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Canterbury Winners - Tips For Friday 1st February

By Brad Gray

Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Friday night’s meeting at Canterbury Park.

The rail is out 6m and the track will race in the good range.


Is this the day for 2. Tactical Formation? Maybe he’ll take inspiration from Tom Melbourne! Last start Tactical Formation ran the fastest last 600m in the race, with a more patient ride doing the trick. Punters Intelligence reveals he clocked 34.84s, with a last 200m of 11.49s. That particularly race is a significant form reference for this one with Chris Waller’s debutant 3. King Of Seas also running well in it and lining up here. King Of Seas clocked 35.15s. With six placings from his eight starts, you’d think a maiden win is beckoning and although he has had enough chances, what’s also in his favour is his proven record over the trip. There is enough speed here for Brett Prebble to settle midfield or slightly worse and not be disadvantaged.

Dangers: King Of Seas was on debut last time out so has big upside from a race experience perspective, and the scratching of stablemate Rexx makes his task easier. Outside of those, 1. Brilliant Mind finds himself in the easiest race he has contested in his three start career, the latest of those in the Magic Millions maiden when posted three wide. He is a half to Youngstar and will appreciate the trip. Respect his chances.

How to play it: Tactical Formation WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)

Tactical Formation, Rexx and King Of Seas


1. Koonunga was a year between runs at Gosford on January 11 and thought she was really brave to hold off the closers. The four-year-old certainly has her share of ability and after five appearances at the provincials, one of which was a third to Pecans, she deserves a shot in town. Warwick Farm-based trainer Matt Smith couldn’t have found a more perfect race for her either. A Benchmark 70 around Canterbury over 1100m. She has drawn barrier 1 and there isn’t a great deal of depth to the race, or speed for that matter. Expect her to punch up to hold the front and with the rail out 6m, she’s clearly the horse to beat.

Dangers: Was the fading last start effort of 2. Sophiella the run of a horse desperate for a drop back in trip or one that suggested her long campaign is coming to an end? We’ll find out here. There’s been nothing flash about this mare’s last two efforts but they were both over 1200m. Prior to that she’s run two seconds over 1100m. Winkers go on for the first time. 4. Second Island is fresh here for Greg McFarlane and draws to get the right run. Her record is handy enough and she trialled well at Newcaslte. The more I look at Koonunga’s rivals the keener I become on her chances...

How to play it: Koonunga WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds)

Koonunga’s Gosford win off a lay off


Found it impossible to ignore the credentials of 5. Judge Judi. Kim Waugh has only had the mare for two starts and she’s been very good in both of them. First up she came away with Myprayer at Kembla Grange to fight out the finish, running second. Back in fourth was 6. Navigator, the second favourite for this race. Judge Judi then tackled the mile second up, a new trip for her, and she passed in flying colours leading all of the way. She beat Zavance on that occasion and that Snowden-trained filly won a Warwick Farm on Monday. Expect her to be in the first couple in running.

Dangers: 4. Cascata Rossa has found a new home with Adam Duggan at Gosford having formerly been trained by Matt Dunn. The six-year-old has had three runs for Duggan and improved in each of them. Out to his right trip of the mile now fourth up, expect him to come on again. He ran second in a Highway Handicap back in October 2017. Navigator has his work cutout closing the gap on Judge Judi but he was solid last start at Canterbury beaten by Matowi, who’d likely give these a touch up if he were here. Blinkers are applied too. 3. Carluca is very honest and always a chance at this level.

How to play it: Judge Judi WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds)

Judge Judi winning at Gosford last time out


Here’s hoping it’s a double for Matt Smith at Canterbury. Also keen on his five-year-old gelding 3. Tonsor, resuming here after 25 weeks. He only has four starts to his name for two wins and a couple of placings. Thought he trialled particularly well at Warwick Farmsuggesting that he was ready to rock and roll fresh wherever he turned up. Again, Smith has found a lovely race for his horse. What makes him even harder to beat is the lack of speed engaged. James McDonald, who rode him in his trials, will roll straight to the front from the wide draw. All going to plan, he’ll stay there.

