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Canberra Racing Review — 13 December 2020

The rail was in the True position and it raced fairly rated a Good 4. Jeff Penza and Blaike McDougall shared riding honours with two winners apiece. We saw Penza at his very best with terrific front running rides on Royal Thunder and Successful Day.


 Race 1 (2000m) CL1


The winner COMMAND KING (1st) $1.55 was backed to the exclusion of all but LAPHROAIG $6.50 - $5.00. He completely botched the start and was tailed off and eased down in the straight. The stewards determined he’d got a fair start and will have to barrier trial satisfactorily before racings again.


Command King had the Maiden on debut and had placed twice after that at the provincials over the mile. He enjoyed a soft run midfield on an even tempo and began a sharp forward move at the 600m along with WONDALGA (2nd) $17 on his outside. Command King led down the stretch but Wondalga wouldn’t go away before prevailing by less than a length. HAYATE (3rd) $26 was well beaten but was finishing it off well clear of the rest.

The winner ran out the middle distance after the sustained run but it was a bit close for comfort for those who took the prohibitive odds. Wondalga improved off the Maiden win at the mile and plenty of merit in his effort. Not sure about the overall form out of this.


Race 2 (1000m) Open 2


A stack of scratchings with WILSONS PROM $1.55 (2nd) and BLINDING LIGHT $3.70 (3rd) the only ones wanted in the market. Wilson’s Prom was first across the line but was relegated to second on protest by ROCKET TIGER $16 (1st).

On the evidence the Stewards determined that passing the 50m Wilsons Prom shifted out making heavy contact with Rocket Tiger. They were satisfied that if the interference had not occurred Rocket Tiger would have finished ahead of Wilson’s Prom.  Jockey Brodie Loy was suspended as a result of his ride.

The winner was on debut off a non-placed trial at Albury on the heavy and drifted from $8.50 to the $16 starting price.


Race 3 (1400m) Mdn SW


With a key scratching CROWNED BY ACES $1.40 (1st) was heavily backed with KUNG FU MUSHU $6.50 and BIG STEVE $9 clearly the next best supported.  

Just a moderate tempo with Kung Fu Mushu trailing the leader and Crowned By Aces sitting in her outside. Fiorzana held the lead on turning with Big Steve pressuring after sitting facing the breeze. The winner presented four wide on turning and took over before the 200m. Kung Fu Mushu had some trouble getting into the clear but didn’t come on. The winner proved to have too much class winning 1L from ITA $14 (2nd) and MANDALORIAN $26 (3rd), with both finishing well from back and they will have pleased connections from a future view point. They all got their chance and the Maher-Eustace-trained winner looks progressive.  


Race 4 (1200m) Mdn


The Team Snowden-trained SHOCK ZONE $2.45 was backed into a clear favourite but could only manage 5th in a blanket finish with the 8th placed horse finishing just 1.7L from the winner GALACTIC WARRIOR $6 (1st ) on debut off a Canberra trial placing. 

 STRIXEN $31 (3rd) found the front from JOBKEEPER $7.50 (3rd) and later Hayyu pulled her way up to sit outside them. The favourite got a nice run behind the leaders. The winner was back and strung up in traffic on turning.


Strixen was still in front at the 100m but Jobkeeper got him at the 50m and looked at all-over winner before Galactic Warrior came down the middle in a withering burst to win by a lip enjoying a cool Guymer ride. Shock Zone was positioned to win but couldn’t quite finish it off. Strixen was very tough at long odds and the run would have pleased the Portelli yard. The winner looks to have a good future. And not much between the others as the finish testifies.   


Race 5 (2000m) Bm70 – Federal


Only five runners went around in the Federal over the middle distance and the market was emphatic that this would be the day for ROYAL THUNDER $1.75 (1st) and so it proved. HAVADUEL $3.5 (3rd) drifted to $3.7L and was beaten 4L.

The winner sat outside the leader Intueri early but Penza elected to take over at the 1400m racing kindly at an okay gallop. He upped the temp at the 700m with GLOBALIZE $11 (2nd) ridden along and improving. Royal Thunder led over 3L at the 200m going boldly and while Globalise closed late he was too good. Havaduel was doing his best work late though well beaten. Royal Thunder was up from the mile and saw it right out courtesy of a well-measured Penza ride. Globalize turned the recent form around and he was brave.


Race 6 (1200m) CL1


The three best-bet made the trifecta with the Team Snowden REQUITED $4.40 (1st) getting the cash by a lip from NUREMBURG CASTLE $4.20 (2nd). The firmer was MANDALONG NICKO $5.50 (3rd). He’d placed second here a month ago behind Wandonna.


It was a keen go early for the lead with Add On finding the front before Rheingau worked around him. Nuremburg Castle worked though to position one off the rail behind the speed with Requited on his inside. Mandalong Nicko was worse than midfield and was held up for some distance passing the 500m. The two speedsters looked sitting ducks on turning with Requited the first to challenge with Nuremburg Castle outside him and it was a ding-dong go with only a nose in it on the line. Mandalong Nicko finished it off well beaten less than 1L just pipping BOHO CHICK $7.50 (4th) who’d scooted home along the rail and had to wait for a clear run. Good efforts all four and the form should stack up.

Race 7 (1200m) BM65


FUSCA $3.80 ran favourite off the impressive 60 win and missed the placings after a slow start. The next two best- bet VOX POP $5 (1st) and EUROSAY ($5.50 (2nd) quinelled the race in that order. HEZREDHOT drifted from $3.70 to $7 and was beaten 7.5L. The gelding ran intractably and the jockey said in his view the horse needed a near-side bubble cheeker fitted and would be better leading. The trainer concurred and a warning was recorded against the gelding’s racing matters. Equal Balance missed the start badly. Action Shale was slow to begin and raced wide throughout.


It was quick early with El Nieto shooting to the lead before Vox Pop took over. AMEARES $10 (3rd) settled on the rail behind the leader with Eurosay in the clear behind them. Vox Pop was 2L clear at the 200m and ran it out strongly to win 1L with nothing really threatening the placegetters. Vox Pop is a tough on-pacer who can win again. Things didn’t really work out for Fusca and prepared to give another chance.


Race 8 (1400m) BM60


The winner SUCCESSFUL DAY (1st) was over the odds early and firmed to a $2.90 before bolting in by nearly 3L. The only other runner given a realistic chance was NO COLLUSION $4.50 and he was eased down inside the last 200 beaten a mile. The jockey told Stewards his mount didn’t appreciate the firm track and felt uncomfortable in his action. He will now be spelled with a number of provisos before he races again.


Successful Day worked to the lead at a good clip and had put 2L on them passing the 800m and at the 600m had most off the bit. He was 3L in front at the 200 and showing no signs of stopping. There was a line-up across the track for the minors with AWAY SHE GOES $12 (2nd) flashing down the outside ahead of Say Goodbye. Away She Goes had blundered the start and the effort was good. She’ll be winning soon. The winner had a bit on them and it was another well-measured Penza ride. The Nick Olive-trained mare is worth following.