By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s Canterbury Park meeting. The track is rated Soft 7, expecting it to race around that range, and the rail is in the true position.
|Race 1 – 2:00PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Happy to make a case that any of the four can win and the addition of a soft-ish track adds an extra wild card to the mix. I liked the way 3. Jolly Honour stretched out to win at Newcastle at his second start, clearly appreciating the step up in distance. The form has stacked up well with third placed Snitzel Day winning at Randwick on New Year’s Day (on protest) and he looks as though he’ll love every bit of the 1550m.
Punters Intel: Jolly Honour sprinted home in a race-best 34.45 at Newcastle with his final 200m in 11.62.
Danger: 5. Cool Dude Ausbred has had excuses in both starts this time in and don’t be surprised if he jumps out of the ground. Gave away far too much start first-up then raced wide, pulled hard and worked when well beaten at Randwick. Showed some ability in his first prep and gets a chance to improve. 1. Pickelhaube has two wins in country Victoria to his name, I thought he was entitled to win easier last time but he’ll give a sight and 2. Campaign got the job done first-up at Kembla Grange after a disappointing winter. He may have come on a bit and the small field gives him a chance.
How to play it: Jolly Honour WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Jolly Honour’s easy maiden win at Newcastle on Boxing Day
|Race 2 - 2:35PM PLUCK@VINERY PLATE (1250 METRES)|
Disappointed to see Balearic come out but that does turn this race into a much more open one. 1. Absolute had a few chances to break through in his first preparation but there’s been plenty to like about the way he’s found the line in his two trials this time in. First run as a gelding here and on his trials that seems to have done the trick. Hard to beat.
Dangers: I’d have tipped 4. Ombudsman on top had he taken his place in the opening event because he looks to me to want every bit of the 1550m of that race. He’s back to 1250m here after an eye-catching finish at Randwick in the Snitzel Day protest race. He definitely has a win in him soon and while this doesn’t look a suitable race I have to respect him. 8. Shumookh is a daughter of the former classy mare Shamekha, who it’s fair to say hasn’t thrown anything of note as yet, and she’s won her last couple of trials leading in. She’s obviously had issues with six trials dating back to September 2016. Just lasted in the latest but you have to respect the Waterhouse/Bott first starters so check betting for any pointers. 6. The Man hasn’t raced for almost a year and split a couple of smart ones when he last stepped out at Wyong. Trialled fairly behind both Absolute and Shumookh recently but can’t have him any higher than fourth at this stage.
How to play it: Absolute WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Ombudsman.
Absolute winning his second trial this time in at Rosehill – December 22
|Race 3 - 3:10PM TAB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
This appears a wide open race and I reckon it’s been a while since I’ve tipped a seven-year-old having his 60th start on top in a city race but that’s where I’ve gone with 7. Ready Set Sing whose two runs this time in have been excellent. Attacked the line hard fresh behind Smartedge at Kembla, the form out of that race translated to midweek class at Randwick a bit over a week ago, then he went to HQ on Boxing Day and really chased hard behind Montreal who’d start $1.10 in this field. Sting out of the ground is ideal for him and, without going overboard, he won’t have a better chance to break through.
Dangers: 5. Onslaught has a handy first-up record so I have to be a little careful rating his two barrier trials this time in. He hasn’t worn blinkers at the trials and they are on for race day so no surprise to see him much more competitive than he was in those hitouts behind Global Glamour. Logical threat. 2. Mon Pere has an unbeaten second-up record though he does come off a 10 length fresh defeat behind Montreal at Randwick. Three of his four wins have come on soft tracks so in a weaker race with a kinder alley he can be a big improver. 4. Kool Vinnie also failed to beat a runner home when he resumed at Canterbury where he had some support at odds. Appreciates some give in the track so there’s every chance he will be competitive.
How to play it: Ready Set Sing E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Ready Set Sing runs a game third behind Montreal at Randwick – December 26
|Race 4 - 3:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
I’m not sure how well Memes is going in her work but 1. All In The Reflexs trialled very nicely alongside her smart stablemate at Warwick Farm last week, shading her in the straight. It was her second trial win this time in and showed she’s come back in great order. She hasn’t won for a while but she has run very well on rain affected tracks, has top apprentice Rachel King on board and is drawn to be afforded every possible chance.
