Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s Canterbury Park night meeting. The track is currently rated good and the rail is out 6m.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM BOOK SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I’m not going to overcomplicate this race with the four runners, I think there are two winning chances though we often see the rule book thrown out. 3. Wooshka ran right up to a nice first-up effort to win well enough in a pretty good form race over the same course back on December 20. Runner-up was Stella Victoria and third was Mascot, both of which went around at Randwick on New Year’s Day where Mascot was first past the post, before losing on protest, and Stella Victoria a close third. On form it all points to her.
Danger: 5. Nipotina was a winner on protest at Gosford at her only start a month ago. She copped a pretty decent whack around the 150m mark so it was no surprise to see the placings reversed and what it showed is she has a bit of determination because she kept coming to be beaten narrowly. Soft trial against some very good better class gallopers since and she’s the one that worries me here.
How to play it: Wooshka WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Wooshka proves a bit too strong at Canterbury – December 20
|Race 2 - 6:45PM TAB PLATE (1100 METRES)|
Looks quite an open race and I could probably make a serious case for five of the six. The one I’ve settled on is 2. Irish Success who has been competitive in all three starts to date and comes off a very game second to I Am Serious back at the end of May. He’s trialled well enough twice, both times without blinkers, and wears the shades first time in this event. I can see him leading and giving a very good sight.
Dangers: 1. Al Mah Haha has also had three starts and was a beaten favourite before a spell behind Smartedge at the Farm. He threatened to win a race with a couple of eye-catching efforts prior to that but disappointed in his latest defeat in August. His trial looked fine to the eye but I just can’t bring myself to have him on top until I see him put it together. 3. League Of Nations is another horse that’s done a bit of threatening to win but is yet to deliver. He wasn’t disgraced in running third over the same course on December 20 but he’s also had his chance in two previous runs this time in. Has claims but no good thing. 4. Rockin’ Ruga hasn’t worn the blinkers in his latest couple of trials and settled off the pace so it’ll be interesting to see the tactics employed from the outside of the six.
How to play it: Irish Success E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Al Mah Haha.
Irish Success running a close second to I Am Serious at Warwick Farm in May
|Race 3 - 7:15PM WIN 10K CASH AT CANTERBURY NIGHTS HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
A lot of trial form to dissect here but somewhat bullish that if 7. Misteed brings her trial effort from December 22 to Canterbury then she will take plenty of stopping. She settled nicely just off the pace and had them covered a fair way from home, striding out strongly late. A bit of support late would be encouraging as she’s come up reasonably short for a debutant.
Dangers: 3. Vainity has what looks to be some fairly deep form from her handy debut where she ran third to Into The Abyss and Lilith at Randwick on New Year’s Day. She led that race off the fence and only wilted a little bit late. Better for the race experience and she should put herself on the speed and be very competitive. 6. Miss Earth is a bit harder to line up having had the one trial against four rivals at Gosford. She was too good for those horses and from an inside alley she can gain a nice run and is worth keeping safe. 10. Whiskey Shooter got close to Misteed in that filly’s first trial which was almost a month ago now. A little support would be encouraging but I’d prefer to include her than dismiss at this stage.
How to play it: Misteed WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Misteed easily winning her barrier trial at Rosehill – December 22
|Race 4 - 7:45PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
5. Atlantic Fox looks ready to win after two runs for Chris Waller. He showed plenty of improvement into his closing third over this course a couple of weeks back and he should be nearing his top for this. He was just outsprinted early in the straight but kept coming and the fact he was a significant firmer in the market that day suggests there’s some confidence about him. This is a very winnable race and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t go close.
Punters Intel: Atlantic Fox recorded the fastest last 200m of his race last start running 11.45.
Dangers: 1. Dawn Raid didn’t ever get into the race at Randwick on Boxing Day, settling well back and making very little ground. It was in stark contrast to his three previous starts, all wins out of town, and it says either he wasn’t up to the class or he could be coming to the end this prep. If it’s the former then this is a slight step back and he’s worth another chance. 2. Hammond Lane has been thereabouts of late and stayed on okay at Wyong last time with the first two home sweeping down the outside late. Each-way claims. 4. Sensacova was a huge drifter at Newcastle third-up but defied it to run out a narrow winner. A little harder here but has 10 top three finishes from 19 starts so can’t be left out of the chances.
How to play it: Atlantic Fox WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Atlantic Fox runs a closing third at Canterbury – December 22
|Race 5 - 8:15PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
Hardest race of the night for mine, tread warily. 10. Pandeia appears a good each-way chance at double figure odds early on. She’s only had the 15 starts and been largely consistent though historically has performed better second-up than fresh. However, first-up last time in she was beaten half a length running on well over 1000m at Gosford. So it’s not like she flops. She won her trial in fairly good style up on the pace but I’d expect she’ll take the sit with a few noted on pacers engaged. Can run well without being supremely confident.
