By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury Park. The track is rated Good 4 and the rail is in the 6m position.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM WIN $10K CASH AT CANTERBURY NIGHTS PLATE (1250 METRES)|
Huge would be a good adjective for the last start effort of 3. Marmaris. He sat wide, made a sustained run to be with the leaders and was still fighting away at the finish when beaten narrowly at this track two weeks ago (Punters Intel covered an extra 9.5m). This time around he has the inside alley, which can pose its own problems from time to time but this is his chance to show what he can do and he looks a bit better value.
Danger: 4. Skyray was never in the hunt in the Magic Millions, a race marred by a lot of interference, and it’s best to overlook that. He did beat Marmaris home at Randwick prior to that and his debut effort was impressive. Down in grade he is worth another chance. 2. Magpie is very well bred and has had two trials ahead of his debut. He’s tended to get back and finish off so it’ll be interesting to see where he lands under race conditions. 5. Everard ran a super race on debut at Randwick behind Quackerjack but let the side down at Canterbury in the same race as Marmaris. I couldn't see her turning the tables given the run the other horse had but she's capable of better.
How to play it: Marmaris WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Marmaris sits wide and is narrowly denied at Canterbury on January 19
|Race 2 - 6:45PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
I don’t love having to take $2.40 for 1. Condor but if he’s going to win a race and be any kind of factor in the better three-year-old events he should be able to put this away. Showed plenty of promise in his first prep against some nice horses (Siege Of Quebec, D’Argento, Calculated etc) and his return at Warwick Farm was pleasing as he did get very close to the winner Rockin’ Ruga who dictated. Small field, drawn ideally, has every possible chance for mine.
Dangers: 5. Ombudsman has got me in a couple of times as he continues to run on, promising a win is close by but he’s still yet to place in five starts. Finished 1.5 lengths behind Condor at Warwick Farm last time but didn’t really threaten. Again, he’s getting close to a big D-Day and has a good chance. 2. Asterius was unwanted in betting at his debut at Newcastle but did make good ground to run into second. I suspect there is more depth despite the small field but he does have the element of improvement on his side with only the one run under his belt. 3. Devil’s Luck appeared to have his chance at Gosford last start, leading and staying on fairly for second. Blinkers go on and while I doubt he’s the winner, as we’ve seen in some five horse fields this week, anything can happen.
How to play it: Condor WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Condor will be fitter for a closing second first-up at Warwick Farm on January 17
|Race 3 - 7:15PM BOOK SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I was impressed with the first-up win of 7. It’s So Obvious a couple of weeks ago and if anything is even better suited in a race restricted to five-year-olds and up. She was able to ride the pace and sprint away in winning over this course, beating a handy three-year-old, and can only be fitter for it. Goes up in weight but drawn to land in another good spot in running and she’s clearly the horse to beat for mine. Trainer Greg McFarlane's comments can be found here.
Dangers: 2. Hillary Step clearly races best when she’s allowed to roll up on the speed and she’ll have that chance here from gate seven to push forward. She looked home at Warwick Farm last time after leading and I’m sure she will give a good sight around Canterbury with the rail out. 8. Forbidden Kisses is in foal and she was well ridden when scoring in mares company on January 10. It was her first win in a while but it was done with some authority and any give in the ground would be to her advantage. 3. Kopite has been racing well in easier company with a couple of wins at Taree split by a close up fourth at Wyong. Likely to settle in first four from an inside alley and she’s an each-way chance.
How to play it: It’s So Obvious WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
It’s So Obvious scores an easy first-up win at Canterbury on January 19
|Race 4 – 7.45PM TAB HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
The market suggests this is a wide open race and it’s spot on, so if you like something stick with it. For mine 5. Fournette comes through better quality races since her first-up Goulburn win where she beat Savatiano and Bye See. She stayed on well behind Regine at Randwick two starts back then again behind Tahsin at Warwick Farm. She was a winner at her only start over this course and in a tough race she’s a good each-way chance.
Dangers: 4. Feelin The Love has been racing pretty well and she was rewarded with a narrow win here on January 10 where she enjoyed a nice run and got the job done. Drops 3kg after the claim and has again drawn favourably. No reason she can’t be in the finish. 2. Mr Tickets will go forward from gate seven and he did it quite easily all the way at Gosford on January 18 to end a run of seconds. Given it’s such an open race and he makes his own luck he has to be considered a good chance. 9. Marrock had some support at Warwick Farm last time and gave a decent sight up on the pace before weakening to fourth behind the promising Danzie. Well worth including.
