By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury Park. The track was rated Soft 5 on Thursday but should be upgraded to good. The rail is in the true position.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM TAB HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Where are the three-year-olds? Four runners to kick off and it’s one of those races where any result really wouldn’t surprise you. That said 3. Moss Trip is very well placed coming back to her own age after a closing third at Rosehill in a BM80 a couple of weeks ago. She was a warm favourite there and was far from disgraced, running 33.81 (Punters Intel) for the last 600m. Bolted in first-up in a big effort and she’ll have the best turn of foot of the four runners for sure. Short but definitely the horse to beat.
Danger: 2. Jolly Honour worries me because I’ve been on at his last two starts and now Kerrin McEvoy jumps on and he’d ride a rocking horse to victory at the moment. Took too long to get going over this course two starts back then nailed at Warwick Farm on Australia Day. Has another chance. 1. Rockin’ Ruga will lead them and if he is allowed to dictate, which is always a possibility in a small field, he could take some running down. He beat Condor two starts back then unplaced as favourite in the same race as Jolly Honour. 4. High Low Bet looked good on debut, failed second-up then returned with a fair effort at Warwick Farm.
How to play it: Moss Trip WIN ($1.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Moss Trip runs third at Rosehill as favourite on January 27
|Race 2 - 6:45PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I know it’s dangerous getting carried away with trials but I really have to be with 2. Southern Lad who looked outstanding winning at Randwick on January 29 at his second trial this time in. He did trial well prior to his only start back in October where he ran sixth but clearly he’s going better this time in to be kicking off in town. Keep an eye on the market for a pointer closer to the race but if he runs up to the trial he’ll go close.
Dangers: 6. Longmu has been a bit of a tease but her best effort to date was fresh last time in and she’s trialled quite well on two occasions. And she’s found Kerrin McEvoy to ride. No excuses here from a good gate and she’s entitled to run well. 7. Trestrail is a very intriguing runner from the Matthew Dunn yard. Two starts have been in Queensland as a two-year-old and she started favourite on both occasions. Two trials this time in and in the latest she was given a good hitout but couldn’t catch the winner. Dunn wouldn’t come all the way here with her if she wasn’t going well. Keep safe. 3. Hemingways did have a bit of a wide passage on debut at Wyong but was no match for the winner in running second. She’ll be better for it and this is certainly a winnable race.
How to play it: Southern Lad E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
What do you make of Southern Lad’s trial win at Randwick on January 29?
|Race 3 - 7:15PM WESTS TIGERS MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
Happy to be with 2. Campaign now he’s had a run at the 1900m under the belt. He chased what might be a handy middle distance performer in Dark Dream home over this course three weeks ago in a good effort considering the winner dictated. No harder here, he can race handy and is sure to be right at his top after three runs back.
Dangers: 6. Follow On is a half-brother to Criterion and he showed a fair deal of fight in his all the way debut win at Wyong last month over a mile. Can only be fitter and will be up on the speed if not leading. He’s the one to keep a close eye on as he’s far less exposed. 1. Nathula has found some consistency this preparation and comes off a fairly comfortable Kembla Grange win over 1500m. Not sure about a Sepoy over the 1900m but he’s a genuine chance. 7. Huangshan was quite strong at the end of a mile at Gosford almost a month ago and has had a trial since as has become custom from the Waller stable. Could be ready to go on with it.
How to play it: Campaign WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Campaign’s last start second to Dark Dream at Canterbury on January 19
|Race 4 – 7.45PM WESTS TIGERS #ONTHEBUS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Surely this is the day for 4. Aquatic to break through but gee you’ve got to take odds-on to make it interesting. I don’t know how he didn’t win last time out at Warwick Farm, it was there for the taking for him and he ran easily the best last 600m of 34.29 (Punters Intel), but what he has shown lately is an ability to race handier. And he’s going to need that here in what will probably be a sit and sprint. The form around him is very strong but Declan McDonogh is going to have to be on his game. A good ride and he can prove too strong.
Dangers: 6. Sculptures is racing very well at present and went down fighting behind Francesco over this course last time out in a race with more depth. Scratched from the tougher race at this meeting and it could be a good move. Big chance. 1. Bon Equus is fitter for one run back though he was never a threat in the same race as Aquatic last start. His second-up record is a lot better so there wouldn’t be a big shock if he improved quickly. For the sake of a fourth pick I’ll put in 2. Kasharn who has won over this course in the past and did improve third-up at Kembla last time.
How to play it: Aquatic WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds) or stand him out in multiples – and pray.
