IN Racing
Transferred meeting has Greene playing guessing game
David Greene will be heading into unknown territory with his capable staying mare Finest Wine on Saturday.
Paul Vetisse, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | June 23, 2023
Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

David Greene will be heading into unknown territory with his capable staying mare Finest Wine on Saturday.

The Te Rapa trainer has been pleased with the Tavistock mare’s progress but has now been left guessing with the Seeka Kiwifruit Cup (2000m) transferred to the Cambridge synthetic track due to heavy rain at the original venue of Tauranga.

The concern is whether Finest Wine, who is well-placed on the 54kg minimum, can race up to her best on the all-weather going.

“She would have been having a gallop on Saturday morning anyway so we might as well do it over at Cambridge now,” he said.

“It does look an ideal race for her, but I have got no idea at all how she will go on the synthetic.

“She didn’t get into the contest at any stage at her last start, but it will be a small field and the other thing is that she does rely on her stamina rather than speed, so it could be tricky if she gets back.”

Finest Wine produced a game performance two runs back to finish fourth in the Gr.3 Rotorua Cup (2200m) after she was tardily into stride at barrier rise.

“She was good at Rotorua after missing the jump, but Lynsey (Satherley, jockey) managed to close that gap a bit even though she had to go on the inside in the worst of the ground,” Greene said.

“She has been really good the whole prep, it just hasn’t worked out for her at all and I did expect her to go close last time out.”

The five-year-old was again slow to move at Awapuni and, from there, things went from bad to worse.

“She needs to stay off the rails so she can get out and get on the move early,” Greene said.

“She got stuck back on the fence and they went slowly and she got left flat-footed when they picked up the speed and had nowhere to go.

“Ideally, she needs to be out into the clear and off a faster pace so the race wasn’t run to suit her.

“I was worried the trip may have knocked her, but she’s done really well since. She’s not far from turning her form around.”

Greene is confident Finest Wine, who will be partnered by Kozzi Asano, will prove that point on Saturday if she copes with the synthetic track.

“She is very well-placed at the weights and Kozzi did ride her in the Hawke’s Bay Cup when we were hoping for rain and got a better track, but he does have a better understanding of her now,” he said.

“If she handles it and it is a genuine staying contest, it looks a very nice race for her.”

Finest Wine is a four-time winner and is from a family that Greene knows well.

She is a half-sister to the former high-class mare Stolen Dance, who was a multiple Group winner and top-flight placegetter for the stable.

Cambridge Synthetic David Greene Finest Wine Kozzi Asano Lynsey Satherley