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Canberra Racing Review – Sunday 10 March 2024 Black Opal Day

Race 1 1000m Mdn SW

The Kelley-trained local GETTY $4 was much too good leading all-the-way after jumping clean from the rails gate. He’d switched from the Snowden barn and had been off the scene for 10 weeks. He had superior figures and was primed to go on Canberra’s biggest race day.  SLINKY $10 raced on the leader's back and was beaten 1.5L doing her best work late. She had excuses on debut and had been off the scene 19 weeks.  CANDY WOMEN $8.50 was beaten nearly five lengths in third place. The disappointment was the firm favourite MISS BAYLIS $2.70 and a post-race vet exam revealed she had suffered a bleeding attack. An easy win for Getty and he can go on from this. 

Race 2 1200m Mdn 

There was plenty of support from market opening for the winner ACHESON $3.40 from the Dryden-barn suggesting Canberra’s premier trainer has him primed following a 4-week freshen. He’d just missed two-back at Wagga bet into $1.50 and was outgraded in town after. After over-racing badly in the middle stages, he held a slender 0.3L margin on the line from SNIPPETY STAR $4 2. LAMBY $4.20 was beaten 1.7 in third and the rest were spaced headed by BLEDISLOE $3.80 who was beaten 7L. Snippety Star had an uncontested lead and Acheson trailed him and threw down the challenge shortly after they turned for home. They engaged in a titanic battle down the straight with Acheson holding an edge. Lamby settled back and was hampered passing the 1000m. He was the widest on turning and showed a good turn of foot to place. 

Race 3 1000m Camerena Quality 

The Snowden-trained SECRET REVOLUTION $1.60 was backed heavily but could only finish third beaten 1.4L. He was a little slow to begin; was inclined to over-race in the middle stages and laid out for the duration of the straight. The Goulburn-trained POKERJACK $4 narrowly prevailed over MAJOR TIME $5.50. Pokerjack raced in town all three runs last preparation and failed to threaten in any. He was resuming off a 25-week spell. His two lead-up trials here were sharp and he brought that form to race day.  Major Time sat on speed and led them up. Pokerjack sat handy on the rail and pulled hard in the middle stages and after the 700m. He found a split after they turned and engaged in a ding-dong battle with Major Time to the post. A good training effort by Tash Burleigh.   

Race 4 1600m Bm 75

The Dryden-trained REET PETITE $2.15 was the clear market elect and she prevailed by a whisker from JESSANDI $6.50 - and had to survive a protest from that galloper. They spaced the others with ONYA LIONAL $13 holding down third (beaten 4.7L) with the notable drifter KANGAROO COURT $4.80 next home. Kangaroo Court sat outside the leader and hit the front 350m out. Reet Petite improved from midfield before the turn and swung wide but in touch, with Jessandi right behind her.  She sprinted sharply to hit the lead at the 200m and just had enough in reserve to hold out Jessandi who was strong through the line. Too close for comfort for favourite backers. Both OWN THEM $8, and MISS LENOOR $14 pulled up displaying cardiac arrhythmia. 

Race 5 1400m National Sprint. 

The Waterhouse-Bott-trained COIN TOSS $2.80 firmed plenty in betting and was 2L too good for the Dryden-trained longshot DEMANDING MO $31 with KINLOCH $3.60 close-up next. nest. SUPER HELPFUL $3.10 made third 5.3L from the winner, after bombing the start. Coin Toss found the lead as expected and turned for home clear. Demanding Mo had railed behind him and gave everything down the stretch but couldn’t make up the ground. Kinloch flew late in the piece making up many lengths.  VRENELI $10 was not tested in the straight and will have to trial to the Steward’s satisfaction before being permitted to race again. The ex-Singaporean Coin Toss was fresh off a 14-week break was simply too fast. 

Race 6 1400m - Canberra Guineas

There were a few given a chance and it was a super finish with just 0.8L splitting the first four across the line. The Snowden-trained XIDAKI $7 just got the decision from the favourite PORT LOCKROY $3.70 who was backed in. THUNDERLIPS $6.50 was also right in it. NAVY BLOOD $31 was close in fourth in and was held up and unable to obtain completely clear running until passing the 150m. A longshot led and they were bunched up and across the track as they straightened up and headed for the judge. Port Lockroy had been obliged to race three wide throughout and had his head in front passing the 200m with Xidaki threatening on the rail and Thunderlips pushing through on Port Lockroy’s inside. Nice efforts all and Port Lockroy was especially tough. MISS AMORE $5 disappointed and was vet cleared.  

Race 7 1200m 2yo - Black Opal Stakes Group 3

Waterhouse-Bott FULLY FIT $1.65 the clear-cut favorite to take out the Opal but found the Snowden-trained HOLMES A COURT $7 too smart on the day. AMAZING EAGLE $8 and ODINSON $11 filled out the other minors. Fully Fit flew out of the gates and held the lead initially before VELLA’S BEST $9 pushed on leaving Fully Fit in the trail. Holmes A Court was enjoying the run of the race behind this pair.  He eased away from the rail and turned three wide outside the other pair. He was on terms with Fully Fit at the 200m and began to edge way from that galloper with a 1.5L margin on the line. Amazing Eagle and Odison both finished in good fashion further out, beaten 1.8L and 2.41L respectively.  Vella’s Best faded at the business end. Holmes A Court is a nice mover, and it was comfortable in the end.  

Race 8 2000m – Canberra Cup 

So UNITED $2.25 was a firming favourite but was beaten 1.75L into third behind ALMANIA $3.50 and REDSTONE WELL $6, who was beaten 1.3L. LORD ARDMORE $6 wasn’t far away in fourth. This quartette were the only gallopers in the Cup market. So United led them into the back with Almania on his flank. Redstone Well got a soft run off the rail in the second division, with Lord Ardmore on his inside. It was clear on straightening the favourite had a fight on his hands and had his measure at the 200m. Redstone well was coming hard and ran strongly into second. A tough win in a race where the key runners all got their chance.   

Race 9 1300m CL2

The promising local GUNDGY GUY $3.1 lived up to his wraps with a comfortable all-the-way win. Under Billy Owen. Gundy Guy did some work to find the front and at the 200m was 3L clear of the chasers and they never looked like catching him. HURRICAN ABLOWING $13 got to within 1.2L and it was a good effort after settling beyond midfield. An even better effort was recorded by EMANCIPAST $3.60 who was beaten 1.25L. He stood flat-footed at the start losing at least three lengths and made up many lengths hitting the line hard. The favourite PENNY PACKER was 1L further back in fourth but lacked a knockout punch.     

Race 10 2000m CL1 SW

The big money kept coming for VAGUER $1.45 and he walloped the small field by a whopping 7L from the second-elect ADAGIO $3.70. The local GATCHAN was a clear third 9.5L from the winner. Vaguer had been beaten 1L behind Reet Petite here prior and she went on with it earlier in the program. Vaguer led them into the back but was content to take a sit after. Adagio was caught three wide after a slow off and went around to sit outside the longshot leader and they pressured each other. Adagio turned in front but once clear Vaguer was quickly on terms and then raced away from there to win as a good thing should.  Adagio didn’t have the best of it but found a much superior galloper on the day.