By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Canterbury. Selections based on a soft track.
|Race 1 – 1:50PM 2019 MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
8. Word For Word is ready to win after two placings at 1400m where she’s been beaten under a length both times. Held up at a vital stage on the Kensington track last start but couldn’t reel in the winner. Slightly longer trip should suit, drawn okay and if there’s any upside left this prep she should take beating.
Dangers: 4. Re Edit made hard work of it to win on debut on a heavy track but she stuck the neck out. That was six weeks ago and she’s had a sneaky quiet trial since then. The main question mark is what she beat in her only start as they are all still maidens. 5. Helga raced a lot handier than normal and it paid off as he held out Word For Word to break through at start five. Meets that horse 1kg worse which isn’t a lot so she has to be considered a chance again. 3. Cossetot beat a subsequent winner first-up then odds-on favourite and he was quite plain beaten about three lengths at Newcastle. Second-up syndrome perhaps so he might be worth another chance with Hugh Bowman to ride.
How to play it: Word For Word WIN ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Word For Word runs second to Helga at Randwick on December 21
|Race 2 - 2:25PM TAB REWARDS PLATE (1250 METRES)|
4. Knowitall Jack ran right up to some good trials finishing a close second on debut at the Kensington track, and he was a little stiff not to get even closer. Has an awkward alley to negotiate this time but fitter and expect he’ll roll forward somewhere on the speed and be hard to beat.
Dangers: 3. Kashiwa arguably should have won at Newcastle last start instead of eighth after being almost put over the inside rail when hitting top gear. Probably doesn’t want a heavy track but Bowman goes on board and it wouldn’t shock to see him win. 5. Plenty had support last Friday night and while he probably wasn’t going to win he was cut out around 200m from the post and went to the line untested. Does need to a win with eight starts to his name and is worth another chance. 8. Lonely Heart started big odds and comes through the same race as Knowitall Jack where she finished third and about a long neck behind him. Both runs back have had merit so she’s worth including again.
How to play it: Knowitall Jack WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Knowitall Jack runs second on debut at Randwick on December 21
|Race 3 – 3.05PM BOWERMANS OFFICE FURNITURE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Close to last chance territory for 3. Legislation. He was excellent first-up then didn’t let down on a heavy track. He wasn’t disgraced in the Gosford Guineas last time, running on without threatening. Drawn well for the first time this preparation and no excuses for him now, he has his chance.
Dangers: 6. Flamin’ Al is the up and comer of the field. Beaten by a handy one on debut then led and was never threatened as favourite at Wyong back in October. Trialled okay without being pressured and should race forward. No surprise to see him measure up. 1. Sedition has come back a notch on his last few attempts in Saturday company and he was only a couple of lengths behind Gongs at Warwick Farm. Has run well in both starts at this track and distance and handles a soft track. Each-way. 8. Fake only had the one run last time in and he was unplaced as favourite in a Bendigo BM64. Under a bit of pressure in his trial but on his overall form he’s worth including, particularly with James McDonald steering.
How to play it: Legislation WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Legislation’s last start effort in the Gosford Guineas on December 28
|Race 4 – 3.45PM EVENTS BY ATC HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
7. Seababe is threatening to win a race this campaign and this one is up for grabs. She settled a long way back on the Kensington track last time when back slightly in trip but found the line nicely to just miss third. Punters Intelligence shows she ran the last 200m in a race best 11.67. On paper she can get a nice run just off the speed, she’s okay on a soft track and both her wins are in this distance range. Good each-way chance.
Dangers: 3. Dylan’s Romance backs up from Friday night where he led as usual and boxed on to run fifth. On a wet track prior to that he led all the way over this course and as the likely leader, with the sting out, he can take running down. 4. Ivy’s Court appreciated a soft track three runs back to win easily, she’s had her chance in two subsequent starts on the Kensington track at 1550m. She’s been a bit one paced so the extra trip might be a plus and she’s sure to run well. 2. Allcash is another on the back up from Friday night and he hit the line strongly late to run third over this course. He appreciates a bit of give in the track too. Strike rate is a worry and perhaps he wants that little bit further but can’t leave him out.
How to play it: Seababe E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Seababe finishes strongly late at Randwick on January 1
|Race 5 – 4.20PM ANZ BLOODSTOCK NEWS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
5. Shantou didn’t look comfortable at any start last start on the Kensington track but was only beaten 1.2 lengths. Prior to that she had no luck but stuck on well at Wyong behind a progressive type. Due for a change of fortune and better for the run over this trip. Capable of featuring.
Dangers: 1. Love Shack Baby had plenty of favours from the inside alley in scoring at the Kensington meeting on January 1. But he was too good and if he finds the breaks from the outside alley this time he’s more than capable of a repeat. 8. Classic Jade comes off a maiden win that was quite impressive at Newcastle and she could measure up. Drops 6kg, drawn well and races on the pace so will give herself every chance. 4. Smiling Manolito was no match for Love Shack Baby last start but that was on a good track and he did lead all the way on heavy here at his previous attempt. Probably leads again and the softer going gives him a chance.
How to play it: Shantou E/W ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Shantou’s last start sixth at Randwick on January 1
|Race 6 - 4:55PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
5. Pembroke Castle is racing quite consistently despite last start finishing eighth at Warwick Farm. He was shuffled out of it there and wound up last, he hit the line pretty well when the race was all over beaten 2.4 lengths by Gongs. Back a notch and romped home over this course two starts ago. If he can find a nice trailing spot he’s a very good chance.
Dangers: 13. Intense Focus was a drifter in betting first-up at Wyong but was a bit unlucky not to go close as he was held in a pocket around the turn. Fitter for that and with a bit of luck from the tricky gate he’s one of the main chances. 10. Beidi showed significant improvement last start in a strong three-year-old race won by Zalatte. He found the line with some purpose and was shut out of a run about 100m out. Tickover trial since then and so long as the track is not heavy he can go close. 4. Grand Finalist trialled quite well a month ago then his second trial probably wasn’t as convincing but he’s worth some thought fresh. He’s an on pacer and did run well first-up last time in. Each-way.
How to play it: Pembroke Castle E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Pembroke Castle’s last start eighth at Warwick Farm on December 22
|Race 7 - 5:35PM AUTUMN CARNIVAL ON SALE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
13. Nicconita will need the track to be allowing horses to run on but there was nothing wrong with her first-up effort at Randwick on Boxing Day. She was back near last on the fence and worked home well late beaten two lengths, running the fastest last 600m of the race in 34.77 (Punters Intelligence). She’s fine with the sting out of the ground, the 1200m suits and she’s a consistent mare. Be surprised if she doesn’t run well. Read trainer John Bateman's comments here.
Dangers: 3. Sophiella ran second in the same race and she raced wide for the most part before rallying late. I have a question mark at a strong 1200m but she has drawn to get a nice run and if that’s the case she should go close. Wary she’s been beaten favouite at her last five starts. 5. Wide Spread Panic has shown ability and her best efforts were early last preparation. She was outsprinted fresh then won easily at 1400m second-up. Even effort behind a stakes performer in her latest trial and must be considered. 2. Mileage resumed in the same race as Sophiella and was only a half length from her at the finish. She might have a bit more upside and if she can at least match that effort she can be in the finish again. Read trainer Gabrielle Englebrecht's comments here.
How to play it: Nicconita E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Nicconita’s first-up effort at Randwick on December 26