By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s Canterbury Park night meeting. The track will be good and the rail is in the 3m position.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
I thought 7. Misteed was a shade stiff not to win on debut at the last night meeting. She was held up behind the leader at a vital stage, when the winner was out and running, and the basically standing start arguably cost her the race (Punters Intel last 200m in 11.62). She’s drawn to land in a similar spot but with a bit of race experience and Hugh Bowman booked for the ride there’s every chance she will go one better. She runs here in preference to Randwick on Saturday, and she looks the winner for mine.
Danger: 6. Everard was largely unwanted going around at $41 on debut in a fairly strong Saturday event at Randwick. She didn’t threaten the winner but worked home well along the inside into third place. The extra 100m and class drop are pluses and if she can run up to that first outing she is a big threat. 1. Fun Fact had excuses for his defeat on debut a month ago. He sat three wide throughout up near the speed and was still boxing on at the finish beaten less than two lengths. If he can find an easier run there’s every chance he will be harder to beat. The two first starters 4. Sandbar and 9. Positive Peace have both trialled well and it wouldn’t surprise to see them feature in the finish somewhere.
How to play it: Misteed WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Misteed’s narrow defeat on debut at Canterbury - January 5
|Race 2 - 6:45PM TAB HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
I’m somewhat keen to see what 5. Charlayne can do under race conditions after a ripping trial at Rosehill recently. She settled right back and was being cuddled between horses as she made sharp ground through the field to run second over 900m. Could have won it had Hughie wanted. I like the fact he’s chosen to ride her and if she runs up to the trial she will probably win this race.
Dangers: 1. League Of Nations is up to start number eight now without a win but he is racing well enough to suggest there’s a win around the corner somewhere. Finished off quite well without threatening two weeks ago and with the race experience he can’t be overlooked. Query on 3. Yodelqui who hails from South Australia and has three placings from four starts there. You wouldn’t think Lloyd Kennewell would bother travelling her if he didn’t think she could be competitive so she’s definitely a market and yard watch horse. 4. Beep Beep has only had the one trial for an easy win over the 735m at Randwick almost a month ago. Could show up.
How to play it: Charlayne WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Watch Charlayne attack the line under a hold in a Rosehill trial on January 8
|Race 3 - 7:15PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
I like the form around the lightly raced 6. Dark Dream who really looks like the 1900m will suit him. Bumped into Prometheus two starts back then last time almost ran down the handy Savacool at Randwick. He raced handy there and just hit a flat spot early in the straight before coming again and really finishing strongly late (Punters Intel last 200m in 11.36). The Gun takes over and he should get a nice run probably third from the inside gate. Should be hard to beat.
Dangers: There wasn’t a lot between 2. Campaign and 1. Pickelhaube over the 1550m at Canterbury last Wednesday week and there probably won’t be much splitting them again. They were going to be swallowed up by the third horse in another 100m last time so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the extra 350m. 4. Godunov beat a subsequent winner first-up then worked to the line okay at Kembla Grange behind Prometheus up to the mile a couple of weeks ago. At his peak now third-up and he looks well and truly a top four contender.
How to play it: Dark Dream WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Dark Dream running a close second at Randwick on January 1
|Race 4 - 7:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Have to go with 3. Al Mah Haha now that he has broken through for that win he needed here two weeks ago. There’s a little bit of early speed here which should allow him to land in a good spot behind them and the way he stretched out late first-up suggests he’ll relish the extra 150m. He is an acceptor for Randwick on Saturday where Chris Waller said he wouldn’t be out of place but taking his place here says the stable wants another confidence boosting win before getting serious.
Dangers: 2. Tamarack looked quite good as he roared away first-up at Canberra with 60kg on the back. It was a return to form after two below par runs in August and again with a few potential on pacers he will get the chance to have the last crack at them again. Commands plenty of respect. 1. Canberra enjoyed a successful prep in the late winter/early spring and there was enough to like about her trial behind Danzie to say she’s come back in good order. She wasn’t fully tested out and held a margin on the rest and with Danzie winning on Wednesday it wouldn’t surprise to see her take this out too. 7. It’s So Obvious was scratched from Wednesday (where I had her on top) but there does look to be more depth in her opposition. She won first-up last prep, though, and trialled okay a month ago behind an open class sprinter. She will go forward and could give a sight.
How to play it: Al Mah Haha WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Al Mah Haha scores a strong first-up win at Canterbury – January 5
|Race 5 - 8:15PM WIN $10K CASH AT CANTERBURY NIGHTS HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Toughest race on the program (it would have to be the first leg of the quaddie!) and one where there looks to be genuine pace. I hope that eventuates as I’ve gone with 4. Cadogan to swoop and round them up first-up. He can be a bit hot and cold but fresh last time in he beat Suncraze and Ghostly at the Scone carnival before striking a couple of heavy tracks and basically raising the white flag after that. His trial was encouraging as he pulled plenty of late ground into third at Rosehill and I’d be surprised if he’s not in the finish.
