By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury Park. The track was rated Good 4 on Tuesday.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Tricky race to start the meeting off and I’m deferring to the Chris Waller/Hugh Bowman combination with 2. Be Mindful to break through at start four. He hasn’t done a whole lot wrong in his three runs to date and was something of a sitting shot for Mascot at Newcastle last time. That horse since ran fourth at Warwick Farm last week. Not a super amount of confidence but I expect him to be in the finish.
Dangers: 1. I’m A Legend has gone under as favourite at his last couple and went back to the trials where he had to work a bit to get past a staying type in a 1045m heat. I feel he’s had a few chances but he should be fit and this is his first look at a good track for almost three months. 3. My King’s Counsel hit the line well on debut then led them up at Newcastle and held on for fourth (Be Mindful ran second) just over a month ago. Possibly still has some upside and he’s in this with a genuine hope. 4. Resonare is racing consistently but has found it hard to win in a string of provincial maidens. This isn’t really any harder and the small field affords him his chance.
How to play it: Be Mindful WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Be Mindful runs second to Mascot at Newcastle on July 7
|Race 2 - 1:25PM TRENT HANCOCK PLATE (1200 METRES)|
I can’t see past the pair that chased home Taygeta at Warwick Farm two weeks ago as the main winning chances. Settled on 4. Safe Landing who may have a bit more upside given his second placing in that race was on debut. Importantly Hugh Bowman retains the ride and while he will need a little bit of luck from the outside gate it’s only a seven horse field. Good chance without being bullish.
Dangers: 5. Smart Ain’t He could have an advantage given he’s raced on the speed in both his starts for a pair of third placings. Came off the bit a fair way from home last start but stayed on and wasn’t far from Safe Landing at the finish. He’s had some support each time and from the inside alley he’ll have his chance. 1. Coltrane ran a much improved race first-up at Wyong running on into third and it suggests the extra 100m will be a plus. I think he has to lift a bit more to win this but couldn’t rule it out from the Waller camp. Can't make much of a case for the others though 7. Maria Victoria made I'm A Legend work in her latest trial and could sprint well fresh.
How to play it: Safe Landing WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Safe Landing and Smart Ain’t He fill the placings at Warwick Farm on July 11
|Race 3 – 2:00PM ATC HONOURS HINCHINBROOK HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
This race promises to be a very interesting battle and a likely good form reference going forward. The price sways me to 3. Sneaking To Win who arguably should have won here on debut three weeks ago. He was just a shade slow away and found early trouble but he attacked the line like a smart horse, running easily the best last 200m of 12.19 (Punters Intel of the race, and the winner has since run well in Saturday company. The barrier means he’ll need a few things to go his way but he should run well.
Dangers: 2. Danawi has a very appealing form pointer having bumped into The Autumn Sun at his only start back on Anzac Day. Since then he’s had the two trials and while he won the latest he was asked to do some work. That may not be a big deal though. He’ll up either in or near the lead and getting a head start from Sneaking To win and is the logical danger. 9. Maid Of Heaven has trialled up quite well ahead of her debut and I did like the way she attacked the line in winning at Randwick on July 13. Sticky barrier but she’s one I want to keep on the safe side. 1. Exceltic also has the wide gate to contend with but he won’t know himself in midweek maiden grade after three runs in some very good company in the autumn. Was strong late in his trial and if he has some luck he’s more than capable of giving this a shake.
How to play it: Sneaking To Win E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sneaking To Win’s debut second at Canterbury on July 4 was hard to miss
|Race 4 – 2.35PM DAWN APPROACH STANDING AT DARLEY HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
8. Shadal ran right up to an eye-catching placing here a month ago when breaking through at Newcastle under 59kg back in grade. It wasn’t as impressive a win as I was expecting but the runner-up has since won. On the plus side he should be at his peak now and if he can take advantage of the inside alley he’s a major chance. There should be enough speed to give him his chance.
Dangers: 5. Balmain Boy does find them a bit hard to win but he has been very game in placings at his last two starts including one over this course and last week when back to a mile. He’ll be up there somewhere in the run and can feature in the placings again. 6. Fantastic Man showed marked improvement second-up from a break racing on the pace and staying on into third over a mile. Has yet to prove himself at the extra trip but he’s third-up here and on the up so if he’s ever going to run it out he has a good chance to this time. 2. Imanui is fitter for two runs back and while he's yet to win on a good track he's not just a wet tracker and with a bit of luck he's capable of being in the finish.