Aquatic just fails to pick up Nat King Cu at Warwick Farm on January 26
|Race 5 - 8:15PM LINDSAY MURPHY 40th ANNIVERSARY HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
I think if you were on 6. Domed, as so many of us were, at Canterbury a month ago on the back of a cracking first-up run then you’re entitled to back up out to the 1900m. She was probably a bit flat after sprinting so well fresh but she did warm up late to run into third, running a race best 11.90 (Punters Intel) for the last 200m. The gate is a bit tricky but she’s drawn next to the likely leader so I’d love to see luck taken out of it a bit and have her go forward into the first four. She won third-up over this course last time in and is a good chance to repeat.
Dangers: 3. Balmain Boy hasn’t won since October 2015 but gee his last couple of efforts have suggested he might be close to one. And it is the season to be breaking droughts of late. First try at the trip last start here and performed well to run second. Sure to be competitive again. 2. Cyrus Rocks was entitled to canter in at Hawkesbury second-up after getting a picnic in front and dashing clear. That win will be a confidence boost and he has come back in great order with two solid efforts. Can give a big sight. 1. Hurricane Harbour is just back a notch on his last couple behind Emperor’s Way and Beijing Board who are both in great touch at the moment. Did a bit of work last time out to 2200m and the shorter trip will be a plus. Each-way.
How to play it: Domed WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Domed runs into third place second-up at Canterbury on January 10
|Race 6 - 8:45PM SCHWEPPES EVENING STAR (1550 METRES)|
Tough race so I’m deferring to Kerrin McEvoy’s booking on 3. Level Eight who has had the misfortune of bumping into a horse in the right place at the right time this preparation so far. He was never going to catch Flow last start at Randwick from where he got to but he still ran on pretty well. There should be at least an even tempo in this and he’ll get his chance to pounce late from a perfect gate.
Dangers: 2. Nat King Cu was a bit too good first-up at Warwick Farm holding off Aquatic (engaged earlier tonight) and Onslaught (winner on Wednesday) at 1400m. Usually acts well second-up and the extra trip is a plus. He’s pretty hard to fault actually and is the logical threat. 6. Pianissimo is on the back up after an even effort on the pace behind Don’t Give A Damn at Rosehill last Saturday. Much easier assignment here and he’s been racing well at this sort of level through the summer nights. 4. Multifacets held his position well when resuming at the Farm in one of his best first-up efforts to date. He’s at a similar trip here so that’s a query as he may be looking for further but if he does land handy again he’ll stick on.
How to play it: Level Eight WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Level Eight chases home Flow at Randwick on January 20
|Race 7 - 9:15PM ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
I’m sticking solid with 8. Soothing in the hope she’s not ridden as negatively from a better gate this time around as she was when a $1.90 favourite here three weeks ago. It was impossible for her to win last start even in a six horse field but if she can be handier and show the turn of foot that took her to a Wyong win two starts ago then she can bounce back hard.
Dangers: 1. Rose Of Man is flying this preparation and if her three runs back are any guide then she’ll be in the first four in running and challenging from the turn. Found Brook Magic too quick at the Farm last time and 1100m doesn’t hold too many fears for her. Go well again. 5. Geneteau led all the way to win the race Soothing contested on January 19 then couldn’t find the front and was never a factor here last week. If she does land in the lead she will give a good account. If she doesn’t she’s vulnerable. 7. Lightz trialled sensationally before resuming with a close up effort at Randwick before failing against some quality three-year-olds at Rosehill. Capable on his day but costly to follow.
How to play it: Soothing WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Soothing’s last start fourth behind Geneteau at Canterbury on January 19
|Race 8 - 9:45PM E-GROUP SECURITY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
4. Our Mantra is an under rated horse resuming and he measured up to a good level against three-year-olds in the spring. He had a tough run when fifth over a mile to Kaonic and Luvaluva before a spell and this is a nice starting point. He’ll be finishing very strongly against these.
Dangers: Another horse to impress me at the trials recently was 11. Renewal and I’m certainly giving him a big chance first-up from a perfect gate. He trialled nicely before a strong debut win then raced a bit flat at Canterbury back in October and was spelled. As mentioned he trialled well at the Farm recently, riding the speed then taking over on the turn and holding them off. I’d be surprised if he’s not in the finish. 5. Crafty Tycoon is never too far away and a few scratchings have aided his cause here. Stayed on well at the Farm last time and this is no harder. 10. Reward For Fashion will be one of the leaders, shade disappointing at Randwick a month ago but gave Sugar Bella a run for her money two starts back so has claims.
How to play it: Our Mantra E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Our Mantra’s first-up win at Warwick Farm last prep back in September