Dangers: 2. Prince Mayted hasn’t won in six starts this time but hasn’t been worse than fourth either so isn’t far away. He was game over this course two starts back going down narrowly then again stayed on pretty well to run fourth back to 1000m at Randwick. The 55.5kg is the lightest weight he’s carried recently and he’s one of the main chances again. 3. All Carisma will be one of those looking to land on the speed and he’s going well enough to feature if he can get the breaks in the run. Looked the winner two weeks ago before being run down late and a repeat performance gives him a shot, so long as he’s not engaged in a speed battle. 1. Wide Acclaim will need some luck from the gate and I’d be surprised if he’s pushed forward but if he can land just off the pace he could fire fresh. Hard to read his two trials behind some smart ones but he did win fresh last time in and usually races well at Canterbury. Could be a wet tracker, though.
How to play it: Cadogan E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Keep an eye out for Cadogan finishing strongly late in a Rosehill trial on January 8
|Race 6 - 8:45PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
4. Soothing has had her chances soar even higher with four scratchins basically negating the outside gate. You can still get trapped wide from six but it’s worth gambling on things panning out in her favour. She won a good form race in breaking her maiden fresh then was in another solid form race at Kembla on December 16 (Smartedge and Travancore). Looked very switched on in racing away at Wyong from the second half (Punters Intel last 600m in 33.74) and if she turns up in the same form she’ll take plenty of beating.
Dangers: 3. Geneteau is my old nemesis and while she had excuses for another defeat at Canterbury last week I have to play conservatively with her because she will need things to go right to win whereas Soothing may be able to overcome an issue or two. She worked far too hard early last start and only caved about 100m to fall out of the placings. Down 1kg and drawn a bit better she has to go in. 6. Luiza looked as thought she’d be a smart youngster last season after a strong debut win but it’s fair to say she didn’t come up at all in the late winter failing twice. Her two trials back this time have had some merit in them, both behind Brook Magic, and with Bowman and a soft gate if she’s going to return to some form she has the chance to here. 8. Pandeia was a drifter in betting first-up behind her stablemate Phoebe’s Lass here two weeks ago and she’ll be fitter for what was a sound enough run. She trialled well prior to that and I’d expect a bit of improvement from her.
How to play it: Soothing WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Geneteau.
Soothing proves far too good winning easily at Wyong – January 6
|Race 7 - 9:15PM SCHWEPPES EVENING STAR (1550 METRES)|
2. Francesco ran a rare poor one at Randwick second-up and it took his count to zero from six at his second run back. Considering he’s a regular on Saturdays in the off-season, and races consistently, he finds himself in a very winnable race here on a track he likes and you’d argue he won’t get a better chance to break through. It’s just a matter of whether he still wants it.
Dangers: If he runs to form, and there’s no reason to think he won’t, then 3. Pianissimo also has a very good chance to post an overdue win. He bumped into Brave Song two starts back and at the last night meeting was grabbed in the last stride by Satirical Magic who has now win his last three. Steps up in trip but he has won over the course previously and from a soft gate he’s entitled to be right there at the finish. Not the type to have your house on but he looks hard to beat. 4. Hammond Lane comes off a narrow win in similar grade and the runner-up has since run second at Randwick on a Saturday. Might have to do a bit of work to get up onto the speed from the barrier but this race is no harder and he’s certainly an each-way chance. 8. Tennessee Hussy has been around the mark in mares races of late behind the likes of Pecans, Kawaikini and Siren’s Fury. She’ll likely be in the first four in running and while she doesn’t win out of turn she is an each-way hope as well.
How to play it: Francesco E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Francesco’s first-up second placing at Wyong on December 13
|Race 8 - 9:45PM BOOK ATC SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
An open one to finish off. 11. Sensacova steps beyond a mile for the first time and has found a race where there looks to be a bit more tempo than she struck when just behind the placings over 1550m two weeks ago. She was sent out favourite there too. Finished well to win over a mile at Newcastle before that and is as good an each-way chance in this race as any other.
Dangers: 9. Balmain Boy may be on the verge of turning the corner with a game third after leading in the same event on January 5. He’s won a trial since then over 1200m so he’ll be hard fit for his first try at the extra trip this time in. He’s only been beyond a mile twice, once in the G2 Tulloch as a three-year-old the other in November 2016. Keep safe. 5. Lord Macau did his usual thing up on the pace in a similar event two weeks ago and was run down by Beijing Board. He did fight on quite well and if he doesn’t have to do too much work to find the front he can give a good sight again. 7. Rex Bell is another Chris Waller import and he bears close watching firs-up over a suitable trip. Did nothing in his first trial and showed some improvement behind Danzie in his second. Blinkers and Bowman on suggest he’s going well enough to be very competitive.
How to play it: Sensacova E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sensacova and Balmain Boy rise in trip after running fourth and third respectively at Canterbury on January 5