How to play it: Shadal WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Shadal scores a narrow but game win at Newcastle on July 7
|Race 5 – 3.10PM TERRITORIES STANDING AT DARLEY HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
The only reason I can think that 9. El Dorado Mine didn't open favourite here after two excellent runs back from a spell is the wide barrier but I don’t think it’s a major factor. He’s going to need luck and/or a great ride but he showed last time out at 1250m he’s crying out for more ground and he gets it here. On soft ground he ran the fastest last 600m in 36.91 and easily the best last 200m in 12.47 (Punters Intel. He’s shown he can race forward if needed and with not a great amount of speed on paper he may have that chance. He was too good last start not to back up on him.
Dangers: 1. Banner Season has been freshened since he was outclassed in the Queensland Derby and creates a bit of interest here though he may be under the odds. His two wins prior to the Derby came over longer trips but from barrier two he gets some favours and I have to respect him. 4. He’s A Given has put a couple of good runs together and while he doesn’t win out of turn this race is no harder than what he’s met lately and he has a young jockey riding with confidence at present. Each-way. 8. Dreams Of Paris hasn’t been in this sort of class since she won at Caulfield back in February and she’d only have to repeat her performance from her third placing at Flemington on June 23 to be competitive in this field.
How to play it: El Dorado Mine E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
El Dorado Mine finds the 1250m just a bit sharp second-up at Canterbury on July 4
|Race 6 - 3:45PM PKF SYDNEY SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
Either 8. Almanzora is a good thing or she’s vulnerable first-up from a year off and it’s anyone’s race. That’s the best way to describe how I see this race. The filly beat a smart one on debut in Aqua D’Ivina then finished four lengths from Shoals and Formality at G2 level during The Championships. Sent out $2.50 in a Listed race at Scone at her only other start and she had her chance but finished close up. Two trials have been nice and she went with Siege Of Quebec in her latest at Randwick. Betting will tell us more closer to the race but all being in order she’s the one to beat.
Dangers: 11. Blowing Kisses does a lot of threatening but this race sets up well if she settles off the speed as she’s done in her most recent prep. Her first two runs back last time in were her best, flashing home late, and she trialled nicely enough. Good chance. 13. Zafina is capable of an upset if they overdo things up front. She was placed a couple of times in midweek company in the late autumn and should appreciate a good track after failing on the heavy last start. Each-way claims at odds. 16. Vega isn't out of this on the back of a solid first-up win at Hawkesbury. He drops 5kg and outside the favourite it's a pretty open race. Each-way.
How to play it: Almanzora WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Almanzora splits Siege Of Quebec and She Will Reign in a Randwick trials on July 13
|Race 7 - 4:20PM VALE NOEL BRACKS SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
Surely this is the race for 6. Smartedge to post a very deserved win after four excellent runs in good quality fields this time in. Hadn’t raced for six weeks when he chased home Star Of Monsoon, with the smart Paret third, at Rosehill a couple of Saturdays ago and you’d think that’d be good enough form to win this race. Punters Intel showed he ran the fastest last 200m of the race in 11.40 and the second fastest last 600m in 33.62. He will need a bit of luck being a horse that comes from off the pace but there looks to be sufficient speed. Clearly the one to beat.
Dangers: 9. Savvan is another that will appreciate a genuine tempo and getting back onto a good track is no disadvantage. While beaten favourite last start, a month ago, it was on a heavy track and she wasn’t disgraced and form around the likes of Savatiano and Noire reads well and it’s just up to her to pin the ears back and find the line in front. 1. Samadoubt will be fitter for one runs back from a spell where he found himself a lot further back than usual but made ground to finish midfield behind Noble Joey at Randwick. Expect he’ll tag the leader here from the inside alley and hit the front around the turn. If that’s the case he’s in the finish. 14. Metamorphic has been freshened up since failing to handle the heavy here back on June 6 and that run should be overlooked. Won a maiden at the Scone carnival like he was a class above them and it wouldn’t surprise at all to see him improve sharply back on top of the ground.
How to play it: Smartedge WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Smartedge runs into second behind Star Of Monsoon at Rosehill on July 14