Punter's hopes worth $40,000 will ride on Lovetessa

16:00, Nov 16 2012

One punter will win $40,000 - from a $500 outlay - if favourite Lovetessa takes the One Thousand Guineas at Riccarton today.

Lovetessa was at $5 for the Group I feature last night but a handful of punters managed to back her at her opening price of $81. She was unraced when the Guineas market opened and one punter had a $500 bet at $81 on September 19, the day after Lovetessa had won a trial at Otaki.

Another punter invested $100 at $81 before Lovetessa's price was cut to $31. "She [Lovetessa] is not a great result in the futures market," TAB bookmaker Stephen Hunt said. "Pure Elegance is not a flash result either, as there are a lot of multis with her, going through [Two Thousand Guineas winner] Sacred Falls."

Lovetessa and Fix were co-favourites for the $300,000 Guineas (1600m) last night, with Rollout The Carpet shortening from $9 to $7 and Pure Elegance at $7.50. Ray's Girl shortened from $13 to $10.

Lovetessa is one of two Guineas runners for owner-breeder Patrick Hogan, who also races the unbeaten Abidewithme. Lovetessa is trained by Kevin Gray who was given the filly after a short but successful association with half-sister Tessalove. Tessalove won her only start for Gray by nine lengths, in July 2010, but dropped dead on the training track about a month later.

Lovetessa has had only three starts but has improved markedly with each race and is drawn to get a soft run for top rider Hayden Tinsley.

Fix and Pure Elegance have also drawn in while Rollout The Carpet, Misstrum and Ray's Girl have potentially awkward barriers.


The Press