By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury Park. The track is rated a Soft 6 but should continue to improve. The rail is in the true position.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
The small field probably plays into the hands of 1. So You Win as he shouldn’t be that far away from the leader and main danger Pandemonium at the business end. Whether he’s looking for more ground is the only small worry. He comes through a strong form race first-up against older horses then wound up strongly to win over this course almost two weeks ago, running 12 seconds flat on a soft 6 for his last 200m (Punters Intel). Potentially a Group performer, he should take beating.
Danger: 2. Pandemonium will be the leader and she’s arguably better suited up to the 1550m than she was when placed here first-up. It was a strong three-year-old event won by Deprive and she was fighting hard but was outsprinted. If she gets easy sections in the middle she will take running down, if she’s kept busy she’ll be vulnerable for So You Win to swoop. 5. Smiling Manolito has a win in him sooner or later and he was hitting the line nicely behind Asterius in a maiden over this trip two weeks back. Gets a 5kg drop here so I wouldn’t be counting him out. 3. Langley was a beaten favourite first-up but the winner has since won again so we won’t be too hard on that. Extra distance is a plus and while he’s probably more limited than a couple of others he’s sure to run well.
How to play it: So You Win WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
So You Win hits the line strongly to win at Canterbury on February 21
|Race 2 - 6:45PM ATC OWNER BENEFIT CARD PLATE (1200 METRES)|
Tricky race. 2. Leningrad has trialled very nicely on two occasions in the last month or so and with the Waterhouse/Bott pattern of being on the pace he should give a very good account on debut. He’s had the 1045m trial, which I like heading into a 1200m race, and was strong to the line after a bit of a push early in the straight. With that little bit of luck early I’d expect him to run well.
Dangers: 6. Last Order is the one that looks way over the odds at $23 on what she’s shown in her two trials this time in. She was bloused after hitting the lead late in her first then while she only beat one home at Hawkesbury she was full of running to the line and I wouldn’t be selling her short, particularly if she parades well. 8. Prahaar was a $26 chance on debut and was all set to win before getting rid of Jason Collett in the shadows of the post. She’s a $6.50 chance here so you have to assess whether that run was a true indication of her ability or something of a fluke (she was a drifter in betting too). I’d rather include her than leave her out. 7. Palmateer has so far trialled a lot better than she's performed on race day but she has a few gear changes first-up this time and could be an improver.
How to play it: Leningrad E/W ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Leningrad wins his trial at Randwick on February 12.
|Race 3 – 7:15PM TAB HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Just about any of the seven could win this race without any real surprise, so if you like something I’d say stick with it. For mine 5. Planet’s Princess is in great form with back-to-back wins this time in and while they have been narrow she’s been putting herself in her races and fighting on strongly. Only start here was a third to Wayanka and Uptown Lad in May last year. Should be in this for a long way.
Dangers: 3. Weekend Affair proved himself up to a race like this with a close up fourth here two weeks ago where he ran on pretty well from last. He’s threatening to win a race and if the breaks go his way then he’s a good chance. 1. Tinker Dan has some compelling form lines through his soft win at Kembla Grange a few weeks back where he accounted for Tamarack, a winner here since, over the mile. Claim helps him and he should have a nice run wherever he wants to be from the good gate. 4. All But Gone was a decent drifter second-up in the same race as Weekend Affair where he finished a close fifth. That was second-up and the blinkers go on this time, expect him to be very competitive.
How to play it: Planet’s Princess WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Planet’s Princess proves a bit too strong winning at Kembla Grange on February 10
|Race 4 – 7.45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
This looks a brilliant race for 3. It’s Time For Magic to post a win after a sound first-up second at Warwick Farm where she was on the speed and gave Once More A Lady a real race, running 11.93 her last 200m (Punters Intel), just 0.01 slower than the winner. Scratched from Wednesday to run here and with five rivals and not a great deal of pace on paper this is her big chance.
Dangers: 2. Hammoon Dream has been sound in two decent country races at her last couple of starts, narrowly going down in the Walcha Cup last time out. She has one placing at this track and distance so it’s fair to say she’s yet to really measure up to this level but has that opportunity this time around. 1. Mariquita is the best performed horse in the race but she has to prove she’s back in form after never featuring at all in the Triscay first-up. Sure that was a Group 3 race and this is a BM70 but you like to see something. Entitled to run well in this field. 4. Stradance is probably not a winning hope but she has only been beaten a couple of lengths or less in her last few starts so a placing isn’t out of the question.
How to play it: It’s Time For Magic WIN ($2.25 TAB Fixed Odds).
