By Neil Evans
Track around Soft 7/Heavy 8 and rail out 6m
|Race 1 2YO MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
We open with the two-year-olds, and US-bred colt 5. Kooled steps out for the first time. Has found the line well in two trials after being slow to begin, and looks ready to go.
Dangers: Godolphin colt 1. Bacchanalia returns from a good first-up effort in the much stronger Listed Blue Diamond Preview, although drawn off the track. Godolphin filly 12. Camplin bounced to the front on debut at the Kensington track before wilting, but fitter now on the smaller circuit is a clear boost from the good draw. Improving colt 8. Single Honor debuted in that same maiden behind a smart winner.
How to play it: Kooled to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 3YO MAIDEN PLATE (1250m):|
This sets up well for promising gelding 2. Military Parade third-up in his first prep. Hit the line on debut here when well backed before luckless at Warwick Farm when caught wide with no cover, but still finished hard to miss by a long head. Untried in these conditions, but is by prolific wet track sire I Am Invincible, and the one to beat.
Dangers: Improving filly 5. Latin Lyric is on the cusp after attacking the line in three runs this prep; while Spirit Of Boom filly 7. Spirituality can also improve second-up from the good gate.
How to play it: Military Parade to win. Odds and Evens: Split a special
Military Parade runs second at Warwick Farm on February 10
|Race 3 CANTERBURY NIGHT SPRINT SERIES - HEAT 5 (1100m)|
Another even sprint battle at BM 72 grade. Progressive four-year-old stallion 3. Key Largo loves it wet, and can make it three straight after a terrific closing win at Canberra under a big weight when forced to negotiate a path to the extreme outside in search of better ground. It was a brilliant ride from Keagan Latham, and they arrive in town at the right time, drawn the inside.
Dangers: Smart four-year-old 2. Vienna Rain hasn't raced for more than six months, but generally comes to hand quickly, and look forward enough winning a recent trial. Include improving four-year-old 7. El Cohete who has hit the line against similar opposition in his last two, and is hard fit deep into the prep.
How to play it: Key Largo to win and quinella 2 and 3. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 BENCHMARK 72 HCP (1100m):|
Good quality sprint for the older mares. Talented mare 1. Brazen Gem is an almost bullet-proof type sprinter who can box seat from the inside gate. Just missed in the heavy two runs back before scoring a dominant and overdue win here on firmer ground against similar opposition. Up in weight, but the one to beat.
Dangers: Improving mare 5. Estrado made some late ground behind Vulpine, and gets a more suitable soft track, but would need to find a length or two.
How to play it: Brazen Gem to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 5 3YO BENCHMARK 68 HCP (1550m):|
Progressive filly 5. Harmonium (also accepted for the Canberra Guineas Preview) has plenty of upside, and should have won last start here when held up badly at a crucial stage. Had finished well in three previous runs, and should thrive in these conditions with top metro hoop booked.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by progressive gelding 3. Macleay who looks ready to win again fifth-up. Made up a stack of late ground in a BM 64 on Australia Day, and carries 2kg less. Was scratched from Newcastle on Thursday to run here. Front-running 4. Anotherthinkcomin' was a dominant maiden winner before only run down late in a provincial BM 64. Will likely cross from a wide barrier and again give them something to catch.
How to play it: Harmonium to win and box exacta 3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split
Harmonium's last start at Canterbury on February 12
|Race 6 BENCHMARK 72 HCP (1900m):|
Out in distance we go, and typically the exotic punters can have some fun here. Going with improving mare 8. Dinado who got home late in a similar race here only a week ago. Sparingly raced and still on the up, and can settle closer from a better draw.
Dangers: Hard to find one who has gone so close without winning as tough five-year-old 7. Silent Agenda having only gone under by a head or less in his last three. Hard fit, will roll forward again in a similar race on the quick back-up, and still well weighted only half kilo over the limit. Despite the rise in grade, in-form mare 5. Duchess Of Windsor is well placed at the weights after finishing best to win her last two at BM 64 provincial level. Like a few of them, 1. Dalmatia Prince is an each-way hope improving third-up over more ground; while four-year-old mare 9. Enduring Night draws the inside, and is on the next line.
How to play it: Dinado each way and trifecta 5,7,8/1,5,7,8,9/1,5,7,8,9. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 BENCHMARK 78 HCP (1550m):|
Another open middle distance contest for the older horses. Nice mare 5. Welsh Legend has more progression than the rest, and finds a suitable race second-up. Got home well resuming behind a very smart one, and like most of the Camelot stock, prefers it soft.
Dangers: Talented five-year-old 2. Bergen can pick and choose a bit, but his best in these conditions would make him hard to beat. Won two straight at metro BM 72 grade before charging home late in tougher grade. Draws to get cover back in the field, and will be strong late. Another honest five-year-old 6. Above And Beyond was a dominant BM 78 winner three runs back, and drawn to get a soft run here midfield from the inside draw. Include consistent provincial mare 10. Miss Redoble who won here in heavy going two runs back; and improving mare 9. Tepario who is unbeaten in three starts on soft tracks.
How to play it: Welsh Legend to win and trifecta 2,5,6/2,5,6,9,10/2,5,6,9,10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BENCHMARK 72 HCP (1250m)|
Tricky finish, although keen at big odds on lightly raced four-year-old 5. Stormy Rock fourth-up. Swept home from the back to win a weaker race three starts back before charging late to miss narrowly in consecutive metro races this grade. Excels on rain-affected ground, and can run a telling final 400m.
Dangers: Progressive colt 3. Equation got the job done nicely first-up off a six month spell and under a big weight. Drawn to get a similar run, and both wins so far from only three starts have come in soft ground. Exciting filly 13. Jenga exploded on debut thrashing a handy maiden field, but this is a serious test drawn right off the track; while a colt on the rise, 14. Rule Of Law is better suited here third-up after feeling the pressure in the Inglis Sprint.
How to play it: Stormy Rock each way and box trifecta 3,5,13,14. Odds and Evens: Odds