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Canterbury Winners - Tips For Friday Night 4th January

By Ray Hickson

Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury. Selections based on a good track.


2. I Am Zain is very well placed here by the Hawkes stable. He was competitive in open two-year-old events in Melbourne last prep but is back as a gelding and comes off a soft trial win at Canterbury a couple of weeks ago. I’d expect him to be in the first few in running and be right there at the finish.

Dangers: 7. Plenty should be forgiven for a costly defeat at Moonee Valley last start where he was trapped wide and wasn’t disgraced beaten 2.6 lengths. He did start favourite on the back of a couple of handy placings at the same track. Needs a win but drawn well and has James McDonald which might be a good lead. 4. Matowi took on some smart ones in his first preparation with a close second to Tarka his best effort. Another that has been gelded, not sure what to make of a trial on the synthetic but he wasn’t fully tested in it. Keep safe. 5. Exoplanet started in the market at her debut three weeks ago and didn’t do a whole lot on the heavy track. Might pay to overlook that back onto a good track so she can be an improver.

How to play it: I Am Zain E/W ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).

I Am Zain wins his trial at Canterbury on December 20


The market will be significant with the first starter 7. You’re Next opening favourite on the back of an impressive trials win two months ago. Not seen since then but with the blinkers applied in the trial he easily accounted for A Million Dreams who has won in town since. If he stays solid in betting, or firms, he’ll go very close.

Dangers: 8. Lashes is a very interesting runner, she started $1.95 on debut at Hawkesbury and led before folding up and missing a place. She had cardiac arrythmia there so that’s a big excuse. Trialled well again since and from a good gate she’s worth keeping safe. 3. Pindus left himself with too much to do first-up as an odds-on favourite at Goulburn and he had no hope of running down Sheriff who had an easy enough lead. He would relish a bit of speed and with four seconds from five starts can’t be overlooked. Another big watch is 4. Rancho Notorious first-up of three seconds at Goulburn and Newcastle and has found Hugh Bowman to ride. Second trial was solid enough, has the inside alley and is worthy of some consideration.

How to play it: You’re Next WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).

You’re Next cruises home in a trial at Warwick Farm on November 9


Happy to speck 16. Just Jessie in a race with lots of question marks. She trialled very well with Hafaawa prior to her debut in a 900m scamper at Scone run in solid rain. I thought she should have finished closer and should improve sharply up in distance. At good each-way odds it’d be no surprise to see her run very well.

Dangers: 10. My Fire Phoenix did the job professionally in her only public trial with an all the way win at Canterbury two weeks ago. Drawn nicely and if she runs up to the trial effort then she’s right in this. 1. Namimo has the form on the board from a fourth to boom filly Brooklyn Hustle then a handy third in the Inglis Nursery. Granted she had saloon runs on the fence in that race but it was still a nice effort. Top weight and a tricky gate will be challengers but she can’t be overlooked. 2. Asiago from the Godolphin camp looks an improving type and might well excel over more ground but she’s performed well enough in her two trials and rather include her than dismiss.

How to play it: Just Jessie E/W ($17 TAB Fixed Odds).

Just Jessie’s debut fourth at Scone on December 14


2. All Too Royal has looked to have his rivals on toast in his two Sydney runs only to be outgunned on the line after appearing to have every chance. It might be a case of take him on trust that he wants to be a winner because on paper he has this race at his mercy if he does want it. Drawn nicely, should get the run of the race and is entitled, for mine, to put it away.

Dangers: 3. Fox Swift is the logical danger on the fresh side since winning on the Kensington track back in October coming from last. Drawn out again so probably goes back and has the last shot at them. Nice enough trial out the back behind Alizee and should run well. 7. Wander enjoyed a nice run behind the speed, got out at the right time and held a clear margin winning over this course three weeks back. That was his best effort for a while so if he can repeat it then he’s a good chance. 9. Marmaris has his first start as a three-year-old and was competitive in some handy fields last season. Two trials back have been okay without being standouts but wouldn’t be counting him out.

