By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park. The track is rated Good 3.
|Race 1 – 1:25PM EVEREST CARNIVAL HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
He’s burned us a couple of times in his three starts but 1. Wagner gets another chance to break through in a race that looks to have few winning chances. He’s something of a barrier trial champion and comes into this race on the back of an easy trial win at Rosehill where he looked very smart as he has in the past. He’s been competitive in all three starts and while he is short enough he’s the horse to beat.
Dangers: 6. Vendome appears a serious threat though we’re also taking trial form as the big guide. Only start in a G3 in April where he didn’t feature. Plenty to like about the way he found the line late in his second trial, which was three weeks ago, and from the inside barrier he should have every chance. 5. Burbank is another that hasn’t delivered on early promise as yet but he gets a clean slate as he resumes as a gelding. Finished some four lengths behind Wagner when they met at the Farm back in May and has a quiet trial as his lead in. Keep an eye on betting, if there’s support he’s in the mix. 2. Nicco Lad is the probable leader and he’s done enough in his two starts to warrant some thought here. Even efforts in two trials and while I don’t see him as a winning chance, a place is within reach.
How to play it: Wagner WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Wagner easily wins his trial at Rosehill on August 20
|Race 2 - 2:00PM TAB HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
If there’s a horse I’ve been waiting to see at the races from the trials it’s 5. So Taken who has won two heats at Rosehill this month in pretty nice fashion. In her two NZ starts, she had excuses on debut and was close up in the other both on soft ground. I’d like to see a little support for her closer to the race but on what I’ve seen at the trials I’d be surprised if she doesn’t run well.
Dangers: 4. Bring The Magic ran last in a three horse field on debut but it wasn’t a bad effort as she still ran handy sectionals behind what looks a smart filly in Miss Fabulass. Interesting that Hugh Bowman rides her over the top weight who he has been trialling and from the inside she’s well worth respecting. 1. Press Box had good support on debut and hit the line hard then went under as a $1.85 chance at Rosehill in Saturday company. Trialled twice and it’s hard to get a line on her behind a couple of eye-catching trial winners but on her debut effort she’s a threat. 2. Call Me Royal is the likely leader and could give a sight while 7. Fallgold flew late first-up at Newcastle and will appreciate the extra trip.
How to play it: So Taken E/W ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
So Taken wins her second trial at Rosehill on August 20
|Race 3 – 2:35PM #THERACES HANDICAP (2700 METRES)|
I can’t tip the top weight coming off a win at $19 and going up 8kg. But my confidence in 3. Allcash is hardly high given he’s had 32 starts on good tracks and is yet to win. That said he’s run 10 placings including last week at Warwick Farm where he warmed up strongly late to run into third over 2200m, running 11.76 for his last 200m (Punters Intel). He should lap up the extra 500m on the back-up and I’m not expecting a rock hard track so if he’s ever going to break through he has a prime opportunity here.
Dangers: 1. Segenhoe was able to lead all the way at Randwick a couple of Saturdays ago as Tim Clark was allowed to dictate terms and under 53kg he was able to sprint sufficiently to hold them off. Will he get away with it again with 61kg in lesser grade? He might well but I’m not prepared to take $2.20 to find out. 4. Prescience looked as though he was working up to something with a handy second-up effort but didn’t back it up last time. In his defence that race, won by Follow Suit, was run quite quickly so perhaps he’s worth forgiving. With Kerrin McEvoy, the best staying rider in the country, on board I’m not prepared to leave him out. 5. Everly Girl has been racing well in easier company out of town of late and if he runs up to her last couple at Kembla it wouldn’t surprise to see her in the finish in a very winnable race.
How to play it: Allcash WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Allcash runs on very late into third at Warwick Farm on August 22
|Race 4 – 3.10PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
Another horse on the back-up from racing well last week is 5. Makdanife who, despite being safely held, found the line nicely from a long way back to run into fourth over a mile. He’s been crying out for a bit more ground and stepping to 1900m here is right up his alley, Hugh Bowman stays on board and with even luck in running I’d be surprised if he’s not right there at the finish.