Dangers: 2. Duchess Pedrille is a serious threat with two solid runs under her belt and if there’s any chink in the armour of All In The Reflexs she will find her out late. Hit the line strongly in the last 200m to pick up Geneteau last time and has an extra 100m here. No problems with soft ground. Take holding out. 3. Bonita has built a handy record out of town and will likely press forward from the outside. Good winner at Scone two starts back then drifter in betting and was run down over the same course late last month. Has claims here. 5. Sovereign Eminence also has a bit of speed so can be expected to be right up there early too. Run down by Tswalu at Wyong last time and that form isn’t bad so has to be included in the chances.
How to play it: All In The Reflexs WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Duchess Pedrille.
All In The Reflexs downs Memes in her barrier trial at Warwick Farm – January 4
|Race 5 - 4:20PM RANVET HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
I may be going off one run too soon but 8. Domed but she ran a nice race fresh at Randwick over an unsuitable trip but the run was every bit as good as her fresh run last time in and she was able to win second-up at a mile. Arguably at her best with a bit of give in the track and she should get that here. Can only be fitter and there looks to be enough speed engaged and she’ll give a very good account.
Dangers: 7. Regine was very well supported first time in blinkers at Randwick and the result was never really in doubt as she tracked the leader and proved too good. Takes on the boys here but again drawn well and has a heavy track win to her name so the track condition isn’t significant for her. 4. Happy Go Plucky has really reacted to being ridden on the speed with a couple of game second placings from his last couple of starts. Just outgunned over the same course last time out he’s been effective with the sting out of the track. Sure to run well. 2. Feelin The Love comes through the same race as Domed and they made their runs together along the inside. She had her chance there but from gate one she’s going to get a soft run midfield or a bi worse and does like some give in the ground. Each-way.
How to play it: Domed E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Domed’s first-up third at Randwick on Boxing Day
|Race 6 - 4:55PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
I’ve said a number of times that tipping horses with strike rates like 6. Geneteau is fraught with danger but I very much like her chances from the outside gate. She’ll be able to come across fairly comfortably to lead or sit outside something if they want to kick up. Nailed in the last stride by Duchess Pedrille here two starts back then the 1200m was just beyond her against the likes of Sugar Bella at Randwick. Soft track is perfect and she can give a big sight. She just really needs to put one of these away.
Dangers: 2. Pedway was very strong when riding the pace first-up to win then despite a wide gate landed in a good spot at Randwick last time and didn’t lengthen in the same way. Second-up syndrome perhaps? From the inside barrier he’s going to be given every chance and is certainly a threat. 9. Kanga’s Eye was placed in the Gimcrack Stakes on debut in 2016 and hasn’t done a lot of racing since. Enjoyed a good run and proved far too strong breaking through at Scone last month and with the confidence up she could measure back up to city company. 7. Cordoned worked to the line nicely of a six week break at Gosford. He hasn’t really measured up in town yet but his only win was 1100m and if they do put some pressure on up front he could get into the finish.
How to play it: Geneteau E/W ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Geneteau is run down in the last stride by Duchess Pedrille at Canterbury – December 15
|Race 7 - 5:30PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
The scratching of Emperor's Way has left this race wide open and leaves me a lot less confident. I'd like to see a positive betting move for 2. Chatelard who should be ready to perform now after two runs back and coming right back in class on his two runs in at Randwick in high benchmark races. Disappointing last time but back around Canterbury, drawn well, he has conditions to suit him. Query on the wet track but his best form is good enough to win this.
Dangers: 7. Fantastic Man is ready for another crack at the 1900m after he got the better of Happy Go Plucky to win here prior to Christmas. Will roll forward as suggested and is an each-way chance. 9. Brogue is looking for the step up in trip after putting a couple of handy efforts together over the 1550m here. It’s getting to be a while between drinks but has no weight and a perfect draw. Wouldn’t leave 3. Magical Stance out of the multiples either, he likes the sting out and won his only attempt at the track and trip.
How to play it: Chatelard E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Chatelard running a close second at Rosehill in August