By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s Canterbury meeting. Selections based on a soft track.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM ALABAMA EXPRESS @ YULONG HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
3. Tectonicus going forward might be a masterstroke in a race with patchy speed on paper. He’s been excellent in two of his three provincial starts to date and did show improvement when up in distance last time. Winnable race and has a good chance.
Dangers: 2. Solar Apex debuted at 1600m at Gosford and produced an eye-catching finish to run third. He crabbed around the corner a bit and took a while to balance up so will be better for the experience. Probably goes back from the outside but expect him to be strong late. 1. Apollate was six weeks between trials when producing a much improved third over 900m at Rosehill a couple of weeks ago. Significant that he’s kicking off at almost a mile so that trial gets an extra tick. Keep safe. 6. Desert Flame might well lead and he battled away okay on the speed in fourth in the same race as Solar Apex. If he gets it easy he could give some cheek.
How to play it: Tectonicus WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Tectonicus runs third at Kembla Grange on July 23
|Race 2 – 1.25PM TAB HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
1. Home Ground should now be ready to fire after two runs back from an 18 month absence and gets a nice scenario from gate one. He was excellent fresh then just battled outside the lead second-up when up in class. Improving track a plus and is entitled to go close.
Dangers: 7. Our Winnie could be a knockout horse here after showing a glimpse of form with a fast finishing fifth over 1550m two weeks ago. Has won around this trip and is more than capable on her day. Each-way. 6. Tochi is another running into a bit of form and she was claimed in the last stride to win that race at what was her third run back. Unbeaten at this distance and a nose shy of being unbeaten at this track too. If she gets any peace will be hard to run down. 4. Dalmatia Prince tried to lead all the way and was only claimed in the last 100m or so here last time in his best effort this prep. Competitive when he races on the speed and can’t be leaving him out with James McDonald on board.
How to play it: Home Ground WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Home Ground runs fifth at Kensington on July 18
|Race 3 – 2:00PM BOWERMANS COMMERCIAL FURNITURE PLATE (1100 METRES)|
10. Dismissal took on the best youngsters last preparation and wasn’t disgraced in races like the Sweet Embrace and Magic Night, and even made ground from right out of it in the G1 Sires’. Liked her trial at Rosehill recently. Should have gone close in a good maiden first-up last prep and is right in this.
Dangers: 5. Magic Ruler hasn’t drawn as well as he has in his two starts to date but they’ve been handy efforts and he chased hard behind Yardstick here two weeks ago. Not far off a win and has to be considered. 7. Barossa Rosa trialled strongly before being sent out favourite at Wyong on debut where she seemed to have her chance only to be run down in the last 100m. Drawn ideally to be on the speed and happy to give her another look as she’ll have some upside. 13. Tiny found herself right out the back on debut and worked home down the outside to claim fourth here two weeks ago. Better for that, if they can run on she's a likely improver.
How to play it: Dismissal E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Dismissal runs third in a Rosehill trial on July 17
|Race 4 – 2:35PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
4. Saigon has really found her groove this time in with two very impressive come from behind wins out of town. Granted she does need to keep stepping up but there looks enough speed on paper to give her a fair shot and she’s flying.
Dangers: 2. Pressure is likely to be a big improver on her first-up run at Kensington last month. While she wouldn’t have been in the finish she was chopped right out early in the straight so happy to forgive. From the draw she should be handier, look for any support. 7. Elegant Grace was an easing favourite in a similar race two weeks ago and while she was racing in behind the speed she was ridden up to hold that spot in the straight. Blinkers go on and that might be significant so give her another chance. 1. Celtic Love is racing in career best form with three wins from her last five starts including over this course two weeks aho. Getting up in the weights but can't overlook.
How to play it: Saigon E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Saigon wins at Kembla Grange on July 23
|Race 5 – 3:10PM EXCEEDANCE @ VINERY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
5. Juan Diva is very well placed in this race on the back of two excellent trials, though they were a month ago now. She was scratched from last weekend for this, improving track a plus and drawn perfectly in a race with good speed. Has to be hard to hold out.
Dangers: 2. Zakat doesn’t run bad races and while he was beaten into second in two runs before a spell and was only narrowly beaten after two nice provincial wins. Nosed out Cascadian in his recent trial, drawn well and handles all conditions. Logical threat. 7. Worldly Pleasure is a very tough on pacer who hit the lead last start before being swamped in the last 100m two weeks ago. Drops 1kg and is one you always have to throw into the mix in this sort of race. 1. Lancaster Bomber is going to need luck from the outside gate but he's racing in great form. Chased hard when narrowly beaten here last time. Each-way.
How to play it: Juan Diva WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Juan Diva runs fourth in a Randwick trial on July 10
|Race 6 – 3:45PM TOO DARN HOT @ DARLEY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
5. Emeralds couldn’t have run better under the circumstances when she resumed at Kensington, getting well back when you needed to be on speed, running into an eye-catching fourth. Blinkers go on, up in trip and with even luck in running should go close. Read trainer John Sargent's comments here.
Dangers: 6. Vitesse is back slightly in trip but has found some consistency and followed a win over Threeood with a chasing second to Madam Legend at the same meeting as Emeralds. Drawn to be somewhere in the finish again. 4. Lillemor will look to lead as she likes to do. Thought she had her chance in front at Rosehill last time but was only beaten half a length and this is back a notch on that class. Did win over this course back in May on a heavy track and will give a good account again. 3. Greenspan ran a very cheeky race first-up behind Handspun, making up significant ground quickly late. Back in class here but not up in trip, that’s a small concern, so while he might be a ‘next time’ prospect he could run into a place at odds as he’s definitely come back well.
How to play it: Emeralds WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Emeralds runs fourth at Kensington on July 18
|Race 7 – 4:20PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
1. Boomtown Rat can be forgiven for his last start failure in a fast run race on testing ground. Too good at Warwick Farm in a similar race to this prior and in a race that looks to have some pressure he should be suited. Good each-way hope at odds.
Dangers: 8. This Is So comes through a similar race here two weeks ago where he started favourite and didn’t really live up to that billing when a run presented. Fitter now after two runs from a long break so entitled to one more chance. 2. Knowitall Jack has been aided a bit by the scratchings as he races best when he leads. Shade disappointing last time though not beaten far. Can give a sight. 9. Notabadidea beat many of his rivals here two weeks ago at big odds. If that form is the way to go he could be in the finish again.
How to play it: Boomtown Rat E/W ($10 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Boomtown Rat wins at Warwick Farm on July 8