Dangers: 7. Brockton Punch won over this course two starts back when up in the first few throughout then found himself a long way back before charging home very late behind Viceroy in a similar race. If there is some speed on as expected he’ll be suited. 8. Nines Enough has only had the two starts and on paper they look very good, a win over Memes on debut then a year off before bumping into Sasso Corbaro at Hawkesbury. She held second okay but she was hardly stretching right out. Obviously better for the run and has every chance from the inside, I just think she’s unders. 1. Star Crossed is yet to win on a good track but he wasn’t beaten far first-up at Muswellbrook behind Guard Of Honour. He’ll be in the firing line for a long way and on his best efforts in the mix.
How to play it: Pandeia E/W ($10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Pandeia wins her Warwick Farm trial on December 19
|Race 6 - 8:45PM TAB.COM.AU SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
After getting into all sorts of trouble at a vital stage last start I have to give 4. Blowing Kisses one more chance. She was solid in the market and it was a horror show for punters as she was squeezed out of a run around the 250m and had to pick herself up before charging to just miss third. Slightly higher benchmark here gives her weight relief and having had one ride on her now Boris Thornton has a chance to redeem himself. Drawn nicely and just needs even luck to go close.
Dangers: 1. Lake Lugarno is a very consistent country mare who has only missed a place once in 16 starts for eight wins. Sound effort on a heavy track first-up at the Farm when favourite and will be a much harder to beat back on top of the ground. Go well. 2. Miss Liffey is also a prolific country winner and she’s beaten open company in her two runs back at Wagga. Poked through between horses late to score second-up and no surprise to see her in the finish of this. 3. Difficult To Get ran fourth in the same race as Blowing Kisses and she seemed to have her chance on that occasion as favourite. Meets her worse at the weights as well so I’d be surprised if she can finish ahead of her again (though weights and measures don’t always work out) but she’s third-up now and is rarely too far away.
How to play it: Blowing Kisses WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Blowing Kisses runs a luckless fourth at Canterbury – December 15
|Race 7 - 9:15PM SCHWEPPES EVENING STAR (1250 METRES)|
I see no reason why 6. Satirical Magic couldn’t make it three straight. Only rises 1kg for his very easy win in the corresponding race on November 17. There’s certainly no worries about him performing fresh with the almost two months between runs, he’s drawn well and there appears to be good speed engaged. Assuming they can run on with the rail where it is he’s sure to take holding out.
Dangers: 8. Pianissimo has taken a little while to find his form but his last two runs have been sound and bumped into the promising Brave Song when placed here on December 15. Each-way claims again. 1. Lofty’s Menu has a decent weight to carry but he owns a good first-up record. The only miss was fresh last time in but forgive that as it was on a heavy 10 at Randwick off almost a year’s break. Good enough to feature on his best, so check betting. Can't leave out 5. Coolcraft resumes and tends to run well fresh despite his best trip being 1400m or so. Usually performs well at Canterbury and has each-way claims.
How to play it: Satirical Magic E/W ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Satirical Magic makes it back to back Canterbury wins on November 17
|Race 8 - 9:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
Hopes pinned on Jason Collett claiming the last two races and it’s with a little more confidence I select 1. High Opinion who signaled with his excellent second-up effort that he’s not far off a win. He happened to win third-up last prep over this course and you had to like the way he found the line behind Carluca over the 1550m here last time out. He’s looking for every bit of the 1900m and is clearly the one to beat for mine.
Punters Intel: High Opinion's last 600m of 35.39 was clearly the fastest of his race, as was the final 200m in 11.75.
Dangers: 2. The Gavel was expected to perform a bit better than he did here on December 20 but prepared to be a bit forgiving as it rained through the meeting and the track was bordering on heavy by his race. Battled fairly there but has another chance to find some form now. 9. Nacho Libre looked to have his chance at Newcastle last start but going back to his second-up run behind Roseito, when saved for one run at them, he’s definitely going well enough to be competitive. 11. Royal Stamp wasn’t disgraced at Randwick last start where the winner led all the way so it was always going to be an ask to come from second last. Beaten two lengths there and the step back up in trip is a plus. Sure to be running on. I’ve left 6. Allcash out. No wins from 25 starts on a good track isn’t encouraging and was safely held by Royal Stamp before being aided by the rain to win here.
How to play it: High Opinion WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Watch High Opinion hitting the line strongly late at Canterbury - December 15