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Canterbury Winners - Tips For Wednesday 20th December

By Ray Hickson

Tips and preview for all seven races at Wednesday’s Canterbury Park meeting. The track is expected to be good and the rail is out 3m.

Race 1 – 1:55PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1900 METRES)

A hard, fit, Waterhouse/Bott on-pacer is always going to be hard to beat and it’s tough to tip against 2. Chain Of Fools. She’s more than likely going to have control of the five horse field and the way she’s run out the mile at her last couple you’d think a Canterbury 1900m wouldn’t be an issue for her. Rachel King has rated her very well to her two wins and she’ll be the one to run down.

Dangers: 3. Velocita is starting to put it all together and her win at Wyong last month was a super effort after looking gone on the turn. She unleashed a big sprint to win and the extra trip, especially in a small field, isn’t going to be a worry. I suspect she could be the best horse going forward in this race it’s just whether she can adapt to how this is likely to be run. 1. Higher Ground might not have been suited on the pace last start as he was the first under pressure and only battled into third. Prior to that he was dominant when coming from off the pace. I’d expect him to probably box seat here and he’s capable of bouncing back. I don’t think the other pair are winning chances.

How to play it: Chain Of Fools WIN ($2.25 TAB Fixed Odds).


Chain Of Fools does it easily leading all the way at Warwick Farm – December 6

Race 2 - 2:30PM PLUCK@VINERY PLATE (1100 METRES)

Tricky race and I’ll admit to being torn between the bottom three. 7. We Have Lift Off was scratched from a very winnable race at Hawkesbury on Sunday for this and that’s quite a good pointer from the stable. Her only start was in Listed company at Doomben this time last year and she led before running fourth. Obviously there’s been an issue but she has trialled well on two occasions in the past month. I’d like to see a bit of support for her and she’s definitely a yard watch but there doesn’t appear to be any superstars here. Go well.

Dangers: 5. Deft and 6. Guangdong ran one-two in a recent Rosehill trial in what was a blanket finish. Deft just had the better of them late and I thought Guangdong was asked for a little bit more. Both fillies are well bred and in the leading stables so obviously have to be respected. Again, though, they don’t look like potential stars but look good enough to win. 1. League Of Nations was disappointing on face value as a $1.45 favourite at Gosford last time but he a little forgiving as he was four deep throughout. Beaten on his merits first-up, though. Not sure where he gets to from the outside gate but with any luck he can be competitive.

How to play it: We Have Lift Off WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds).


We Have Lift Off runs second in her Wyong trial – December 4

Race 3 - 3:05PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1250 METRES)

I think 1. Balearic is a handy galloper and he clearly wasn’t happy in the heavy ground at Warwick Farm last time out, finishing some six lengths from Scream Park who he beat home behind Seaway this track prior. Aqua D'Ivina coming out is a plus. I’m thinking there’s enough potential speed to give every horse their chance and with a bit of luck going his way he should go very close.

Dangers: 8. Stella Victoria was competitive in all four runs last time in from 1000m to a mile and while she was under a bit of riding her trial behind the smart Seahampton was handy enough. Wouldn’t surprise if she’s in the finish first-up. 3. Mascot attacked the line well when resuming at Kembla though the form out of the race is a bit mixed. Drawn to get a nice run and should have his chance. 6. Soviet seemed to have his chance first-up at Newcastle when a well supported favourite. Fitter for that and as one of the likely leaders he can give a sight.

How to play it: Balearic WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds).


Balearic’s close second to Seaway at Canterbury – November 22

Race 4 - 3:40PM HYLAND BOXING DAY SALE HANDICAP (1550 METRES)

Not a race I’m hugely confident about. I thought Josh Parr might be able to take control with 4. Fantastic Man and be hard to run down. He’s been placed in four of his five runs this prep and led a couple of times at Newcastle and Kembla before boxing on. This is one really open race and it’s hard to see Parr not making use of the 3.5kg weight drop and the chance to lead. That’s how it reads on paper at least.