It’s Time For Magic runs a game second first-up at Warwick Farm on February 14
|Race 5 - 8:15PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
If you were on 8. Domed last time out at Canterbury it really was a terrible watch as she gave away an impossible start and ran Cyrus Rocks, who had a picnic in front, to less than a length (Punters Intel showed her last 600m was 34.44, the only horse to break 35). Fourth-up, hard fit, drawn nicely you’d expect her to settle a bit closer and if she unleashes a similar sprint we saw a few weeks back she’ll be winning this. With Furore out the race is at her mercy.
Dangers: 4. Newtown Bluebag looked all over a winner here a couple of weeks ago in a similar race but was knocked off right on the line by Tamarack. He’s a bit of an under the radar type of horse and if he puts up another performance like last time he’s right in this. 5. Resort tackled the same race and was sent out favourite but seemed to have his chance running fourth. That said he wasn’t disgraced and is entitled to another look here. Just will need a bit of luck from an awkward gate. 1. Multifacets is one of those horses that bobs up when you least expect and he was solid here in a similar race behind Just Shine third-up.
How to play it: Domed WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Domed sprouts wings late to run into a close second at Canterbury on February 9
|Race 6 - 8:45PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
9. Hong Qigong seems to have come back a bit better horse this time in and while his first-up win was narrow he backed it up with a very good performance behind the smart Deprive here a couple of weeks back. He found himself last on the fence on the turn and was held up a bit once he got through the back but he kept coming and suggested a city win is within reach. Drawn nicely again and is sure to be strong late.
Dangers: 4. Malaigo hasn’t raced for over a month and was scratched from a winnable race a couple of weeks ago, so that’s a small query. Racing consistently in good provincial company and if all is in order he can feature. 7. Bright Future has a patchy first-up record but isn’t usually too far away and she warmed up with an easy trial win at Rosehill on February 19. Wouldn’t surprise to see her show up. 8. Arigold ran quite well behind Renewal here first-up and has a far superior second-up record so expect him to improve and he can be competitive with this race falling away a little.
How to play it: Hong Qigong WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Hong Qigong’s last start fourth behind Deprive at Canterbury on February 16
|Race 7 - 9:15PM SCHWEPPES EVENING STAR (1550 METRES)|
Another race with plenty of chances. 4. Francesco found the winning post two starts back in a similar race then not disgraced here two weeks ago when getting well back in a race dominated on the pace. He ran on well, as usual, into fourth place and he’s sure to get a nice enough run. Always runs well over this course and distance and is a good each-way chance.
Dangers: 6. Sir Barb was finally able to get into a race from a soft draw at Warwick Farm and went down fighting to the in-form Aquatic. Wonder where he’ll land from another wide gate this time around but he is very close to a win and if the race pans out in his favour he’s a big threat. 2. Nat King Cu led and gave a good sight two back in one of these Evening Star races then up in class and tried very hard behind Cellarman at Rosehill last Saturday. What you see is what you get with him, he’ll be on the pace and can take running down. 3. Quick Defence can be a bit hit and miss but he was on his game at Randwick third-up finishing over the top of Malaise for an upset win. If you can rely on him to hold form he’s in this up to his ears but in reality he was unwanted last time and been double figure odds his last four starts. That said, he’s worth throwing in the quaddie.
How to play it: Francesco E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Francesco runs his usual honest race into fourth at Canterbury on February 16.
|Race 8 - 9:15PM BOOK AUTUMN HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
I was a bit torn between 5. Vincero and 10. Floki in this race and was hoping the decision would be made for me with Floki also accepted at Wyong on Saturday, but he's racxing here. I leaned to Vincero who has done nothing wrong in four provincial starts to date and comes off an easy Newcastle win back in July. His two trials have been sound, particularly the second where he dashed away at the Farm on February 15. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t run well fresh.
Dangers: 10. Floki had a rap on him after smashing them on debut at Scone then he was almost put over the fence when beaten at Muswellbrook at $1.28. Had his chance before a spell when narrowly beaten and had a very easy trial win a couple of weeks ago. Looks a talent and he’s the logical danger. 3. Bold Chance turned around a big flop first-up to worry Soothing out of a win here three weeks ago. Sits on the pace and is building a nice record. Must be included in the main chances. 2. All From Scrap is a consistent gelding with only one miss in nine starts. He’s measured up okay when he’s come to town previously and with two trials under the belt should be ready to rumble fresh. He’s an on-pacer who should give a good account.
How to play it: Vincero E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Vincero sprints impressively to win his trial at Warwick Farm on February 15