By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park. The track is rated Soft 6, rail back in the true after being out 8m last week.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM ATC OWNER BENEFITS CARD PLATE (1250 METRES)|
The first of a few short priced favourites for the day is 5. Sweet Scandal and all things being equal she is set to go one better than on debut when she bumped into Sparkly Star who led all the way at Warwick Farm a couple of weeks ago. She was safely holding, if not getting away from, the rest and I see the extra 150m as in her favour. Wouldn’t surprise if she led them and she’s the horse to beat without a doubt.
Danger: 4. Divinity is the first starter to worry about though there wasn’t as much in her trials as you usually get from the stable. She has a win and a second from her last couple but they were under a bit of duress. That said, trials don’t mean everything and she commands a bit of respect. I’m expecting an improved performance from 1. Highjacker who has had two starts in the heavy and hasn’t been able to pick his feet up. Any improvement in the track would be to his advantage and he has the chance to show what ability he possesses. 2. Kaecilius comes through the same race as Sweet Scandal and Highjacker and he held his ground to run third without threatening at any stage. Bred to appreciate more ground so he is open to improvement but suspect he may be outsprinted again.
How to play it: Sweet Scandal WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sweet Scandal’s solid debut second at Warwick Farm on June 13
|Race 2 - 1:25PM TAB.COM.AU PLATE (1550 METRES)|
The best of the day (that’s backable) comes up here in the shape of 10. Singing Sand up to a distance where she can be a threat. Both runs to date have been very good getting back from wide gates and running home late, last start Punters Intel showed her last 600m of 36.66 was the second fastest by 0.02 of the race. This time around she’s up to 1550m and drawn ideally to settle that bit closer and be in a striking position rather than chasing. Comes through what looks a strong maiden on paper from Warwick Farm two weeks ago and I’d be very surprised if she’s not right there at the finish.
Dangers: 6. Tarka was a drifter in betting and went largely un-noticed poking along the fence into a close third on debut last month. Not concerned about the gap between runs and the extra trip will be a plus to him. From the inside alley he’ll have his chance and if he has come on then he’s right in it. 2. Pacific Crest really didn’t get warm until the race was all over on debut at Kembla Grange so he’s a horse looking for more ground. Suspect next time around he might be ready to win but I’m not selling him short. 3. Picaro had his chance last time out on the Kensington track over this trip and while back to a maiden with blinkers on he does need to show a bit more tenacity. Probably leads and it’s better to include him rather than dismiss.
How to play it: Singing Sand WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Singing Sand hits the line strongly late to run third at Warwick Farm on June 13
|Race 3 – 2:00PM CASINO PRINCE@VINERY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
The designated ‘good thing of the day’ is the very promising 9. Smart Melody but it’s hard to make her the best bet of the day at $1.40. While we all get a bit carried away with an impressive win at times, and you do like to see them do it a second time, her debut effort at Newcastle was exceptional and a bit of form has come out of it so far too with the third horse winning. Punters Intel data shows she ran 33.18 for her last 600m and 11.45 for the last 200m. Goes to the 1100m and if you can sit third at 900m I can see Brenton Avdulla taking luck out of the equation somewhat and putting her in a prominent spot. Clearly on top.
Dangers: 2. Saint Antonio Lad didn’t look overly happy on the heavy 9 at Randwick second-up behind Dio D’Oro and aside from Smart Melody this looks a step down for him on a better surface. Found the line well against older horses when resuming and an extra 100m appears to be a plus so look for an improved showing here. 8. Laburnum was a beaten favourite before a spell at Newcastle in a handy enough field following a sound debut win. Thought the trial at Randwick was quite strong over the 730m and from the inside alley she has every chance. Brenton Avdulla has ridden her in both starts and rides the favourite against her here. 7. Kashiwa is a horse I’m sure has some ability and he will be better for his debut on the Kensington track off one trial. Settled back and made some ground there and with a bit more race smarts he could improve a few lengths into the finish somewhere.
How to play it: Smart Melody ($1.40)/Saint Antonio Lad ($14) EXACTA.
Smart Melody outclasses her rivals on debut at Newcastle on June 9
|Race 4 – 2.35PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
The two favourites here are more than capable but have recent convictions. With a bit of early luck getting into a spot it could be 3. Vienna Romance’s turn to post a win. Two runs back have been honest though I’m wary she did go back from a wide gate on the Kensington track last time out and ran on when back 100m in trip behind Alassio who led all the way. Hopefully they try their luck and go forward. looks well placed from an inside gate to have a perfect run just off the speed with the long run down the back straight. Good each-way chance.
