Canberra Racing Review Friday 7 February 2020
The track was downgraded to a soft 5 at 1:51pm. Jockeys wanted to keep away from the rail and the conditions wouldn't have suited all.
Race 1 (1000m) Open 2
Mostly debutants and it was $4.0 the field. ELISEO ($7) proved too good improving off a trial placing at Newcastle. The colt had early market support, but drifted late to the starting quote. He led and raced truly and was able to just hold off ONE SUPER CHICK * ($7) who raced three wide throughout and was genuinely unlucky. Good efforts too from DIFFERENT TIME ($5) and DANCIN' TIL DAWN (6) who both raced new and will be much better next time with the extra fitness and learning. ILE FLOTTANTE ran a $4 favourite but didn’t finish it off, getting his chance. JESTA DIVA ($4.8) was a noticeable firmer, but didn’t get into it. The jockey reported that the filly raced greenly and may have resented the kickback.
Race 2 (1600m) CL1
LADY KIRKHAM (1.8F) and POWER LIFT ($3.6) were the only two that punters wanted and fought it out in a ding-dong go to the line. Both sat off a moderate speed and presented together outside middle on turning. Lady Kirkham may have got her nose in front, but Power Lift fought strongly to win a half head. EAGLEHAWK ($7) battled on okay and AROHA DIAMOND ($31) made ground. The stewards looked into an incident 50m after the start when Lady Kirkham was contacted and taken out slightly by Power Lift, but were satisfied there was not sufficient ground for a protest. All honours the top two.
Race 3 (2000m) BM65
Punter weren’t quite sure where to settle their money before zoning on DARK CONFIDANT * ($2.9F) and the front-running PROLONGO ($3.5) with the 4kg claim. Matt Dale looked to have two strong chances, but TRIBBIANI ($7.5) was the one to drift, with Dark Confident firming. TRYING ($9) took out the race courtesy of a patient ride from the in-form Blake McDougall – who, incidentally, did the district proud by winning the Group 3 Bow Mistress in Hobart on Sunday. PROLONGO has to work to find the lead and sat two horses off the rail. Dark Confident was given a rails hugging ride just behind the speed. Trying sat comfortably behind a packed bunch with just Tribbiani behind him. They were right across the track midway down the straight with Trying on the outside prevailing from the Dale pair in a tight go. SHAKE ON IT ($5.50) was a close up in fourth. Good efforts all four and Dark Confidant in particular can springboard off her effort. Prolongo was asked to do too much and was beaten off.
Race 4 (1000m) Maiden
It was an all Sydney finish. DEEP CRYSTAL* ($1.5) was backed as if unbeatable for trainer Matthew Smith and so it proved, bringing up a riding double for McDougall. The market got it right with the Waterhouse-Bott debutant ABSOLUTE PUZZLE ($5.5) running second and ENAMOUR ($6) for John O’Shea making third. There was a fair charge with Absolute Puzzle and CALCULATED RISK ($26) settling in the lead, well off the rail. McDougall had Deep Crystal beautifully-placed behind the leading group and she was presented perfectly through a gap on turning. The filly raced away to win by a space and there’s more in store for her. RADIOHEAD ($31) was slow away, but most of the other contestants looked to have their chance.
Race 5 (1300m) Maiden
MONSTROSITY (3.7F) was best backed and just proved too strong winning for the Joe Pride yard. The bold striding galloper looked well-placed and had to do a bit of work from an outside gate to lead the field as expected. Lever worked him out to the preferred centre of the track and half way down the straight they were emerging from everywhere. In our preview we suggested STAND YOUR GROUND * ($16) could be a smokey from the Norm Gardner yard and filly showed a sharp turn of foot to dart back to the rail (against the pattern) to miss a lip. There was a lot to like about that effort and her apprentice rider Ellen Hennessy continues to impress and is worth every bit of her 3kg claim. RIVERSTOCK ($16) finished it off okay in third and looks to have more to offer. MADAM SECRETARY ($11) was in the market on debut for the hot Sydney yard and was slow to get going and a little green.
Race 6 (1300m) CL1
CLASSIC GAMING ($2.45F) brought a progressive profile to the race for a leading yard and won as the market expected, given a lovely ride from Brody Loy. He sat quietly on the rail behind a couple of long-shot leaders and was a clear leader on turning as they positioned out wider. Loy has enough gap to work the gelding out to the preferred middle section of the track and he held his margin with little separating the next three, CYBORG ($6), WARDECK ($11) and CANYONERO ($4.4), who all returned pleasing efforts. YOUR KNUCKLESHIP ($4.80) was the unlucky runner caught three wide throughout and he will keep.
Race 7 (1400m) BM70 FEDERAL
SUPREME POLARITY ($12) ran them along as expected and the apprentice had him two lengths clear at the 800m. He held that advantage on turning and under hard riding held off the hard finishing and well-backed MOOKAREENA * ($3.7F) by a length. We’d promoted Supreme Polarity’s winning chances in our preview and it was a good training effort by Nick Olive and he would have been most pleased with Noble’s ride. We’d also pointed out the unlucky aspects of Mookareena’s previous effort and the mare again didn’t have the best of it racing very wide throughout. She’s busting to win. The rest were well-beaten, but expect better efforts from the more fancied on a fairer track. ROSIRO ($8) was slow to begin and YOUSAY BOLT ($6) raced three wide throughout.
Race 8 (1200m) BM60
FLORA BEL ($3.4) was backed in a full point to start favourite, but took little part in the race after clipping heals and knuckling after the start, with McDougall losing the use of his irons and coming off. MAJOR TOM ($4.6) and HONEYSUCKLE CHOICE ($4.9) (solid placing) were next-best supported, but had to settle for minor placings behind the blow-out winner FANTASY BELLE ($51). Fantasy Belle was having only her second-start for the Tash Burleigh yard and improved sharply off the resumption at Queanbeyan. They flew along and there was a line of three vying for the lead at the 800m. Major Time won that battle and was clear midway the straight, but the last 100m was going to be the question after the early pressure and in the sticky conditions. Fantasy Belle was the one to emerge out wide and flew late to just get up despite looking new and proving an awkward ride for Costin. Burleigh told stewards she though the mare would lack fitness for over the 1200m and she was surprised by the win – as were 99% of punters. BID OF FAITH ($19 raced wide throughout and there was merit in the run. There was very little money for Velvet Aeroplane ($8.5) and she also raced wide throughout.