18 January race day review

There were a couple of upsets, but overall the form held up well at Friday's meeting in the capital -- which commenced at the earlier time of 10.15am.

In Race 7, the $40,000 TAB Federal the scratchings of Safe Landing and Polyxena left the door open for the Joe Ible-trained sprinter MANZANA to score a deserved win as a $2.7 favourite   -- delivering from front in style. Ible has always had an opinion of the Pendragon gelding and he can go on with it based on that performance.

Manzana was ridden by the much improved apprentice Paddy Scorse who rated him beautifully. Scorse currently sits in third-equal in the ACT Jockey premiership with Brendan Ward, behind equal leaders Kayla Nisbet and Billy Owen.

Ward is hitting his straps and was seen at his best in Race 4, the Tetlow Legal CL1 aboard the Nick Olive trained LUGA LAD. Starting $6.5 LUGA Lad was given a perfect run settling outside the leader HONOUR THE ONE and headed in the straight fought back under strong riding to win, with the fast finishing STRATUM’S ROSE in third.

Sydney trainers Peter and Paul Snowden have a sharp strike rate at Canberra and there was much anticipation around the debut of URALLA KINGDOM in Race 5, the Women In Racing Canberra Maiden.

The 3yo Camelot filly presented off a Randwick trial placing and duly saluted in a ding dong go to the line. She drifted from $4.0 to $4.7 and after sitting on the rail behind the speed, slowly worked into it and held off the fast finishing (and impressive) DUCHESS OF WINDSOR, trained at Warwick Farm by Matthew Smith.

Uralla Kingdom raced as if she would take plenty of improvement from the outing.

The Matt Dale-trained TE ATA was another well-supported winner on the day, saluting in the Black Opal Bookings BM 65 and $3.9.

He sat three wide most of the way and it was a big effort to hold out TRUMBO in a good go to the line. SMILING AT SHADOWS shaped to go past them but couldn’t go on with it placing third.

Te Ata had won well at Canberra two runs prior and returned to that level of form.  

The shortest priced winner on the day was the Clare Cunningham-trained ELKANO who won the John McGrath Maserati CL1 over 2,000m by a space.

Elkano came off provincial placings and was given a peach of a ride by Chad Lever. The 4yo Lonhro gelding sat last in the six horse field smoking his pipe and on the turn Lever elected to stay inside and the gap opened. He burned off PICCARO who looked a chance for a brief second, before drawing away to win by 4.2L.

More wins look in store for this fellow.

In Race 3, the Lion 3yo Maiden, the Trevor McIlrick-trained FARTHING WOOD scored a deserved victory comfortably accounting for WHO’S SHOUT and PARIS LIGHT at $4.50.

Farthing Wood was having her third run for the stable after transferring from the Darren Weir yard in Victoria. She was another to sit off them on the rail and enjoyed a good split in the straight. The filly certainly hasn’t gone backwards and more wins are on the cards.      

There was a minor upset in Race 2, the Become A Member BM 65 when DANGEROUS BREEDING at $11.0  came off the rail to just beat POLAR STAR with POLYXENA and JELLIES (in particular) finishing it off well.

Quaddie punters were reeling when FAIRY BEAST took out Race 8, the Affinity Electrical Technologies Maiden at $20 for the Longmires. The mare improved off the Nowra placing and really pegged her ears back to come over the top of them in what was a very competitive contest.