By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park. The track hasn’t hosted a meeting for almost two months, is rated a good 4 and the rail is in the true position.
|Race 1 – 12:45PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
The betting will tell us a bit with a number of important first starters and while he’s come up a bit shorter than I would have liked I expect 2. Big Bad Bruce to take plenty of beating on debut. He’s won both recent trials and the second was a nice progression from the first, which is always good to see. Should land in the first four in running and so long as he’s solid in the market he can be backed with a little bit of confidence. Be wary if he’s a significant drifter.
Danger: 8. Press Box is a full sister to dual Group 1 winner Press Statement who, as it happens, won on debut at this meeting in 2015 off an almost identical preparation. She wasn’t knocked around in her trial at Rosehill almost a month ago and she’s the one I want to keep very safe. 4. Federation probably pushes forward to lead as he did two weeks ago where he had every possible chance before running third. Expect he might find one or two better again but is in the mix. 7. Ms Rodarte scrambled in to win her second trial this prep at Canterbury but wasn't fully tested. Drawn well and you have to respect the Chris Waller first starters at this time of year.
How to play it: Big Bad Bruce WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Press Box.
Big Bad Bruce wins his trial at Warwick Farm on April 20
|Race 2 - 1:20PM #THERACES PLATE (1100 METRES)|
I can’t imagine Brenton Avdulla adopting tactics on 6. Consider It Done any different to those he used with success on the likes of Kingsguard and Glenall at Hawkesbury last Saturday. If that’s the case then this filly should lead, or sit outside, without any trouble and wave them goodbye in the straight. She hasn’t raced since August when she debuted in the same race Black Caviar’s daughter Oscietra won her first race and she was a well supported favourite. However she was stuck wide and battled on into a close third. Latest trial was outstanding and she looks the winner to me.
Dangers: 9. Seasons attacked the line nicely at her only start back in December, though she did get the breaks along the inside to run on. Held together in her second trial just behind the placings and looks the logical danger. 2. Gambeson hasn’t raced for a year and has been gelded some time between then and now. Just the one public trial this prep and he was safely held but fared well at Randwick a couple of weeks ago. Keep in mind. 1. Copy Boy is worth a bit of thought on debut with three trials under his belt. He did get a dream inside run in his latest trial before running a close second but outside the top three in the selections it’s anyone’s race for fourth for mine. Wouldn’t shock to see him poke into a placing.
How to play it: Consider It Done WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Consider It Done looks the goods winner a Canterbury trial on April 24
|Race 3 – 1:55PM PLUCK@VINERY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
Looks quite and open race to me and one with potential for a bit of speed early. That might aid 7. Sweet Victory first-up at a trip just a bit short of her optimum. That said, she was beaten a lip on debut at 1200m before stretching out in trip through the spring. She hit the line well from the back in her first trial then sat closer and was kept under a hold in her second. From the inside gate if she can keep in touch she looks to have the scope to go further than most of her rivals.
Dangers: 2. Maid Marilyn will be up on the speed and if she has a few easy sectionals, especially with Luskintyre Lass coming out, could take some running down. Beat Aqua D’Ivina back in November from the front and she took on older horses in her second trial this prep, finishing a close second to Nancy. 5. Oria was a well supported $1.60 shot first-up and gave backers little cause for concern by scoring at Hawkesbury in a six horse field. There’s a lot more depth in this race and I’m not sure she’s entitled to be such a dominant favourite but she’s definitely one you’d rather include than dismiss. 8. Dawn Dawn possibly should have run second when resuming at Sandown a few weeks ago. She tracked the speed but was held up and had to concede a bit of ground to get clear at a vital stage. Kept coming and with the switch back to Sydney she’s an each-way chance at least.
How to play it: Sweet Victory E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sweet Victory held together running third in a Randwick trial on April 16
|Race 4 – 2.35PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
Tough one to sit in the middle of the program! I don’t know whether she’s up to it but 9. Twilighter won’t get a more open BM75 to test her credentials for Group races against her own age than this one. She didn’t have a great deal of luck two runs back (wouldn’t have won but finishes closer) then got to the outside and wound up to break through at her fourth start in a maiden at Kembla Gramge on April 21. She’ll probably have to go back to last but there are no stars here and he’s worth a look each-way.