How to play it: All Too Royal WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds).

All Too Royal goes down narrowly at Randwick on December 21


3. Chalmers has taken a few runs to hit his straps this time in and there was plenty to like about his effort at Newcastle when chasing home Dawn Raid. He landed in a good position then was shuffled back and had to make his run around them. He has another nice gate and James McDonald riding is a plus. Every chance to break through.

Dangers: 1. Dawn Raid beat Chalmers to make it two straight at Newcastle and his effort was excellent as well as he took off midrace to sit outside the lead. He’s 1.5kg worse off here but impossible to ignore as a threat. 6. C’est Davinchi won two straight over this course then stepped up to Saturday company and hit a heavy track as he failed at Warwick Farm. Forget that effort, back on top of the ground he can improve sharply. Where he’ll wind up in the run I’m not sure. 10. Pianissimo is worth throwing in the trifectas, he tends to run well here and wasn’t disgraced behind C’est Davinchi two starts ago. Forgive last time in an on pace dominated race.

How to play it: Chalmers WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).

Chalmers runs second to Dawn Rain at Newcastle on December 22


5. Savvy Ken is hard to go past, he’s still on the way up after two runs back. Bumped into a promising type first-up then cruised in at Hawkesbury a month ago. Kept ticking over a with a trial and he’s drawn to land just behind a few noted leaders and be in a striking position. Take beating.

Dangers: 4. Allcash isn’t a noted first-up performer so his fresh effort behind Missybeel on the Kensington track had some merit. He’d probably prefer a little more give in the track but I can only see improvement and with luck can surprise. 12. Saint Katarina is on notice after a fair performance as favourite in the same race as Allcash a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps a solidly run race would suit her so she goes into the mix. 2. Missybeel won that race in question after taking control in the lead and racing clear. Whether she gets control here is doubtful but with the right run she could repeat the dose.

How to play it: Savvy Ken WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds).

Savvy Ken wins easily at Hawkesbury on December 9


1. Handfast doesn’t often have the best of luck but he won’t get a better chance to break through than on this occasion. Super run first-up from well back at this track then went to the Kensington track, raced wide and was never in the hunt on a day that suited on pacers. Drawn perfectly this time, distance suits and has found a winnable race.

Dangers: 3. The Pharoah has improved sharply at his last couple of starts and gave a sight in front before being run down by Pembroke Castle over this course three weeks back. Expect he’ll try to lead again and could take catching. 7. Cash Crisis comes through the same race as Handfast from Canterbury back on November 30 and he hasn’t raced since. He held his ground fairly there but fitter and has a senior rider on so it’ll pay to throw him in everything. 5. Virgilio can be forgiven for an ordinary effort at Kensington last time, same race as Handfast, and has the blinkers on and Hugh Bowman to ride. Will need some luck but on his best efforts he’s a chance here.

How to play it: Handfast E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).

Handfast’s eye-catching first-up effort at Canterbury on November 30


5. Sylvia’s Mother ran right up to expectation as he coasted to an easy first-up win at Hawkesbury almost three weeks ago, running 10.88 from the 400m-200m and coasting the last 200m in 11.37 (Punters Intelligence) and is a filly on the way up. This will be a test up in class plus 4kg but to offset that she has a designated leader to follow and a perfect draw. She can take the next step here.

Dangers: 8. Transmitter is another up and comer who has successive provincial wins to her name this time in. Kept fresh since her Gosford win and has had the tickover trial. Might have the last shot at them and Bowman takes the ride. 1. Alassio needs to prove she’s still the horse that won her first three starts so impressively but this race gives her that chance. Despite the big weight you’d expect she will lead and then it’s all up to her. Even effort fresh at Randwick. 7. Lady I Am isn't a noted first-up performer and yet to win below 1200m but she is honest and with the field falling away a little she comes into contention.

How to play it: Sylvia’s Mother WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds).

Sylvia’s Mother wins easily first-up at Hawkesbury on December 16

All the fields, form and replays for Friday’s night meeting at Canterbury

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