How to play it: Fournette E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Fournette running third behind Tahsin at Warwick Farm on January 17
|Race 5 - 8:15PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
3. Fortensky is dual accepted for Saturday but really does appear to have a mortgage on this race given the way he’s returned from a spell. Nice winner first-up in a strong form race then game in defeat to Faraway Town who swooped late at Randwick. While she’s up in class on the BM rating of this race I’d argue he’s plummeting in grade and only has to hold form and have even luck to first past the post.
Dangers: 2. Wild ‘N’ Famous was sent out decent double figure odds when resuming at Warwick Farm prior to Christmas but finished over the top of Bratislava (a winner since) to score an overdue win. Kept fresh and that might be what he needs so must be respected. 8. Star Reflection was outclassed in Listed company in Brisbane last start but her two previous runs this time in were sound. A month between runs and a light weight for an in-form apprentice are all positives and she’s capable of bouncing back. 5. Roaring To Win may be best suited if there’s some decent give in the track as he’s only won once from 11 starts on good ground but he is capable first-up and unplaced only once at this track previously. Keep an eye on betting.
How to play it: Fortensky WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Fortensky is run down by Faraway Town at Randwick on January 20
|Race 6 - 8:45PM SCHWEPPES SHOOTING STAR (1250 METRES)|
1. Reach For Heaven showed he’s come back in outstanding order with a gallant second at Randwick on January 13 where he wound up racing wide throughout and was just outgunned late by Tip Tip who had 7kg less and an easier run (Punters Intel last 600m 33.46). He has drawn wide here and risks a similar fate but I reckon luck will be taken out of the equation and he’ll land up on the speed. If he can enjoy a favour or two in the run he looks the goods for mine and the price is quite nice too. He’d be one of Kris Lees’ leading Provincial Championships horses for sure.
Dangers: 9. Al Mah Haha is a decent danger, despite my confidence in the top weight, as he’s a real up and coming horse who missed the boat when a beaten favourite at the last night meeting. I suspect he may settle a bit closer and with a couple of runs under his belt he should be close to a peak. 6. Irithea came through the grades quickly last preparation with three wins including one at Canterbury and I suspect she will be the leader here. Two trials back have been sound and she’s more than capable of giving them something to catch if she gets her own way. 3. Star Of Monsoon is chasing a hat-trick after a couple of confidence boosting Gosford wins and though this is a much harder task he has found winning form (finally), has drawn well and he really seems to get on with Tye Angland. Couldn’t leave him out of the chances.
How to play it: Reach For Heaven WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Reach For Heaven’s game first-up second at Randwick on January 13
|Race 7 - 9:15PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
1. Viceroy looks to be very well placed back to midweek level after a couple of cracking efforts at Randwick in recent weeks. He was run down late by Fortensky first-up (with subsequent winner Tswalu third) then forced to cover plenty of extra ground but had the audacity to keep fighting and only went down 2.4 lengths behind Faraway Town. Back in class, drawn well and loves Canterbury. He’s hard to go past. Read trainer Luke Pepper’s comments here.
Dangers: 9. All Charisma managed to get control up front and was never troubled in scoring over this course a couple of weeks ago. I’d expect he will go forward again and while still down in the weights can be hard to run down. 6. Spending To Win had his chance first-up behind Star Of Monsoon but he’s very consistent without winning (his lone win was this course and distance) and should enjoy a nice run. Each-way claims again. 3. Virgilio is at his best around the 1400m but is yet to miss a place fresh. No recent trials so don’t be surprised if he runs a cheeky race over the short course.
How to play it: Viceroy E/W special ($5 TAB Fixed Odds).
Viceroy’s luckless fifth at Randwick on January 20
|Race 8 - 9:45PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Betting and pattern on the night will point you to whether 8. Miss Que is a winning chance first-up so keep that in mind. On paper it does appear she’ll have a reasonably quick tempo up front which will offset the outside barrier as it did in her impressive debut win back in June (on a heavy track). She trialled quite nicely at the Farm a couple of weeks ago and I’d expect her to be hard to hold out – just keep an eye on the aforementioned things.
Dangers: 2. Duchess Pedrille would also relish a bit of tempo and she’s a much better horse than her last start sixth at Canterbury reads. Solid winner first-up and there was form out of that race so she is well worth another chance. 3. Geneteau finally broke through for a long overdue win when she was able to lead and control here a couple of weeks back. With the wide gate she’ll likely try her luck to get across and if she does get there without too much worry she’ll be competitive. 10. Not Surprising hit the line strongly late when she resumed on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast. Second-up form is a bit patchier but she’d only have to repeat the effort to be in the finish, the drop of 100m may not help but with some pace expected she can’t be left out.
How to play it: Miss Que E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Miss Que’s recent Warwick Farm trial on January 15