By Ray Hickson
Tips and insights by Ray Hickson for Friday night’s meeting at Canterbury Park. The track is good, though some rain is forecast for Friday, and the rail is true.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM WIN $10K CASH AT CANTERBURY NIGHTS PLATE (1550 METRES)|
I’d rather try to work out how a race of 16 horses is run than a five horse field, second guessing the map for this one could have pointed me in the wrong direction. That said, if things pan out as I think then 4. Zeppelin has a good chance to break through. He was run down over this course two starts ago on a soft track then found 1800m beyond him behind All Too Soon at Randwick. He sprinted up to win that race near the 200m and was paddling late. I can see him controlling the speed here and that’s his best chance.
Punters Intel: Zeppelin sprinted the section from the 400m-200m in 11.08 (0.4 seconds slower than the eventual winner).
Dangers: 5. Semper Fidelis is potentially the best horse in the race and it won’t surprise me if she proves too good. She finished her debut at Warwick Farm of stylishly and while the form out of that race hasn’t been stunning she’s been back to the trials and gets up to 1550m. Huge threat. 3. Higher Ground was awesome on debut then raced very flat second-up at Randwick. Blinkers go on him here and if he reproduces his first run he can be competitive though it did concern me that he went backwards in the last 200m last start. 2. China Gale is next best but does need to improve on what he’s shown to date to be a factor.
How to play it: Zeppelin & Semper Fidelis quinella.
Zeppelin’s second placing at Canterbury – October 27
|Race 2 - 6:45PM TAB PLATE (1550 METRES)|
I don’t think 7. Jaunty is the type to put your house on but she does appear well placed here second-up after being scratched from Hawkesbury midweek. She was a drifter in betting and wound up late to be beaten less than a length first-up at Kembla and jumping to the 1550m with a bit of sting out would really suit. Drawn perfectly and she is entitled to go close.
Dangers: 3. Netherlands hit the line a lot better at his second start at Newcastle and arguably should have gone close to winning there. Still has a bit of upside this time in it would appear and he’s the logical danger. 1. Equipped is another professional placegetter with eight minors from 10 starts. Even effort in his second trial and kicking off at this trip will give him the chance to be in the placings again. 4. Skifield has been largely disappointing but may improve with the inside gate and Brenton Avdulla riding.
How to play it: Jaunty WIN ($2.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Jaunty’s first-up fourth at Kembla Grange – October 28
|Race 3 - 7:15PM BOOK SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
I may be going off one run too early but 4. Almighty Crown did more than enough on debut to suggest he can win races and he has landed in a very winnable one. He comes out of what I think will be a strong race at Randwick won by Epidemic and he worked to the line strongly late. Though beaten six lengths it was a tidy effort and he has the blinkers on first time. Hopefully he doesn’t have to give away too much start and he can mow them down.
Dangers: 6. Aqua D’Ivina had specking at big odds at her only start back in March and she attacked the line strongly to run second on a heavy track. Since then she’s had bone chips removed and has trialled twice, the second of those was a nice pointer to her running well fresh. Blueblood (Pierro-Aqua D’Amore) and should be hard to beat. 1. Stealthy was a huge drifter at his only start and arguably should have gone close to winning at Kembla over the 1000m. He is an acceptor there on Saturday (and looks a good thing to me) so no surprise if he doesn’t run here but if he does then he’s a definite chance. 8. Maid Marilyn responded to some hard riding late to get very close at her debut (same race as Jaunty) and she will land on the speed here. Open to improvement and has to be given due consideration.
How to play it: Almighty Crown E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Almighty Crown runs on into fourth at Randwick – November 7
|Race 4 - 7:45PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
There appears to be a genuine tempo on paper here and that gives 1. Noire a good chance to run over the top of them in the straight. Her only failure in six starts to date was last sytart when up to 1400m before a spell and she faded after sitting outside the leader. I doubt she’ll be ridden so aggressively here and with a massive class drop, claim for in-form apprentice Lee Magorrian and two easy trials she’s set to run well first-up.
Dangers: 3. The Wasp looked as though she’d go straight past the winner at about the 200m last time at Canterbury but couldn’t get past and then knocked up late to run third. At peak now after two runs back and looks sure to have a nice run in transit just off the speed. This will tell us if she runs out 1100m. 7. Empress Matilda is a last start maiden winner where she downed Tiki Bar over this course a few weeks back. Of course the runner-up broke through at Hawkesbury during the week. This might be a smart filly because she was holding Tiki Bar on the line. 4. Reward For Fashion is another on pacer and she’s resuming after an excellent preparation where she only missed a place once and that was her last start fourth at Warwick Farm in August. No surprise to see her run well.