Dangers: 2. Base Camp will be in the first few in running at his first try at the 1900m. Won a low benchmark mile race at Orange last start but was very strong through the line suggesting the trip won’t be an issue. May lead but sure to get a nice run up on the pace and could measure up. 7. Devil’s Lair is another lightly raced three-year-old out of his grade but down in the weights. Put together two wins at Kembla, the latest a hard fought narrow victory, and has been back to the trials to keep up to the mark. Wouldn’t shock to see him in the finish of a wide open race. 1. Richard Of Yorke has a clear margin on the rest of the field on ratings and is fresh since a 3000m event back in February at Moonee Valley. Haven’t seen him off a decent break at this sort of trip before and in a very winnable race there’s a chance, if ready, he could be too good.
How to play it: Twilighter E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Twilighter breaks through at Kembla Grange on April 21
|Race 5 - 3:10PM RANVET NEUTROLENE HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
I think this race sets up well for 9. Laussel to enjoy a nice run around midfield and finish off strongly after an impressive first-up win at 1400m. Once into the clear fresh at Newcastle she got away from her rivals in the last 200m. Takes on older horses but most of them have reached their level and she might be one on the way up.
Dangers: 1. Bravissimo will roll to the front and it’ll be interesting to see what pressure is applied because there’s potential for a bit. He looked to have the race shot to pieces at Rosehill two starts back and somehow ran third then I thought he had every possible on the Kensington track last time when back to 1300m. Up in distance here and will give a good account. 2. Cedarwood did all the work up front when claimed by Higher Ground, a Group 3 winner since, at the Farm before an ordinary fifth at Kembla where he was only beaten a length but didn’t pick up back in trip. No surprise to see him improve sharply here. 6. Grand Finalist ran third in the same race as Cedarwood at the Farm then had blinkers on and back to 1400m when an even third at Randwick on Anzac Day. Blinkers off here and he’s due for a change of fortune. 3. Seaway can’t be left out though I suspect he is looking for more ground after a fair second-up effort as an easing favourite.
How to play it: Laussel E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Laussel returns with an impressive win at Newcastle on April 14
|Race 6 - 3:50PM BOWERMANS OFFICE FURNITURE HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
It’s been a little while between drinks but I thought this race was a good opportunity for 1. Conchita to post an overdue win. She was outclassed in Group company in two runs prior to an eye-catching fifth at Warwick Farm three weeks ago behind Resin, running 33.59 for her last 600m (Punters Intel) just a tick slower than the winner. Her stats don’t really scream winner and it’s going to take a good ride from Jason Collett, and a bit of luck, but I can’t see her having a better chance to feature in town.
Dangers: 3. Alert By Sea has been racing well in some races with a bit of depth. No match for the first two but boxed on well at Rosehill last time and from the inside will get the run of the race here. Good chance. 2. Zafina has a handy record at this track and trip and found the line from last at Kensington a couple of weeks back in a similar event. Each-way. Watch on 5. Penny For A Pound first-up for the Snowdens off two trials. Ex-South Australian mare with a great first-up record and she was held together in her latest trial runinng on. Might be too short for her but if there's support she goes in.
How to play it: Conchita E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Conchita finishes off hard late at Warwick Farm on April 11
|Race 7 - 4:25PM TAB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
Looks a fast race on paper but 4. Molten has the racing style to take advantage and find a nice spot just off the lead. His first two runs back were okay then he led all the way at the Farm three weeks ago and looked pretty good doing it. I don’t think he’s any good thing but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t feature somewhere in the finish.
Dangers: 2. Gadfly is back a notch in grade after a nice fresh effort behind Marsupial at the Farm and he tends to improve with a run under the belt and up in trip. Likely to drift back a bit but if they are overdoing it up front he’ll be strong late. Perhaps I’m a run too soon for him but have to include. 13. Kotinos could give them something to catch if ridden in the manner that took him to a five and a half length win at Newcastle two starts back. Interesting Andrew Gibbons, who rode him there, is back on, and he won’t have as much competition for the front as he did last start in a four horse war for the lead. Could surprise. 7. Red Zephyr came into his own at 1400m or so last time in but did run well fresh when heavily backed at Wyong back in the spring, hitting the line late beaten a couple of lengths. Trialled well and again if there’s a bit of tempo he could be storming home.
How to play it: Molten E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Molten leads all the way to a comfortable win at Warwick Farm on April 11