Make this Group 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup one that you will look back in future years and say ‘those were the Glory Days’.
Last weekend featured a throw back to the past with Jordan Luck rocking out here at Ellerslie Racecourse and the old school rock theme continues into the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup with the race favourite being a horse named after an iconic Bruce Springsteen anthem.
Glory Days is not only one of The Boss’s biggest hit, but it is a very fast racehorse – you could say she was ‘born to run’. She can’t claim she was ‘born in the USA’ being a kiwi product, but her dad Red Giant was born in the ‘land of hopes and dreams’.
Glory Days (outside) winning the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie last month
Talking of glory days, who remembers going to The White Lady for a late-night snack after a few beers?
What you may not know is that The White Lady started at the Ellerslie Racecourse back in the 40s! It made a return this year for Vodafone Derby Day so let’s try and find you the winner to pay you back for your burger and shake.
As mentioned, Glory Days is the favourite and a deserved one having won the Avondale Cup last start at Ellerslie.
BUT there is plenty of competition...
Second in the Avondale Cup was Blue Breeze and he'll be looking to turn the tables. Feeling hungry after The White Lady chat? Well, Ponsonby hot spot, the Blue Breeze Inn, could be the place to find a graze as Blue Breeze is named for that very restaurant.
There is also a horse that has used the Melbourne Cup as his lead-up race for the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup – Charles Road.
After getting fit in November with a seventh placing in the other race that stops nations, NZ’s biggest Cup race looks right up Charles Road’s alley.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Five to Midnight won, but his younger rival Gundown will be looking to take out all his rivals and is among the favourites.
The raiders from Australia are here again this week with Vengeur Masque bringing winning form last start into the race. He also ran in the Melbourne Cup in November but only managed to finish 15th.
He is not the only horse that made the flight from Australia for Saturday’s races.
In the Group 1 $200,000 Sistema Stakes for two-year-olds, Just Zerene is shooting for the stars and take out the win as a maiden.
She will face tough local competition from Aotea Lad and Yourdeel, both with experience at Ellerslie finishing second and third respectively in the $1m Karaka Million 2YO in late January.
The day also features a third Group 1 race with the $200,000 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes – named after one of the greatest horses to race at not only Ellerslie, but all of Australasia.
Group 1 Zabeel Classic winner at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, Danzdanzdance, is looking to win another feature race on the track.
She will have to be on tune to beat five-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle though, a previous winner of the $1m Karaka Million at Ellerslie.
This tipster is saying follow your grove and get amongst the music theme. You’ll Danzdanzdance the night away to Glory Days if they both win – and I think they will.