How to play it: Noire WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Noire’s quiet trial at Warwick Farm – November 6
|Race 5 - 8:15PM ANZ BLOODSTOCK NEWS HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
3. Serene Miss looks an exciting mare in the making and this race doesn’t look too big a step up from the Scone Class 2 that she dominated when resuming late last month. She was good enough to win on debut at Newcastle but was much more dominant when ridden a bit quieter last time. She can be midfield here at worst in running, she’ll appreciate a little sting out of the ground and there are no superstars among the opposition whereas she still has upside.
Dangers: 1. Vega was the beneficiary of an excellent ride by Greg Ryan to win first-up at Bathurst, taking a run along the rails after settling last off the outside gate with 61kg. He stays at the same weight and only goes up 100m which is a small concern but has obviously come back in good order. 3. Fanning was game in defeat two starts back off a wide gate then last time hit the lead in the straight but was run down by Satirical Magic. Consistent and is one of the main chances. 7. The Cheetah is a lot better than what his second-up flop would suggest and he could improve but would need to pull out something special to win.
How to play it: Serene Miss WIN ($2.15 TAB Fixed Odds)
Serene Miss wins easily first-up at Scone – October 27
|Race 6 - 8:45PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
I was a bit negative on 2. Cellarman last start but he was always solid in the market and he finished his race off with a lot more purpose than his previous couple, beating Intueri who has since won at Rosehill. Stays at the 1550m and effectively drops 0.5kg for staying in the same class. (It’s a BM76 but he’s the top rated runner on 70 which was the class of his last win). Doesn’t have gate one this time but with even luck in running is the one to beat again.
Punters Intel: Cellarman dashed home his last 600m in 34.98 last start with a last 200m of 11.52, both easily the fastest sectionals of the race.
Dangers: 10. Tahsin probably doesn’t want it too wet so if we’re dealing with a 5-6 he should be okay. Bounced back to form dead heating for third at Warwick Farm last time and there was a bit to like about how he finished the last 100m or so. Go well here. 4. Carluca doesn’t know how to run a bad race it would seem though he didn’t put the race away like you’d have liked when he had the chance at the Farm last time. If the race pans out for him on the speed he can win. 9. Follow Suit is a horse you couldn’t back on the way he trialled at Randwick last time but if there’s a move for him in betting he could be worth a look. Lightly raced ex-Kiwi now with Chris Waller and the trip suits him fresh.
How to play it: Cellarman WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cellarman gets the job done at Canterbury – November 1
|Race 7 - 9:15PM SCHWEPPES EVENING STAR (1250 METRES)|
Pattern on the night and early tempo will be important factors for the chances of 10. Queen Misty but I’m happy to have her on top. She was responsible for a huge effort over the same course first-up last prep on a heavy track and certainly wasn’t disgraced in her three subsequent runs. I thought she trialled nicely enough at Randwick recently and I can’t see her missing a place if she’s not giving away too much start. (I’d like to see her land just off midfield given there are a few speed horses drawn around her). I’m expecting her to run well.
Dangers: 2. Fifteen Sunflowers absolutely belted the opposition at the last night meeting here, sitting on the speed and putting five lengths on them at the finish. That was at 1100m and she has another 150m to go here and a bit of competition for the front – on paper at least. Still, hard to knock her severely and it wouldn’t surprise if she won again. (Note she’s engaged at Rosehill on Saturday). 7. Satirical Magic couldn’t have been more impressive winning first-up at Canterbury downing Fanning on November 1. His form can be patchy at times but the extra ground is in his favour and he’s obviously come back in fine form. 9. No Escape tends to take a run or two before hitting his top but he did produce a close third when resuming at 1000m last time in. So the 1250m here fresh will be ideal and he’s one to keep an eye on.
How to play it: Queen Misty E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Queen Misty runs a quiet third in her Randwick trial – October 31
|Race 8 - 9:45PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
To be frank, I find this race borderline impossible so if you’re keen on something I wouldn’t talk you out of it. For what it’s worth I thought 5. Crosley Hotshot should run a nice race now he’s out to the 1900m after three runs back. I thought he wound up quite well over the Randwick mile last start when the race was all over and that backed up an even second-up effort at this track in a small field. I’d expect him to race a bit closer than last start and he has a good each-way chance.
Dangers: 12. Think Like A Bird is a lightly raced mare who went around in the G3 Tesio Stakes at Moonee Valley last start against the likes of Lubiton, Savapinski and Invincibella. She wasn’t quite up to those but wasn’t disgraced finishing five lengths off the winner. Prior she split I Am Serious and Shield Wall, both of which have won again since. Certainly has every chance on the limit with The Gun riding. 7. Shield Wall obviously is a last start winner having scored in good enough style over this course on November 1. She could repeat but does have gate 11 to contend with not two as she did last time. 9. Malmas worked home without threatening at all to run fourth at Randwick at his first run in Sydney and this is a class drop for him. I’d like to see him a bit further forward here and if that’s the case he can be hard to beat.
How to play it: Crosley Hotshot E/W ($13 TAB Fixed Odds).
Crosley Hotshot runs on into fourth at Randwick – November 7