Rank outsider is Sorry Dave, the market has no appetite for him at 66-1 Just the 8 runners then, after Gravy Train and Comebludgewithme were declared non-starters overnight. And they are coming under orders now, just two more to go in, the outsider Colin's Dream who is being run as a pacemaker for heavily backed favourite John Again, and Robdahonkies, who's acting up and may have to be led in. Robdahonkies disappointed connections earlier in the year at the big meeting at Waitangi, a chance to make amends today, and he's finally in the stalls.
Under orders now, starter’s got the button, and they're away. Colin's Dream it is making the early pace, John Again tucked in handily just behind him, then I'm Like Churchill, trying to impose himself in the early stages, My Bowtie looking to make his presence felt in midfield, Theycanpay in the green and red colours and further back then to Helmut the Pirate, who's putting up some overweight, behind him comes Beatty the Treaty and labouring badly at the back of the field is Sorry Dave.
Around the far side and it's still Colin's Dream, starting to feel the pressure now as John Again comes up smoothly on the outside, I'm like Churchill still there, My Bowtie falling back to join Sorry Dave who appears to be trying to unseat his rider, Robdahonkies and Helmut the Pirate side by side trying everything to get on terms, Theycanpay has no answers at this stage. Making the turn and John Again moves effortlessly ahead of Colin's Dream, who has run his race, a long way back to My Bowtie and I'm like Churchill who are giving it everything to try and play a role in the result, Beatty the Treaty plugging on steadily and could be there at the shakeup, and at this stage you can forget about Theycanpay,
Sorry Dave, Robdahonkies and Helmut the Pirate who are racing for the second division. Inside the final furlong now and it's John Again going clear by 20 lengths, John Again has the 2014 Election Stakes at his mercy, John Again crosses the line the easy winner, in second some way back comes Beatty the Treaty who stayed on well, My Bowtie plugs away for third, Colin's Dream an exhausted fourth just makes it over the line ahead of Sorry Dave, the disappointing Theycanpay who looked outclassed in this company, and finally Robdahonkies and Helmut the Pirate who had nothing to give when asked the question. That's three on the trot then, for the impressive John Again, confirming his reputation as New Zealand's top stayer.
We'll take a short break and then be back to preview the next race, the 'Labour Leader Handicap', shortly.
By Jerry Flay