, Chatty Mavis and Milky Tea through to the decider, with Dave Fahey rating Opawa Gina as their leading prospect, although with some reservations.

“I would have preferred an inside trap for Opawa Gina instead of being out in six. Both Chatty Mavis and Milky Tea can both jump, which is what they must do. I expect improvement from their heats as all three were fresh going into them,” Fahey said.

New Zealand St Leger

Again the potent Dave and Jean Fahey kennels hold a strong hand in the $30,000 Group 1 NZ St Leger 520m final (race 9). 

Opawa Superstar extended strongly when he claimed his 30.08s heat win. The dual Group 1 winner, who will be loaded away into the three trap, has banked $148,070 from just 30 races.

 “He didn’t jump that good in his heat. We had some recent niggly issues with him which we have got on top of now. He’s all good to go,” confirmed Dave Fahey.

Kennelmate Opawa Wayne took out the heat time honours via his dashing 29.93s clock. 

“He will have to lead them out (from four). He is capable of running quick sectionals and I expect him to be fitter as he was on the fresh side in the heats.”

Fahey considers the trap one drawn Naya Bale as his biggest danger. The Craig Roberts trained chaser was the other heat winner when returning 30.13s. He does own early pace and is strong at the business end of his races.

The stayers will feature in their Group 2 732m task (race 11) where the Garry Cleeve trained outstanding dominant stayer Know Keeper is heavily favoured to maintain his unbeaten staying record having annexed all 13 of his previous staying assignments.

Know Keeper easily won the NZ ST Leger at this meeting last year.