Dangers: I thought 14. Seahampton was a good thing first-up and she was disappointing after being in a winnable position coming to the turn. Can only conclude she didn’t handle the heavy. The ground is a little better here and while I’m not sure coming back in distance is the answer I have to give her another chance, in that I can’t leave her out, as she was so good in her win before a spell. 1. Zonk blew the start at Randwick a month ago and was never a factor. Led and boxed on first-up behind Epidemic and is back in class into this. With the claim she’s quite well weighted and her best performances would be good enough to win this race. She’s just getting a little too costly to follow for my liking. 6. Devolving is coming off a long break but she has shown ability, particularly with the cut out of the track. Her two trials have been okay without being brilliant and she could show something fresh.
How to play it: Vienna Romance E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Vienna Romance runs on from well back on the Kensington track on June 11
|Race 5 – 3.10PM RANVET HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
There’s a relatively short favourite here and I’m a bit negative on it so went looking for value. 9. Impasse looks well placed from an inside gate to have a perfect run just off the speed. Went down fighting as favourite first-up at Warwick Farm, basically by the bob of the head, in the shortest race he’s contested in his four starts to date. The trip here suits, he romped in second-up last time in and he should be hard to beat.
Dangers: 14. Deft had some specking at odds at Warwick Farm two weeks ago and acquitted herself well to run third behind Popular. Takes on the boys as well here so has an extra 2kg advantage and she shapes as though the trip will be no issue. One of the main chances for mine. 6. Foreign Territory has come up favourite after winning a maiden at his second start on the Kensington track earlier this month but it looks to me he won’t have it quite so easy from the wide gate at the 1550m start though scratchings have helped his cause. Of course if he does get across and dictates he’ll be hard to stop but I think he’s a bit too short to be jumping in. 1. Carluca hasn't been beaten that far in two runs back from a break and he should be ready to find a bit of form with conditions to suit.
How to play it: Impasse E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Impasse is claimed in the last stride first-up at Warwick Farm on June 13
|Race 6 - 3:45PM BOWERMANS OFFICE FURNITURE HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
I was on 1. Reneged when he was runner-up to Penske on the Kensington track third-up expecting the track to be a bit wetter than it wound up. He still ran well and was closing the gap in the last 200m so the 1900m now is right up his alley and the soft ground gives him an added advantage. The scratchings have opened the race right up, he's in well with Patrick Scorse’s claim and if he gets it right then he should go very close.
Dangers: 13. Tunero had support at Randwick last start and really disappointed after appearing to have his chance. Can only put it down to the heavy track there so on an improving surface at Canterbury he’s entitled to some forgiveness but he's still under the odds. 11. Balansa started favourite at Warwick Farm at his first attempt on a seriously wet track, led and just battled over 2110m. This race has opened up a bit for him and he's worth another chance. 9. Lifeline Princess backs up after holding on for a distant third in a similar race last week. Soft track is a plus for her and she's an each-way chance.
How to play it: Reneged WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Reneged finishes off the 1550m when it’s all over at Randwick on June 11
|Race 7 - 4:20PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
Somewhat keen on the chances of 6. Magicus, each-way, to round out the day. His two Sydney runs of late have been solid and he improved when ridden on the speed at Warwick Farm two weeks ago as he went under to El Dorado Mine. He stuck with the winner and was getting away from the rest so it tells me he’s trying and from a good gate he should get all the favours. Entitled to go close here for mine.
Dangers: 5. Wander stepped up to this sort of company and handled it well when runner-up to Easy Eddie on the Kensington track. He was held up a bit though was out in plenty of time. Probably has to go forward from the wide gate and given he’s yet to finish worse than second he has to be considered a strong chance without being a good thing. 12. Salerno showed a glimpse of form in the last event a week ago at Canterbury, finishing off with a bit of purpose. That race did fall away a bit with scratchings but if he produces the same effort he can be thereabouts at each-way odds. 15. Mad Fox is eligible for easier races but did start favourite in the El Dorado Mine race two weeks ago. Had his chance but boxed on well enough there and from the inside alley he can be in the finish somewhere again.
How to play it: Magicus E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Magicus runs a game second at Warwick Farm on June 13