By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park. Selections based on a Good to Soft track.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
6. God Of Thunder showed quite a bit of promise last time in, particularly in trials, and he really caught the eye running third to Dio D’Oro on a heavy track at Randwick back in June. Given a bit of time since and he again looked the goods winning a trial a bit over a week ago. Bred to be handy and this race is a very good opportunity for him to show what he’s made of.
Dangers: 2. Nicco Lad settled a lot further back first-up than he did last time in and ran on strongly behind Wagner from near last on the turn. Expecting him to be a lot closer in the run this time around and a good chance to go one better. 1. Orcein has promised a lot more than he’s delivered to date but he’s a major query in this event first-up as a gelding without any public trials. You can guarantee he’s had a jump out of some kind, drawn well and is a big market watch. 4. England had good support at his only start in what has proven a handy maiden back in July and wasn’t disgraced running third. Couldn’t match God Of Thunder in the trial but that’s not always a reliable guide and he could feature.
How to play it: God Of Thunder WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
God Of Thunder trials impressively at Rosehill on September 3
|Race 2 - 1:25PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
I have to stick with 6. So Taken whose Australian debut a couple of weeks ago was outstanding. She raced wide throughout and was entitled to battle but she kept coming to go down half a length. Punters Intel shows she covered an extra 11m and still ran a smart last 600m of 34.77. Has barrier one this time and the extra 150m is in her favour with the rail out. Any improvement will make her very hard to beat.
Dangers: 1. Press Box was a drifter in betting first-up from a spell in the same race and she looked to be in trouble before charging late to just miss. So far she’s promised to win a race and hasn’t quite come up on top just yet but on her first-up performance she is very close. 5. Maggie Miss is a big question mark. Sometimes it’s hard to work out what a 12 length trial win means coming into a debut. She led by a length on the turn in the latest trial then just sped away so you’d expect her to lead here too. She’s come up short in betting so the market probably sorts her chances out, if she firms further she might be above average. 4. Lady Legend was beaten 14 lengths by Maggie Miss in the trial but looking back to her previous trial she wasn’t beaten far by Nobody’s Puppet who looks handy and it wouldn’t shock to see her run a race first-up.
How to play it: So Taken E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
So Taken’s brave first-up third at Canterbury on August 29
|Race 3 – 2:00PM EVEREST CARNIVAL HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
After a luckless defeat last week 5. Gentle Persuasion has a very good chance to atone though unfortunately the price isn’t as appealing. She was held up at a vital stage trying to get to the outside while the winner gained a run through along the fence. Drawn nicely here and it wouldn’t shock to see her settle closer and take luck out of the equation.
Dangers: 1. Pembroke Castle has mixed it with the likes of The Autumn Sun and not been disgraced and he resumes with blinkers first time after a quiet trial a week ago. Keep an eye on tactics announcements from the barrier but with even luck he can feature in the finish. 4. Happy Bubbles lived up to the strong support on debut at Newcastle by posting a fairly easy win over the 900m scamper. I can see him getting a nice run again and he could easily measure up. 3. Aperitif caused an upset when beating stablemates Press Box and So Taken (who race earlier in the program) two weeks ago, she gets Hugh Bowman on board here and if that win was no fluke she’s in the mix again.
How to play it: Gentle Persuasion WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Gentle Persuasion runs a close second at Randwick on September 5
|Race 4 – 2.35PM ANZ BLOODSTOCK NEWS HANDICAP (1580 METRES)|
Came back to 3. Scream Park, though he has some convictions, after a much improved effort in a similar race two weeks ago where he was just outgunned by Gauguin. Drawn ideally to have a similar run in transit, that little bit of give in the track is ideal and while he’s not a horse you’d pin your hopes on he’s entitled to go close.
Dangers: 2. Moondancer had excuses for his defeat at a mile at Wyong, where he raced wide, then proved a bit too strong back to 1400m at Newcastle. Consistent type and he’s struck a very winnable race if he gets the right sort of run. 10. Plagiarist has been kept fresh since a narrow maiden win at Kembla back in mid-August. Ticked over nicely in a trial at Rosehill last week and it’s interesting that Hugh Bowman rode Scream Park last start and has switched to this fellow. This is the type of race a lightly raced up and comer could take out so he has to be respected. 5. Follow On fits that bill too with only five starts to his name and he won on debut at a mile before stretching out to staying trips. Won a 1200m trial leading into this and if he lands on the pace he could give a sight.
