By Neil Evans
Track improving to Soft 5/6 and rail out 3m from 900m to 275m, then true the remainder for Cup Prelude day
|Race 1 C, G & E MAIDEN PLATE (1460m):|
The boys get us rolling in a competitive opener. Capable front-running Goulburn 4YO 4. Namarari is on the six day back-up from a deeper maiden at Canberra, with the blinkers back on. Only missed a place once in his last four, and he should relish this track profile where they come down hill from the 600m.
Dangers: Canberra 3YO 11. Call Me Artie is on the cusp of breaking through after three runs back. Has been working home well, although won't want to concede too big a start on this course. Expect improvement at second start from 4YO stallion 5. No Collusion who draws better and naturally fitter.
How to play it: Namarari to win and quinella 4 and 11. Odds and Evens: Split
Namarari runs fifth at Canberra on November 3
|Race 2 F & M MAIDEN PLATE (1460m):|
Now the girls' edition, and Hawkesbury mare 2. Golden Eclipse can finally break through at her 18th start. Has shown enough improvement hitting the line late in her last two at Wagga, and can finish over the top in a thin race.
Dangers: Progressive Warwick Farm filly 7. Barging Tess will be hard to stop second-up if she can work to the front comfortably enough. Had a torrid time arresting the lead at Scone, but well treated at the weights here in a weaker maiden. The rest should be going around for fun, although Canberra filly 8. Keep It Down can run a place at big odds drawn well, and with winkers going on.
How to play it: Golden Eclipse to win and trifecta 2,7/2,7/8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 CLASS 1 HCP (1000m):|
Back to the sprint course, and this looms as a battle of speed and tactics between a pair of 3YO Canberra fillies. Improving 3. Proud Mia can strike second-up on a crucial drying surface. Has led for a long way in her last two against better opposition on the South Coast, and bolted in as a hot favourite here on debut in late autumn.
Dangers: Rival 4. Off To War is the obvious threat after a dominant debut win at Albury, before only collared late in a Class 1. Be surprised if anything else wins, but resuming local 3YO 5. Propose A Toast, and Warwick Farm 4YO 1. Open War second-up, can be included in wider exotics.
How to play it: Proud Mia to win and quinella 3 and 4. Odds and Evens: Split
Proud Mia runs second at Sapphire Coast on October 29
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (900m):|
Now for the dash, and there's no time to dawdle out here. Former Victorian 3YO 5. Hilflager is a big market watch resuming for a new Canberra stable, with the blinkers added. Normally takes a run or two, and hasn't officially trialled, but there'll be enough speed on up front to give him the final shot.
Dangers: Kembla 3YO 1. Sharpshooter drops in class third-up, but may have a real job staying in touch under the big weight. Canberra 3YO 4. Ronny Rock Art was close-up resuming in a handy maiden at Wagga; while 5YO 9. Lucid Dreamer just missed first-up in a weak maiden over the same trip, and draws to get a handy trail.
How to play it: trifecta 1,4,5/1,4,5,9/1,4,5,9. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 5 BM 50 HCP (1460m):|
By far the most open race of the day, with naturally plenty of chances. Kembla mare 9. Swilling is hard fit for this trip, and maps to get a lovely run right behind the speed. Bolted in at Cootamundra three runs back, and this is a drop in quality from a CL2 at Moruya last start.
Dangers: Local 7YO gelding 3. Canford Calling has far more to offer than his strike rate suggests. Will find this easier than his last two when hitting the line okay, and ready to peak third-up. Canberra mare 2. Bid Of Faith is shooting for three straight, and backs up just two days after claiming a BM 58 at Goulburn, but rises in weight. Goulburn mare 11. Rosecraft who draws wide, and home track 6YO 1. Faolan, who drops in class, are the best of the rest.
How to play it: Swilling each way and first four 3,9,11/3,9,11/1,2,3,9,11/1,2,3,9,11. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 6 CUP PRELUDE BM 58 HCP (2000m):|
The stayers tune up for the Cup, and it's another open tussle. Like local 6YO gelding 5. Alpine King who can peak third-up at the right trip. Hit the line impressively to win a BM 60 resuming at Canberra before again strong late here, and draws to do no work on the inside.
Dangers: Kembla mare 7. Spring Secret steps up sharply in trip third-up, but she's shown plenty in two runs back from a spell. Canberra mare 8. Stratum's Rose loves to roll forward and dictate, and has been placed in her last three. Blinkers come off, and if she gets some cheaper splits through the middle, will be hard to run down on this track. Hawkesbury 7YO 4. Eerised has a poor strike rate, but will find this easier than his last two, not far away in a provincial BM 64 before dropping out in the Cessnock Cup run at Newcastle.
How to play it: Alpine King each way and box trifecta 4,5,7,8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 BM 50 HCP (1000m)|
We close out over the sprint trip, and 5YO Canberra mare 8. Woollahra Lass is primed second-up off a break. Hit the line nicely resuming in a stronger race, and well in at the weights after rider takes 2kg off.
Dangers: Home track mare 4. Social Smile will find this much easier than her last couple, and draws to get a nice trail. Age refuses to weary local 11YO 2. Byblos Boy who finished well to claim a BM 60 at Canberra last Tuesday and draws the inside, although generally at his best on a softer track.
How to play it: Woollahra Lass to win. Odds and Evens: Evens a special.