Dangers: 2. Tamarack is fitter for two runs back and showed improvement running on in an on-pace dominated race at Canterbury two weeks ago. He’ll also relish the step up in trip, last prep when he reached 1900m (fourth-up) he scored a narrow win here. Good chance. 1. Decroux was allowed to run and kept his rivals off the bit in scoring an easy all the way win at Kembla over a mile third-up from a spell. First try at the extra trip and you’d imagine the tactics will be similar despite the 62kg. If the pattern says leaders are doing well he’s a strong chance. 7. Scratches is an up and comer and was dominant over a similar trip in lesser grade at Newcastle when heavily supported. These progressive types are hard to line up sometimes but she’s at least an each-way chance. How do you assess 4. High Bridge who has won six races, four over hurdles and two in highweight races, and seven of his 13 starts have been in hurdles. If he’s strongly supported then take that as a lead but otherwise I have to oppose him.
How to play it: Makdanife E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Makdanife hits the line late from well back at Warwick Farm on August 22
|Race 5 – 3.45PM RIBCHESTER NEW TO DARLEY HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
The 2kg weight swing in favour of 4. Gauguin swings me to him turning the tables on Falcon Island from their clash at Canterbury two weeks ago. He led on that occasion and was run down but I think the positions will be switched here with him drawn outside the other on-pacer. I don’t think there’s a lot between them and tactics will come right into play but he should be hard to beat.
Dangers: 2. Falcon Island is the logical danger for reasons already expressed. I think he will lead this time and it’s a matter of whether he can dictate and carry the extra weight. Fascinating clash coming up. If the two on-pacers engage in a speed battle it could set things up for 7. He’s a Given who looks set to get the perfect sit just behind them from the inside gate. Backs up after a game second at the Farm last week and while he doesn’t win out of turn circumstances could see him swamping them late. 3. Francesco is a good Canterbury horse and he's back to his right grade now after two runs back at Randwick in Saturday company. Drawn well and no excuses here, entitled to improve.
How to play it: Gauguin WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Falcon Island and Gauguin battle it out at Canterbury on August 15
|Race 6 - 4:20PM ATC HONG KONG TOUR SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
Given a fair racing pattern I’m confident 3. Esperance can go one better than first-up where he went within a neck or so of defying the on-pace bias here three weeks ago. He conceded a big start, swung wide and charged past the likes of Za Zi Ba (winner at Rosehill on Saturday) as he just failed to run down Puppet Master, running 11.16 for his last 200m (Punters Intel). Drawn the middle this time and there looks enough pace to allow him to settle a little handier and if he’s looming coming to the turn he’ll take holding out.
Dangers: 4. Metamorphic ran right up to his excellent effort behind Smartedge here two starts ago when scoring a narrow win as favourite three weeks back. He had the perfect run there and got the job done, drawn awkwardly but wouldn’t shock to see him press on with the likely leader drawn outside him. Good chance again. 6. Red Rover is the most lightly raced horse here and he showed promise in his two starts including a solid effort to win at Rosehill back in April. Gelded and has trialled well behind the handy Renewal. Well worth keeping safe. 1. Junglized disappointed after racing on the speed in the same race as Esperance last start. Tried hard when resuming in a better field and with the blinkers on he’s capable of improvement and the scratchings help his cause.
How to play it: Esperance WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Esperance launches late out wide when resuming at Canterbury on August 8
|Race 7 - 4:55PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Open race to finish off with. 3. Tarabai did enough first-up, despite being a beaten favourite, to suggest she has improvement in her. She drew wide two weeks ago and went forward to race without cover and I thought she stayed on okay under the circumstances. Drawn to get some nice cover in a race with a bit of tempo likely and with the run under the belt should be harder to beat.
Dangers: 11. Nasaayim is a city winner in Melbourne and has performed with merit in a couple of Group races. Sat outside the leader (Danawi, G3 winner last weekend) and knocked up when resuming but will be fitter and with a host of gear changes she’s worth another chance. 2. Waimea Bay raced wide and pulled herself into the ground when she failed in a Listed race at Randwick before a spell but her previous form in Listed and Provincial Championships races is more than good enough for her to be competitive here. Quiet trials leading in and must be kept safe. 1. Pandemonium has 63kg for good reason and while that weight does pose a bit of an issue if she somehow gets an easy run up on the pace she’s more than capable of giving cheek. Run down by a smart one over this course first-up last time and I wouldn’t be counting her out.
How to play it: Tarabai WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Tarabai’s first-up effort at Canterbury on August 15
BEST BET: Race 6 No.3 Esperance ($2.40)
BEST EACH-WAY: Race 2 No.5 So Taken ($8.50)
$20 QUADDIE: 1,2,5,7/2,4,7/3,4,6/2,3,11 @ $20 = 18.5%