Dangers: 1. Ever So Natural’s form doesn’t look too crash hot on paper but he was only beaten 2.3L by Easy Eddie two back while last start he was only 1.8L away from All Too Royal despite running seventh. He’s the clear danger back in grade. 4. Don’t Leave Me Out won at his first outing for Joe Pride at Gosford beating Partners, a subsequent winner at Wyong so the form looks solid. Staying at 1100m is some minor query but on the strength of his last start win, he’ll be running right through the line again. 5. Vincero needs everything to go his way, and the lack of speed here plays against him, but he’s capable.

How to play it: Tonsor WIN ($1.95 TAB Fixed Odds) and QUINELLA 3,1

Tonsor trialling at Warwick Farm – Jan 22


This race sets up beautifully for 4. Kawaikini. There is a stack of speed here so expect it to play into the hands of those sweeping home late. There is no denying that this five-year-old mare is one dimensional and it’s why her record doesn’t reflect her talent. As mentioned though, she just needs the right profile of race, which she gets here. Punters Intelligence reveals she was the only runner to break 35s home her last 600m last start (34.92s) while her two runs prior to that were on pace dominated so better than they read. Her fourth behind Star Reflection and Seasons prior to that gives a better indication of what she is capable of. A repeat of that wins this.

Dangers: 3. Crafty Tycoon is another one here that will relish the speed up front. The six-year-old has been around the mark in his three runs back and expect the same again this time out. 6. No Interest is no stranger to Canterbury having won at the track twice already, from seven starts there. One of those was only two starts ago. She’ll be rushing late and shouldn’t be double figure odds. 5. Vega is hard in the market and although he went within a whisker at Canterbury last start he did SP at $31. Not for me at the early price.

How to play it: Kawaikini WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE No Interest ($12)

Kawaikini hitting the line at Canterbury last start

Race 6 - 8:45PM KIA EVENING STAR (1250 METRES)

Can’t see any of these troubling the very promising 2. Safado. The four-year-old has won two from three and suffered that defeat at the hands of Resin, the subsequent Group Three-winning Godolphin mare. He didn’t go down without a fight against her at Gosford that day either clearing out in the straight! He was unsighted for 38 weeks after that but returned where he left off belting his rivals at Gosford and running slick time in the process. Punters Intelligence reveals he rattled off a 33.99s last 600m. Kim Waugh has him pegged as a Provincial Championships contender and I’d go as far as saying he’s the one to beat as this very early stage.

Dangers: 3. Charlayne came back onto the radar at Rosehill last start running an encouraging fourth behind Alassio and In Good Time. Both of those are headed to the Breeders Classic now. Here’s Charlayne in a BM72. Punters Intelligence highlights her last 600m being a quick 33.07s, half a length faster than Alassio. The four-year-old hadn’t fired a shot in her two runs prior to that though so want to see her put two together. We know 6. Ballistica’s level but this is the right race for him to run well again in.

How to play it: Safado WIN ($1.65 TAB Fixed Odds)

Safado at Gosford first up


Last start was a train wreck for 3. Zip A Dee Doo Dah. After lobbing into a midfield spot everything looked to be going to plan. That was until Sharp Speedo came back into his lap before the home turn. That runner tailed out to run a long last. Zip A Dee Doo Dah lost his spot, found himself shuffled back to last and the race was as good as over for him. Add into the mix that he was found to be lame after the race and you’ve got a couple of big reasons to excuse the finishing position. The seven-year-old has obviously recovered well before here he is nine days late with the blinkers on for the first time. His fourth to Live And Free and Island Missile prior to that stacks up well for this.

Dangers: The knock on 9. Via Veneto is the price. Her last start effort behind Nahuel at Canterbury was one of the best of her career but she has only won the one from 11. Six of those starts have been over this trip too. The four-year-old was held up last time out and probably should have won the race. She’ll need luck again but the speed up front looks to suit. 6. Zeppelin will have a bit of pressure to absorb here but if the foot is pressed to the floor throughout he’s the type that could pinch a race like this by busting them up.

How to play it: Zip A Dee Doo Dah EACH WAY ($8 TAB Fixed Odds)

Zip A Dee Doo Dah found plenty of trouble last start

All the fields, form and replays for Friday night’s Canterbury meeting

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