By Ray Hickson
Ray Hickson’s tips and insights for Wednesday’s Canterbury meeting. Several interesting races on the program and there are seven winners to be found!
The track will be Good and the rail is in the 3m position.
|Race 1 - 1:25PM ALL TOO HARD@VINERY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Expecting Faeger and Lightz to dispute the lead in what looks a very tactical contest. I’m a little surprised that Lightz isn’t a little shorter in the market in a seven horse race considering how far he plummets in class on basically every start he’s had to date. He trialled up quite well going into the Rosebud where he was knocked out of the contest around the turn. Given he was eased down in the closing stages finishing eight lengths from Menari isn’t terrible from a maiden perspective. From the inside gate I’d say he’ll go to the front and if Blake Shinn can get control he has his chance to perform.
Danger: Faeger closed his race off nicely behind Songlike in a small field over the same course two weeks ago and has the blinkers first time. Interesting that Shinn has ridden him in his last two starts but rides Lightz here. Possibly he lands outside the lead and gets his chance. High Dive has the Waller/Bowman combination and trialled quite well at Rosehill recently. He’s worth keeping safe first-up.
How to play it: Lightz E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds)
Lightz has a torrid run in the Rosebud – August 12
|Race 2 - 2:00PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
A few interesting first starters and plenty of trial form to dissect so betting may play a big role in working this out pre-race. Decided to go with some exposed form and Fifth Affair whose only real failure was in the Group 2 Magic Night behind Tulip. She was narrowly beaten twice in the space of four days back in April before a spell and did enough in her trial to suggest she’s in order. Can take some advantage of barrier one and given she’s the devil we know she’s good each-way value.
Danger: Cadencia is a half-sister to Group 2 winner Derryn and there was plenty to like about how she worked home in her second trial on August 18. Suggest she’ll be strong late in this and appears a decent threat. Short enough, though. Marishka is a full sister to Golden Slipper winner Overreach and she sat ouside the lead before winning her second trial this prep. Drawn well, Snowden/Shinn combination and she commands some respect.
How to play it: Fifth Affair E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Fifth Affair finishing a close second in her Hawkesbury trial - August 21
|Race 3 - 2:35PM MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS HANDICAP (2700 METRES)|
It’s a bit hard to be confident matching up horses going well at provincial level against those battling a bit in stronger city grade. Napoleon had been around the mark in town at 2200m or thereabouts then stretched out to 2900m and strolled home at Newcastle. He took control before the turn there and while it was only win three from 29 starts it looks the best reference for this race. If he can back up that effort he should be hard to beat again..
Danger: Four Carat won’t find an easier assignment in town for a while than this one though he has been a little on the plain side in his last couple. Passed a few late behind Auvray and Sayed at Randwick last start and on his best form would be hard to beat. Red Dream chased Napoleon home at Newcastle as favourite and is at least capable of being in the finish.
How to play it: Napoleon WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Napoleon scoring easily at Newcastle on August 12
|Race 4 - 3:10PM TAB HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
Estikhraaj is definitely not one of my horses, I find him very hard to catch, and maybe I’m overanalyzing the race but I have to go with a swooper, or something that can park just off the speed. He managed to win one over the same course in June and his three runs since have been all fairly similar – get back and run on. He did close within a length two weeks ago in a similar event and if the race pans out as I suspect he will get the last shot.
Danger: Dylan’s Romance showed a return to form in the same event, going down narrowly, and also maps pretty well. He has tended to hold form when he finds it so can be expected to run well. Taikomochi is the up and comer and if he happens to be handed a soft lead he’ll take running down. Typical Tulloch Lodge product, tough on-pacer, and should be suited around Canterbury. If he’s taken on he’s vulnerable and he might be a bit under the odds.
How to play it: Estikhraaj WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Estikhraaj running fourth behind Street Pursuit at Canterbury
|Race 5 - 3:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
No Pushover showed she’s right up to this sort of race with a very tidy third behind the smart Up ‘N’ Rolling two weeks back. She was shuffled back in running and found herself having to wait for runs so I’d argue she should have run a clear second. With the speed coming from wide out I’m expecting her to get all the favours in behind the speed here and if presented at the right time she should take holding out.
Danger: Fortensky has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory a few times recently but I can see him cruising across to sit outside the likely leader Virgilio and hitting the front. Whethe he can hold on this time is the question. Midnight Delight is the up and comer of the field, she had to work hard for the win at Newcastle second-up but with McEvoy riding on the limit she’s hard to ignore.
How to play it: No Pushover E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
No Pushover runs into third behind Up ‘N’ Rolling at Canterbury
|Race 6 - 4:20PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
The nominal ‘good thing of the day’ appears here in the shape of Godolphin colt Malahat who was beaten by the barrier when he resumed with a fast finishing third back on August 9. Similar grade, another 100m and the inside barrier plus Hugh Bowman to steer. You’d expect him to be a lot closer in the run and I think he’s about the right price. Promising and should be a bit too good for them.
Danger: Gauguin has his first run for John Sargent and showed plenty of promise in his first campaign earlier this year. He trialled well enough behind Kementari recently, he can race in the first half and has some upside. Rockafella found the line quite nicely first-up in Saturday company a month ago and has improvement in him too.
How to play it: Malahat WIN ($2.15 TAB Fixed Odds)
Malahat’s eye-catching first-up run at Canterbury on August 9
|Race 7 - 4:55PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Two ways of looking at this race. Either Missile Coda is a cut above them or she isn’t. If she isn’t then there’s plenty of value to be found in this race. Had to come back to Missile Coda though, I think Blake Shinn can put her in a winning position from a nice gate just off the speed and present at the right time. He may even decide to take luck out of it again and lead but he has the option not to. Around $2.50 would be acceptable.
Danger: Sexy Eyes couldn’t have won her debut at Gosford last month any easier than she did and while she’s eligible for lesser grade you have to respect Chris Waller taking her here. Wouldn’t surprise at all to see her measure up and she’s over the odds at $11. Regimen is two from two and you’d expect her to bounce right onto the pace as she’s done on both occasions to date.
How to play it: Missile Coda WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds)
Missile Coda canters home at Canterbury on August 9