Canberra has its best midweek city representation for a while, with three horses lining up at Canterbury Wednesday. The market suggests the Gratz Vella-trained Stephan will be the most prominent of them racing in the third event, a BM 72 over 1100m. Last start Stephan was up sharply in grade at Rosehill and just missed the placings after a tough run. Vella says the horse continues to please and the speedy galloper draws the ace and retains the handy 3kg claim for Canberra apprentice Aaron Sweeney.
Up-and-coming Canberra trainer Joe Ible is switching plans for a couple of his better gallopers following Canberra’s reinstatement to country status, enabling its horses to again compete in Highway Handicaps.
Ible described yesterday’s announcement by Racing NSW as “fantasitic” and said it would revitalise local stables after a drop-off in owner enquiries and the quality of horses being presented for training.
Victorian-trained Severn Road is a certain starter at Friday’s Canberra race meeting on the Acton synthetic surface.
The now 10 year old Severn Road is trained by Jamie Edwards at Emsley Lodge at Freshwater Creek, 15 minutes out of Geelong.
Edwards said Severn Road is a “duffer” on the wet and enjoys synthetic surfaces.
“He’s hit his mark in Victoria and is carrying a lot of weight — and is often competing against horses from leading city yards,” Edwards said.
“We thought Friday’s race looked a good option for him.
Joseph, Jones & Jones is a name befitting a prestigious law firm, but it represents in fact, Canberra’s newest thoroughbred training partnership.
After six years ‘off and on’ as foreman to Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones, son and younger brother Matt Jones is officially joining the family team as a third co-trainer.
Matt Jones has always had a close involvement in the stable operations, and especially in the last year when his brother Paul was out of action for three months recovering from knee reconstruction.
Following the Racing NSW announcements on prize money increases, and the introduction of the $1.3 million Kosciuszko for country trained horses at Randwick in October, the Canberra Racing Club Committee will consider a number of race programming and prize money options.
Canberra Jockey Kayla Nisbet set the Moruya meeting alight on Monday booting home four winners.
Nisbet built on her two winners at Friday’s Canberra meeting on the Acton in the capital, including on Shezacraftsman in the $50,000 TAB Federal.
Having overcome injuries and illness, Nisbet’s success is well deserved and her services are increasingly in demand.
At Moruya, Nisbet rode a double for leading Canberra trainer Matt Dale and was on Melberra Star who returned to the winners list for Canberra’s Luke Pepper.
Canberra trainer Gratz Vella will have a handy representation at Friday’s meeting on the Acton track, headed by STEPHAN.
The stable always performs at this time of the year and has produced a creditable 12 winners this season at Canberra.
Stephan lines up in Race 2, the Club Lime Benchmark 67, seeking the hat trick.
The 5yo Krupt gelding had his first run in August 2015 placing third in a Canberra Maiden and then was off the scene for nearly three years with a frustrating run of setbacks.
Simply Striking saluted at the Grafton carnival Wednesday for Sutton trainer Neil Osborne and Canberra comeback hoop Billy Owen.
Osborne is a regular participant at the carnival and presented Simply Striking (4.00) in top order for the BM 55 over 1100m.
Simply Striking came off a solid fourth at Grafton almost a week ago and Osborne brought him back a touch in trip and put the blinkers on.
“Good gate and good ride”, Osborne said after the win.
Owen said Simply Striking gave him a good feel going to the gates and he gave him the perfect ride.
Injuries to jockeys Matt Cahill and Brendon Ward have left the door open for Goulburn-based Richard Bensley to win his first ACT Jockey Premiership.
With just two Canberra meetings of the 2017-18 racing season remaining, Bensley sits six wins behind Cahill who has been on the sidelines with a hand injury incurred in June in a race fall at Wellington.
Cahill finished second in last year’s premiership, two wins behind Ward, whose season was cruelled when he fractured a hip in a track work incident in December.
Canberra Cup winner ALMOST COURT is back in work with a Melbourne spring campaign planned.
Co-trainer Paul Jones, says Almost Court is likely to target the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes first-up over a mile at Moonee Valley.
Jones says the former New Zealand gelding has been nominated for some of the better spring races and the Dato’ will provide them with an indication of how he shapes up.
“He’s been back in work for five weeks and is in good order,” Jones said.