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Canberra Racing Review – Friday 23 April 2021

The Rail was out 7m and the track presented as a Good 4. Sydney’s John Thompson trained three winners. Nick Olive got a double. Blaike McDougall rode a double as did Jay Ford, including on the upset winner of the Federal.


Race 1 (1300m) Open 2

Silk Tie 2.80 ran a firm favourite and just took the race out from Clyde $8 and the second-elect Left Reeling $4.

Silk Tie was nicely positioned behind the speed. Clyde sat midfield on the rail but raced keenly in the middle stages. Left Reeling was tardy away and tailed the field when they settled.  Silk Tie manoeuvred out on turning and sprinted to the lead with bold galloper Clyde chasing hard on his outside and Left Reeling putting in a big run down the middle. McDougall got Silk Tie up in a blanket go. Never Astern $41 came home well late in fourth beaten 1.2L.

The sweet McDougall ride won this for Silk Tie. The two behind both had excuses, especially Left Reeling. The debutant gave away too much start but was finishing best and would have made it interesting if she’d settled closer. A couple didn’t have much luck early in the straight and there was merit in the run of the longshot Encyclopedia, who boxed-on well after a very tough run. Danish Prince $5.50 met some difficulties in the run and didn’t finish it off.  


Race 2 (1400m) MDN SW

It looked a two-horse race on paper and that’s the way it panned out. Toostar $1.55F beat Bella Violet $2.70 by a nose, with 1.2L to Aurora Florentina $21 in third.

Bella Violet positioned on the rail stalking the leading pair with Toostar balanced up behind her. Aurora Florentina was caught wide on jumping and retrained to tail the field. Bella Violet got to the front early but Toostar was coming as was Aurora Florentina down the outside. Bella Florentina fought bravely to be nudged out on the line. Lenny’s Lad $19 had sat outside the leader and was dogged finishing fourth beaten less than 2L. They were well clear of the others. Expect the form to hold up.


Race 3 (1200m) MDN

Another quinella for the two best supported. Kibosh $2.7F made it a double for the John Thompson–Blaike McDougall linkage beating the well-supported Urban Warrior $5 by half a length, with a big space back to Old Man Emu $15 in third.

There was a keen go for the lead with Kibosh taking over before the 600m with Sea Stitch $6 on the filly’s outside racing keen and keeping the pressure on. Old Man Emu got the perfect sit on the rail behind the pair. Urban Warrior was midfield in clear air retrained, but always looking as if he had plenty to offer. In the stretch Sea Stitch was soon under pressure and Kibosh held a clear advantage at the 100m with Urban Warrior finishing hard. The winner was strong at the line and it was a decent effort given she’s had no peace in front. These two had plenty on the rest. There was merit in the run of the Nick Olive debutant Sojo $7 who had no luck early in the stretch and finished the race off okay.    


Race 4 (1400m) CL1

The money came for the Nick Olive-trained Sly Song $3.10F and she held off Legal Challenge $5.50 by a half length on the line. Rubaiya $4.40 was a big drifter and was disappointingly beaten 4L. Post race she was found to have bled for a second time and incurred the mandatory lifetime ban from racing. Divine Future $12 and Morgenstern $6.50 filled the other minor slots and were not too far away.

They were bunched early with Morgenstern making the lead with Rubaiya sitting on the gelding. Legal Challenge was nicely positioned one-out-one-back and Sly Song bided her time behind these.

Morgenstern kicked on turning and Divine Future pushed through on the inside of Rubaiya. Sly Song was the widest on turning and came hard to finish best. Legal Challenge and Divine Future were involved in a bumping duel prior to the 100m and the former may have got closer had that not ensued. Good efforts by all three. The winner was presented at peak fitness on a 5-day return and the former Victorian looks capable of winning more races.


Race 5 (2000m) CL1

Sydney trainer John Thompson made it a winning treble when Himiko $1.80F just nudged out the second market-elect Stylebender who was backed into $4.20. The only other runner in the market was Mossy Oak $7 who was beaten 10L and rider McDougall said the gelding may not have run out the 2000m and raced like a tired horse. He will now be spelled.

The first three to finish were all in the leading division on settling. The eventual third-placegetter Timastu $31 led with Himiko sitting comfortably outside him and Stylebender settled one-one. Himiko took over at the 1000m and picked up the tempo. He gave a kick into the stretch with Stylebender emerging as the danger. The winner held that runner on the line getting up by a half-length. Although well beaten Dark Alibi $21 was finishing the race off nicely wide out in a run worth noting from a future viewpoint. As the market indicated there were few live hopes but that didn’t detract from the nice efforts of the first two home.  


Race 6 (1400m) BM 70 — Federal

Well-supported favourites delivered in the first five races but the bookies struck back in the Federal when the Queanbeyan-trained Onsettling Down delivered at $21. In a blanket go he beat Perfect Pitch $5.50, Propose To Me $2.25F and Zelago $4.60 and Delivered $81 was close-up in fifth.

Onsettling Down was presenting from a 58 grade win on his home track and it was a leap of faith to consider him at 70 level. It was keen early and Zelago worked to get over and sit on a fired up leader. The favourite Propose To Me got a sweet run off the rail and behind the speed.  Onsettling Down and Perfect Pitch sat rearward. As they headed for home Zelago soon got the better of the leader, but Propose To Me was coming and took a narrow lead before Onsettling Down and Perfect Pitch came with swooping late runs to get over him. They were decent runs against the pattern. Zelago had to work early and Propose To Me had every chance. Onsettling Down is flying and his effort to beat some handy 70 graders in the fashion he did, has to be taken at face value.


Race 7 (1000m) BM65

Three runners were in the market and back in grade it was the Vella-trained The Unknown Factor $4.40 who got the chocolates by a lip from All In Rhythm $16, with Scalded $12 1L away in third and the favourite a whisker back in fourth. 2.8L covered the entire field on the line.

They ran along at a decent clip early. The Unknown Factor began awkwardly and then raced very wide throughout. He sat midfield and began a forward move at the 600m and was in striking range on turning. All In Rhythm also raced wide throughout and had a wall in front early in the stretch. Scalded had a nice rails-sit behind the speed. The Unknown Factor took over at the 200m but the split opened for All In Rhythm who came with big strides to just-miss. Scaled held third along the paint just pipping the favourite Our Finvarra $3.80 who was last and widest on turning and made up lengths. All honours the winner who did it tough and was a sitting duck but still proved too strong on the line. Undeniable $2.70-$4.20 was strung-up midfield and had to be restrained prior to turning, but was still disappointing.  


Race 8 (1600m) BM60

The winner Larmour was backed in from $13 to $9.0 and upset the short-priced favourite Shenandoah $1.95, a short-half-head in it on the line. Casino Time $8 and Fox Beat $26 were hard to split next, just over a length from the winner.

McDougall went straight to the front on the favourite with the blinkers on and then slowed them up noticeably at the 800m. The winner and placegetters were all positioned in forward positions. Shenandoah put a break on them as they headed for home and looked in for a comfortable win. However, Larmour was able to come across heals at the 150m and really pinned her ears back to pounce on the line. Shenandoah was lifting to the mile and it wasn’t disgraced attempting to make all.  Larmour likely appreciated the dryer surface and the market suggested a bolder run was on the cards. A decent effort from Fox Beat, who raced wide throughout and didn’t have the best of it in the straight.