By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 & Rail out 4m so on-pace early before trending towards the outside, with big fields in play
|Race 1 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Luck and position vital here with almost the entire field on debut and most down from Canberra! Going with the gelding 6. Zelago (Delago Deluxe x Le Choice by Redoubte's Choice) who won a Canberra trial convincingly and draws a nice trailing gate for debut. Stable renowned for getting them ready early.
Dangers: Any number, headed by Wodonga-trained 8. Dissedge (Dissident x Alternative Edge by Rory's Jester) who trialled nicely at Tatura. Canberra filly 12. Stand Your Ground comes out of that same Canberra trial when working home nicely. Hard to line up Victorian filly 13. Toorsinaa who debuted as favourite with an even unplaced effort at Geelong, but will improve from leading yard. Queanbeyan filly 10. Maya Miracle does have race experience, and returns off a break following a solid debut at Canberra. Another debutant 11. Rain Spirit (Wandjina x Benevolent by Generous) for leading Canberra trainer/rider combination.
How to play it: Zelago to win and box first four 6-8-12/6-8-10-11-12-13.
|Race 2 BM 66 HCP (1600m):|
Albury 4YO 5. Thunder Tub worked home nicely last start this track and is ready to win fourth-up. Form rider goes on from a good gate.
Dangers: Corowa-trained 2. Tudor Rule comes out of that same BM 66 race, and gets a 2kg claim; while Wodonga mare 3. Purrpussful broke a long run of outs this track and grade last start and draws the fence, but up in weight. Include Canberra 4YO 1. High Dude in exotics after resuming nicely at big odds over a shorter trip. Will be getting home at the end again second-up, but may need one more run. Include last start Sapphire Coast winner 7. Tipta Tantivy in exotics.
How to play it: Thunder Tub to win and box first four 1-2-3-5-7.
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Open affair. Local 3YO 4. Supalux is ready to break-through fourth-up in his first prep. Attacked the line hard last two, both times coming from well back after drawing wide. Jumps from a more economic barrier today, and will coil up midfield and launch early in the straight.
Dangers: Local 3YO 2. More Gee found the line nicely from well back on debut this track, and little step up in trip suits. Way over the odds! Canberra-trained 3. Moss The Boss resumes for strong stable and has found a nice trip and track. Will get back from a wide gate, but watch for him finishing on late. Liked the improved effort from Goulburn filly 7. Rond De Jambe at Moruya last start, and from a nice draw she can work into the finish again.
How to play it: Supalux to win.
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Another wide maiden clash, although Canberra mare 4. Zaromatic can improve enough third-up at the right trip to win her first race. Was only fair on debut over a much shorter trip at Queanbeyan when well backed before hitting the line impressively last start this track. Fitter and extra journey big plusses in a field with moderate promise.
Dangers: Goulburn-trained 1. Gunga Din looks the main threat after a nice debut at home from off the speed. Fellow Goulburn 3YO 5. Or Else is fit after four runs this prep and draws a nice gate; while local 3YO 2. Gunnarunmum also showed improvement second-up and draws an inside gate with a claim.
How to play it: Zaromatic to win and box trifecta 1-2-4-5.
|Race 5 3YO & UP MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Yet another challenging maiden, but keen at the value on debutant Goulburn filly 10. Brunela (Supreme Class x Maramonde by Monde Bleu) who trialled nicely late last month, sitting off the winner under a hold and sweeping through the line. Looks ready for leading trainer/rider combination.
Dangers: Wodonga filly 12. Mooshie failed on debut in August on a Heavy 10; but proved she's back stronger with an impressive trial win at Tatura, and obviously better suited on top of the ground. Stable is under-stated! Expect improvement second-up from local filly 13. Stazzana who finished well back on debut this track, but that field had some depth and the winner is promising; while 1. Bye Bye Benji looks well placed resuming with a 2kg claim. Goulburn 3YO 4. Feel The Knight (Knight Exemplar x Look And Feel by Belong To Me) won a home trial in preparation for debut, but has drawn a wide barrier.
How to play it: Brunela each way.
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP (2000m):|
A few of these can be accused of taking it turns, but the timing is right for Goulburn-trained 4. Delude. Was competitive after trailing the speed in a Randwick Highway two runs back before charging home to just miss a place this track in today's grade.
Dangers: Local 5YO 1. Run Hoff Run hit the line hard this track, grade and trip last start, and this isn't strong, although drawn wide with a big weight. Gundagai 5YO 2. Kipe was only fair in that same race nearly three weeks back, but fitter now and will improve fourth-up at big odds.
How to play it: Delude to win.
Delude runs fourth at Wagga on January 28
|Race 7 RODNEY PARSONS OAM HCP (1400m):|
Good deep race, and looks ideal for local 6YO 7. Noble Descent who cruised home two runs back as a heavily backed favourite before charging late in the stronger Ted Ryder over the mile this track on Xmas eve. Freshened back to 1400m and in very well at the weights.
Dangers: Albury 7YO 1. Spunlago has plenty of class and follows a similar path, flying home to win the Ted Ryder, and freshened with an easy trial. Draws a nice gate, but forced to lump a huge weight. Locally-trained 11. Son Of Spartacus is building a nice record and still improving. This is his toughest test by far, but carries a postage stamp weight.
How to play it: Noble Descent to win.
|Race 8 CL1 HCP (1200m):|
Form-lines far and wide here, but expecting big improvement from nicely bred Victorian 3YO 4. Inglesias who got home okay resuming in a Wodonga BM 64 for leading stable. Wasn't beaten far second-up last time in, and previously raced against much stronger.
Dangers: Former Kiwi stayer 2. Red My Mind is a big watch. Hasn't started for six months, but now with leading Canberra trainer. Benalla mare 3. Bidgee Waters defied a betting drift to bolt in on debut, and 2kg claim should keep her competitive on a track that suits.
How to play it: Inglesias each way.
|Race 9 BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
Time for Canberra 3YO 5. The Unknown Factor to break a long run of outs since winning on debut more than 14 months ago. Has had three solid runs back from a long spell, the latest finishing hard at home under a big weight. Competed in the Group 3 Black Opal last autumn, and is better than these.
Dangers: Local 6YO 3. Kruanui is first-up for six months, but took on stronger Highway company in August, and normally comes to hand quickly. Benalla visitor 1. Kevlar Kid comes off a seven month spell, but bolted in a recent trial and has a sound fresh record.
How to play it: The Unknown Factor to win.
The Unknown Factor runs third at Canberra on February 1