How to play it: Scream Park WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Scream Park is narrowly beaten at Canterbury on August 29
|Race 5 – 3.10PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
I’m sure had 9. Corinth drawn better than the outside alley we’d be asked to take a shorter price than the each-way odds available so banking on a bit of luck in running going his way this time. He did a lot of the donkey work last start at Warwick Farm in the race won by Cormac and was game previously in a similar race to this one. You’re backing Kerrin McEvoy to produce a gun ride here and if he does then Corinth goes very close.
Dangers: 3. Fantastic Man has a habit of finding one or two better but his racing style might be suited to this event. He likes to park just off the speed and roll into the race, he doesn’t appear to have a great turn of foot but he keeps coming. He’s sure to give another good account. 7. Makdanife has simply found himself too far back at his last couple of starts and it’ll be interesting to see if he can take up more of a position having drawn an inside gate this time around. If he can then he’s right in the mix and he’ll appreciate that bit of give in the track as well. Don’t leave him out. 8. Scratches was on the speed in the same race as Makdanife last start and she stayed on well to run second. She may have to work a bit to get on the pace again here, whether that’s a negative remains to be seen but she’s racing too well of late to knock.
How to play it: Corinth E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Corinth battles on for fourth at Warwick Farm on August 22
|Race 6 - 3:45PM THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
This race looks to set up well for 5. Excellent Design to have her chance to win first-up. She’s been ready to race for a while and was a late scratching at the gates from a race at Warwick Farm last month. Trialled again since that mishap and performed strongly. Drawn ideally, should settle just off them or could lead if necessary, and I’d be disappointed if she’s not right in the finish.
Dangers: 4. Deity trialled impressively prior to a much narrower first-up win than most expected but she did fight when challenged over the concluding stages. Fitter for that and with the inside alley she has her chance to prove herself beyond 1000m. 2. Ellie’s Encore is a little over the odds for mine. She was outclassed in a Group 2 before a spell but she was showing ability, albeit in easier races, prior to that. She’s won two trials and looked good in the latest, so don’t be surprised if she is able to measure up. 9. Social is very lightly raced for a six-year-old and she’d had over a year off prior to a comfortable win at Tamworth a couple of weeks ago. On pacer who is fitter for the run and has a top apprentice on board. She could give some cheek.
How to play it: Excellent Design WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Excellent Design’s latest trial at Randwick on August 28
|Race 7 - 4:20PM ON TOP OF THE WORLD SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
I can’t see any way that 2. Za Zi Ba doesn’t get a perfect run in this race and that being the case she’s incredibly hard to beat and over the odds. Granted she was a shade disappointing first-up but that race was won by the leader on an on-pace biased track. She then romped in at Rosehill in similar grade to this but with more depth. With the claim and the draw she’s entitled to hold form and if she does then she’s the one to stop.
Dangers: 4. Coruscate overcame a wide gate to win first-up but it’s much easier to do that at Warwick Farm, where there’s basically a straight run to the home turn, than Canterbury but the scratchings have really helped his cause. Honest type though and he can be in the finish. 1. Piracy will appreciate a class drop on his second-up effort where he led but was no match for the likes of Don’t Give A Damn and Trekking at Rosehill. Big weight rise but has a nice enough draw and Hugh Bowman to ride so he’ll have his chance. 10. Cordoned didn't fire in two Queensland runs but comes here fresh and did win a similar sort of race back in January with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle. Could surprise.
How to play it: Za Zi Ba WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Za Zi Ba wins easily at Rosehill on August 25
|Race 8 - 4:55PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
5. Metamorphic has transformed into a very consistent performer of late and with the improving track I’d expect him to keep up the good work and be right in the thick of it again. Found himself some five lengths off the lead on the turn last start and only failed narrowly. Punters Intel shows he ran the fastest last 600m of 35.43 and was the only horse to break 12 seconds for the last 200m (11.83). In a race that looks to have a bit of speed on paper he can stalk and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t hit the front at some stage in the straight. Good chance.
Dangers: 12. Wagner had a gun run and was never threatened at any stage in breaking through for his maiden win first-up two weeks ago. He’s always shown promise and if he’s starting to live up to that he should handle the class rise. He will need luck though from the wide barrier. 13. Common Purpose tracked wide very and toughed it out to win a Highway at Rosehill last time to make it three straight. He must go forward from the wide gate and if he gets there cheaply he can run a race. 4. Catmosphere settled just off the pace and just found Coruscate a shade better at the Farm last start. Much improved effort there and shows he doesn't have to lead. Each-way.
How to play it: Metamorphic E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Metamorphic charges late to just miss at Canterbury on August 29
BEST BET: Race 7 No.2 Za Zi Ba ($4.60)
BEST EACH-WAY: Race 5 No.9 Corinth ($6.50)
$20 QUADDIE: 3,7,8,9/2,4,5/2,4/4,5,12,13 @ $20 = 20.8%