By Ray Hickson
Ray Hickson’s tips and insights for Wednesday’s Canterbury Park meeting. An interesting midweek program with eight winners to be found!
The track will be Good and the rail is in the 6m position.
|Race 1 - 12:50PM PLUCK@VINERY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Initially I was surprised to see Beacon come up so short but it’s probably justified when you consider his form. Beat subsequent city winner Faeger on debut then at Canterbury a month ago he was burnt off in the middle stages and had to chase, and made a good fist of it closing in strongly to get within half a length of Cudabeen who had the foot down the whole way. Third place horse Princess Posh has been a winner since and from the inside in the small field he’ll have every chance. Punter’s Intel: Beacon sped home in 34.31 for his last 600m with final two splits of 11.29 and 11.34.
Danger: Marishka was heavily backed into odds-on and made hard work of it but proved a bit too strong late on debut at the August 30 meeting. Can’t knock her and if she was open to some improvement from that first outing then she will take beating.
How to play it: Beacon WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds)
Beacon finishes strongly in second at Canterbury – August 16
|Race 2 - 1:25PM MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Tricky little race and I could make a case for four or five of the six runners. O’Reilly Cyrus had a mixed preparation earlier in the year but she definitely has the ability when right to win a race like this. She’s had the two trials and there was plenty of merit in her second hitout when a closing second over 800m at the Farm. Entitled to get the run of the race from gate one and if she runs up to the trial is hard to beat.
Danger: Istria will ultimately be better over 1400m or so but she’s trialled up nicely enough to be competitive fresh. Sexy Eyes looked to have her chance at this track two weeks ago and coming back 100m I’m not sure is a plus but with the Waller/Bowman combination she shouldn’t be underestimated.
How to play it: O’Reilly Cyrus WIN ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds)
O’Reilly Cyrus runs second in her Warwick Farm trial – September 9
|Race 3 - 2:00PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
Woman will have plenty of attention on her being by Frankel out of former champion mare More Joyous and her trials have suggested a winning debut is very much on the cards. Not overly concerned about the wide barrier as the 1250m start is about the fairest at Canterbury and she has an in-form Kerrin McEvoy to steer. I think the market has her about right and she should take beating.
Danger: Fifth Affair found the line pretty well to run fourth behind Marishka first-up but gave away far too much start. She may settle a little closer here and the extra ground will suit o some improvement is more than likely.
How to play it: Woman WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Woman running second in her Rosehill trial – September 4
|Race 4 - 2:35PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
Potentially one of the strongest races of the day going forward. Hong Qigong has taken a step up this time in and the way he found the line into second behind Faeger on August 30 suggested he’s ready to win. Extra distance appears in his favour and there’s likely to be a solid enough tempo. Good chance. Punter’s Intel: Hong Qigong produced the best last 600m (34.13) and last 200m (11.87) in his first-up run.
Danger: Star Of The Seas showed plenty of promise with a debut second behind Sprinting To Win, who has won again since, at Newcastle and you could make a case that he was unlucky not to finish a bit closer. Bowman on is a good lead. A watch on stablemate Paret who worked home nicely late in a quiet trial earlier this month.
How to play it: Hong Qigong WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Hong Qigong’s eye-catching second at Canterbury – August 30
|Race 5 - 3:10PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
A classic two horse dilemma. Do we go with the proven winner or the one with a bit of depth to the form. Settled on the latter thinking In Times Of War will get the last shot at Nictock here. She’s won two from eight with six second placings but had the misfortune to bump into Memes and Bonny O’Reilly in her last couple of placings, split by a Randwick win. Her trials have been fine and if the race pans out as I suspect she’ll be charging in the last 200m or so.
Danger: Nictock is very hard to fault with six wins and a third from seven starts and the only knock I have in this race, that leads me to sway the other way, is I can’t see him getting across easily and getting control. It’s going to take a vintage Bowman ride but in his favour is he’s a winner and he lumped 61kg to score last time at the Farm.
How to play it: In Times Of War WIN ($2.25 TAB Fixed Odds)
In Times Of War runs second to Bonny O’Reilly at Rosehill in May
|Race 6 - 3:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
Thought this was one of the more open races on the day and with at least a genuine tempo appearing likely Centro Superior has a solid each-way chance. He’s been racing well this time in and despite being a drifter in betting last start at the Farm he kept coming to run third. Hugh Bowman has been found to ride him here and this is certainly no harder than last start. Punter’s Intel: Centro Superior sprinted home his last 200m in 11.55 and a last 600m in 34.52, bettered only by the winner at Warwick Farm on August 23.
Danger: Smart Amelia is now in the Chris Waller camp and she was very competitive in Listed and Group 3 races in the autumn following a Canberra maiden win. Her two trials have been sound without really standing out. Strike rate is a bit of a worry but if she remains solid in the market she’ll likely be in the finish.
How to play it: Centro Superior E/W ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Centro Superior runs into third at Warwick Farm – August 23
|Race 7 - 4:20PM TAB HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Easily the most promising horse all day is Mahalangur and it wouldn’t surprise to see him go around odds-on here after and excellent fourth in the G3 Ming Dynasty at just his second start. The form through his maiden win at Newcastle has been outstanding and despite taking on older horses he’ll relish the 1550m and looks capable of winning much better races than this one. Punter’s intel: Mahalangur ran 34.07 for his last 600m in the Ming Dynasty, bettered only by runner-up Assimilate.
Danger: Sambro has some four lengths to make up on Mahalangur from their meeting in the Ming Dynasty and on face value that’s a bit too much ground. Therefore I don’t consider him a danger as such but he’s open to improvement and can certainly run into second.
How to play it: Mahalangur WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
Mahalangur’s fourth in the Ming Dynasty at Rosehill - August 26
|Race 8 - 4:55PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
Barb Joseph and Paul Jones have a very strong hand in the last and I wound up with Token Of Love who was most unlucky when second over this course on August 30. Travelled beautifully to near the turn then became strung up behind tiring horses as the winner made his run and she still picked herself up to make late ground. Likely to gain a similar run and you can bet Rachel Hunt will have her in the clear in plenty of time. Form around Chatelard and Quick Defence also reads well. Punter’s Intel: When Estikhraaj made his move from the 600m he ran splits of 12.00 and 11.99 while Token Of Love, held up, ran 12.28 and 12.38. Her last 200m in 12.13 was the fastest of the race but the damage had already been done.
Danger: Almost Court is an ex-Kiwi unbeaten, and largely unchallenged, in three starts for Joseph/Jones. The last couple have been on the synthetic track at Canberra so they are a little hard to line up but what he has done has won comprehensively and he may well be up to the task. Kerrin McEvoy to steer is a plus too. Estikhraaj can’t be left out though meets Token Of Love 1.5kg worse for their last meeting.
How to play it: Token Of Love E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Token Of Love’s unlucky second to Estikhraaj at Canterbury - August 30