Dangers: 1. Irish Optimism is an import back for his second Australian campaign and he did show a bit back in the late autumn so I’m wary of him. Two trials have been very quiet so it is hard to get a line but this is a lot weaker than what he has met to date. 6. Happy Go Plucky chased hard behind Victime De L’amour at Wyong in a similar grade race to this one. He was a $14 chance there and was safely held and has come up favourite here so that’s a small concern. On the plus side he’d be at his peak now and gets a good chance. 2. Speed Hero tends to get back in his races so the six horse field could be a plus, but most of his good form has been on wet tracks. Best form is around this distance, though, and on that best form he’s a chance. I just can’t see something coming from last to win this.

How to play it: Fantastic Man WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds).

Fantastic Man runs into second at Gosford – December 7

Race 5 - 4:15PM TAB HANDICAP (1900 METRES)

It seems they’ve found the key to 1. Baysa by riding her a bit quietly and I wouldn’t expect the Waller stable to be messing with a winning formula now she’s broken through. She was a different horse to the one that was a beaten favourite three starts on end when back to this course on November 22 and given this is a similar sort of race, granted with so-so speed engaged on paper, she’s the one to beat again.

Dangers: 4. Mollyfied bumped into Noire three starts back then disappointed a bit at Wyong as an easing favourite. Hit the line well behind Pecans and Kawakini on a heavy track last time suggesting she might be looking for a bit of ground. Drawn nicely and still down in the weights. Good chance. 3. Jaunty was a bit disappointing last start over this course behind Roseito though was only beaten 1.5 lengths. She did have her chance in the straight. Prior to that she was an impressive maiden winner and is entitled to another look here. 5. Lope De Lope is entitled to improve now she’s had a couple of runs back from a break. First-up behind Star Sensation was sound but below par at Hawkesbury when a big drifter. Expect to see her running on strongly.

How to play it: Baysa WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).

Baysa finishes strongly to win at Canterbury last month

Race 6 - 4:50PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Josh Parr showed plenty of intent to lead on 5. Hillary Step when an easy winner at Wyong last start and I can see him doing the same from gate seven (this mare can’t draw a barrier!). She was strong to the line winning and I can see her finding the front again and giving a big sight. The form around her prior that win has been solid and I’d be surprised if she doesn’t run well.

Dangers: 3. Kent has shown ability at times and I must admit after his first trial this prep I just wanted to be on first-up. His second trial wasn’t bad but didn’t leave me with the same confidence. His fresh record says he’ll run well here and then be harder to beat second-up, especially since he’s kicking off at 1200m this time as opposed to last prep. 1. Jemadar was placed in all three starts for new trainer David Pfeiffer last time in, the last couple by narrow margins. She trialled in a very strong heat won by Music Magnate with Victorem second at Rosehill and if she looks ready in the parade she’s sure to be in the finish. 2. Samadoubt disappointed when on the pace first-up and weakening out to run fifth at Canterbury a few weeks back. She’ll be fitter but I’d like to see her strike form before getting too keen.

How to play it: Hillary Step WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).


Hillary Step’s all the way win at Wyong – November 29

Race 7 - 5:25PM BOOK SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1900 METRES)

After jumping off last time and getting burned I’m back on the 8. Smooth Whiskey bandwagon as I can’t see the race panning out a lot differently for him. Sat just off a strong pace set by Coys at Wyong and finished a bit too well. I’m expecting him to land third or fourth here behind another solid tempo and if the same horse turns up then he’ll be hard to hold off again, despite the drop of 200m.

Dangers: 5. Crosley Hotshot appreciated being ridden a little quietly over this course on December 1 and found the line well. Sure to relish the perceived speed here and while he doesn’t win out of turn he has a good chance. 1. Coys is racing in grand form and tried to run them off their legs at Wyong, as mentioned, perhaps not quite running the trip out strongly. Back to the 1900m and he’ll be dug up to lead again, you’d think. May have some company but if he gets control he will be hard to run down. 2. The Gavel has had three runs back and now he’s up to his preferred trip and back from Saturday grade he’s capable of improvement.
How to play it: Smooth Whiskey E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds).


Smooth Whiskey runs down Coys to win at Wyong – November 29

All the fields, form and replays for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park

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