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Neil Evans' Tips For Canterbury (Friday night)

By Neil Evans

Track Heavy 8/9 and rail out 6m so likely on or just off the speed early before trending wider as the meeting goes on

Race 1 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1550m):

Testing middle distance race for the maidens to get us underway, and there are a stack of chances. The step up in trip is ideal for progressive Godolphin gelding 2. Charles Seven who has finished off nicely at his last last two, and Group 1-winning sire was a beauty in wet ground.

Dangers: One of three Chris Waller-trained runners, filly 7. Saigon hasn't been too far away in some good quality maidens all prep, but on breeding alone, this could be her big chance. By prolific wet track sire I Am Invincible out of a NZ-bred mare who won seven times from 22 starts up to Listed level, six of them on soft or heavy ground! Stablemate 3YO filly 4. Dancing Gidget was good late second-up in a handy maiden on the Kensington track, and draws to get plenty of cover, but failed at only previous run in heavy ground. The third Waller charge, colt 1. Impactful was big odds charging home late on debut in that same Kensington maiden, but up 2.5kg on a tighter track in these conditions is a tough follow-up; while Randwick filly 8. Strange Charm has trialled nicely since a sound second-up run on the Kensington track, and was placed as a 2YO in heavy ground.

How to play it: Charles Seven each way and first four four 2,4,7/1,2,4,7,8/1,2,4,7,8/1,2,4,7,8. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split

Race 2 F & M BM 70 HCP (1550m):

Same journey now for the older girls, and just as open. Like the value about Warwick Farm 4YO 6. Tereka who is still progressing, and didn't get things to suit second-up in a BM 64 at Kembla. Extra trip is vital, drawn to get cover, and should get through the ground being by Pierro.

Dangers: Randwick 5YO 2. The Promise can rattle off a slick final 400m, but seems better suited on bigger tracks. Didn't fire last start this grade at Warwick Farm, but charged home late in all previous three at Rosehill and Randwick. Forgiving of 4YO Rosehill mare 3. Seles who had been continually around the money in deeper company before failing to run on in the heavy this track last start. Has performed in the wet, so expecting her to bounce back. Expect sharp improvement from Newcastle 5YO 1. Chilli Cha Cha who didn't give a yelp first-up in a slick BM 70 at Warwick Farm, but she's a second-up specialist and bred to handle these conditions.

How to play it: Tereka each way and box trifecta 1,2,3,6. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 3 F & M BM 70 HCP (1250m):

Still with the fillies and mares, and not getting off Warwick Farm 4YO 1. Aim For Perfection just yet. Has been flat in three runs this prep when hard in the market, pulling up with a slow recovery after the latest failure, but trainer has trialled her successfully in heavy ground, and she gets the conditions and distance to suit.

Dangers: Gold Coast 4YO mare 2. Seentoomany is building a nice record, and flew home to win a Class 3 first-up at the Sunshine Coast. Weighted to her best in this grade, but is by Sebring and already shown a genuine liking for wet ground. Lightly raced Warwick Farm 5YO 5. Majella resumes off two trials, and made smart progress winning two of three in her first prep. Can finish on at the business end. Don't dismiss Wyong 4YO 6. Margie Bee who looks outclassed after dropping out badly first-up leading over 1000m, but her only two wins have both come in wet ground, and senior and more vigorous rider jumps on.

How to play it: Aim For Perfection to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 BM 70 HCP (1900m):

Always an intriguing battle of tactics and tempo over this trip. Rosehill 5YO mare 2. Mountain Breath is an emerging UK-bred staying type who has found the line nicely in her two runs back from a long spell against stronger. Can peak here, although some query first time in heavy ground.

Dangers: Progressive 4YO Rosehill mare 5. Peace Of Mind gave nothing else a chance over the mile at Gosford two runs back before hitting the line strong at Kembla. Primed for this longer trip now, and is versatile. Warwick Farm 7YO gelding 1. Dylan's Romance has led and been overwhelmed in his last two, but this is a drop back in class, and with a vital 3kg claim off-setting the weight, could take some catching in suitably heavy ground; while 6YO Warwick Farm gelding 4. Fabricator has a solid record this track, and also partial to rain-affected ground.

How to play it: Mountain Breath to win and box exacta 1,2,5. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 5 BM 70 HCP (1550m):

Competitive clash with plenty of chances again. Promising and lightly raced 4YO Kembla gelding 4. Think It Over looks well placed after surging home from well back first-up at Warwick Farm. Bred to handle the ground, and second-up last prep went down narrowly at Scone.

Dangers: Progressive 4YO Kembla mare 1. Monegal was terrific surging through the pack to win the Bega Cup third-up, and while the handicapper hasn't missed her coming back to town, 3kg claim keeps her well in the race.

How to play it: Think It Over to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Think It Over runs second at Warwick Farm on January 27

Race 6 BM 72 HCP (1100m):

High class 4YO Gosford gelding 1. Sir Elton was no match for Pandemic first-up at Randwick, but this is a drop in quality, and won both previous runs second-up and in heavy ground. Against that, has to cart 62kg from a wide barrier so the writing could well be on the wall after a furlong.

Dangers: Unbeaten new kid on the block 4YO Rosehill gelding 9. Pinvincible returns from a lengthy spell after winning both starts at the provincials, and while this is tougher, draws well and won an open trial in Soft 6.

How to play it: Sir Elton to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.

Race 7 BM 76 HCP (1250m):

Good competitive race. Warwick Farm 6YO gelding 11. Accelerato is ready to win again after three very progressive runs back. Has gone down narrowly continually surging home from midfield, and even better advantaged on a wet track and down a little in weight. Wide draw shouldn't be a hinderance late in the program.

Dangers: Warwick Farm 6YO gelding 2. Oriental Runner wasn't far away in that BM 78 behind Pandemic, and has since bolted in a trial on a Heavy 9 rating. Will need the breaks going forward from a wide gate, but senior rider knows him well. Newcastle 5YO gelding 4. Condor is hard fit, and is a proven weight carrier in wet or dry ground. Draws to get an economical run right behind the speed, and will be hard to hold out. Wyong 6YO gelding 5. Manhattan Mist isn't overly well treated at the weights fourth-up, but comes back from three super honest runs at BM 78 level, and has a liking for wet ground; while honest 7YO Kembla gelding 8. Coolotta has been game from the front at big odds in his last two, and drops significantly in weight, but this is tougher and unproven on heavy tracks.

How to play it: Accelerato to win and trifecta 2,11/2,4,5,8,11/2,4,5,8,11. Odds and Evens: Split.

Accelerato runs second at Canterbury on January 31

Race 8 3YO BM 64 HCP (1250m):

Tough one to finish, although emerging Rosehill filly 11. Valdostana can go on with it after cracking her maiden at second start as a hot favourite at Kembla. Previously had charged home late in soft ground, and looks to have plenty of scope.

Dangers: Promising Warwick Farm colt 2. Quiet Riot did a nice job in good time on debut. Paid the price, though, up 5kg from that win, but previously cruised home in a trial on Soft 6 ground. After banging on the door all prep, Randwick filly 6. Best Stone broke through for an easy and deserved maiden win here last start. but tough ask taking the next step in untested ground.

How to play it: Valdostana to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

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

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