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Cracking Canberra Preview 23 October 2020 by Neil Evans

*Race 1 @ 1.18pm DZ DESIGN LANDSCAPE & CONSTRUCTIONS HCP (2000m) - Benchmark 60; Min Weight 55.5kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Even race over the 10 furlongs to get us underway. Lightly-raced 5YO Goulburn gelding 3. CLEVER MISSILE (Anthony Warren/Ms Windona Costin; 59.5kg) returns to the track and distance he bolted in two runs back before outclassed in the much deeper Batemans Bay Cup over the mile. Right profile here to bounce back. 


*MAIN DANGERS: Tough local 6YO 1. Eaglehawk has been in and around the money in four runs back, and will be competitive again hard fit and with a handy 2kg claim. Expect sharp improvement back on top of the ground from home track 5YO 2. Mohahna who won two in a row over the mile and this trip before dropping out badly in heavy ground. Local 8YO 6. Axion who won here last start in this grade; and improving mare 9. Stratum's Rose, who is ready for this trip after four runs back, are best of the rest.


Likely Tempo: Moderate

My Betting Attack: Clever Missile to Win and First Four 2,3/1,2,3,6,9/1,2,3,6,9/1,2,3,6,9


*Race 2 @ 1.53pm HUON CONTRACTORS PTY LTD HCP (1400m) - Benchmark 65; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Very keen on home track 4YO gelding 7. SHENANDOAH (Keith Dryden/Blaike McDougall; 58.5kg) who is supremely treated at the weights and from the draw after four runs this prep. Stuck on well from a wide draw in a stronger Highway at Rosehill last start.


*MAIN DANGERS: Randwick 5YO 5. Hard Reality stalked the speed before pouncing to win a CL2 at Moruya, and has only missed a place once in his last five. Up in weight, and drawn out, but can come across and sit outside the lead. Local 7YO 6. Imitation Game can improve sharply dropping in grade, and getting back on firm footing; while Warwick Farm 6YO 3. American Salute has been average in his last two, but draws the inside and will find this a shade easier.


Likely Tempo: Moderate to Fair

My Betting Attack: Shenandoah to Win


*Race 3 @ 2.28pm VALLEY LANDSCAPES PLATE (1400m) - Maiden; Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Thin race augurs well for progressive 4YO local mare 8. WANDONNA (Keith Dryden/Blaike McDougall; 57kg) who has been banging on the door all prep, finishing close-up in her last two behind a couple of handy ones. Only has to run up to her best to win this, although the draw is a little tricky.


*MAIN DANGERS: Improving Randwick and former European mare 5. La Reconquista was okay late in his first run Down Under at Goulburn. Still wants further, but if he can pick up a trail back in the field from the half mile, will be strong late. Warwick Farm filly 13. Luftwaffe gets her best chance after four fair efforts in her first prep. Wasn't beaten far in metro and provincial grades of late, and draws to get a soft run just off the speed.


Likely Tempo: Moderate

My Betting Attack: Wandonna to Win


*Race 4 @ 3.03pm TR CIVILS PLATE (2000m) - Class 1; Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Back out to the longer trip at set weights, and improving tough 4YO Randwick gelding 2. GUNALUVA (John Sargent/Koby Jennings; 59kg) can strike here second-up. Found the line resuming in a BM 64 at Kembla over the mile, and this looms as the ideal journey for one who has won over much further.


*MAIN DANGERS: Warwick Farm 4YO and early hot favorite 3. Lord Tropicana hit the line late second-up in a CL1 at Newcastle, and also looks primed for this distance having been competitive over much further last prep. Be shocked if one of those two doesn't win; but include in exotics Warwick Farm 4YO 10. Sir Gunsen after showing big improvement at Hawkesbury when only collared in the last few strides.


Likely Tempo: Fair

My Betting Attack: Gunaluva to Win and Quinella 2 & 3


*Race 5 @ 3.38pm WATERLAND PTY LTD HCP (1200m) - Maiden; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Tough maiden, with several genuine chances. Warwick Farm 4YO gelding 1. REBEL BRO (Matthew Smith/Scott Pollard; 60kg) has promised more than he's delivered so far, but can break through first-up after a nice trial win. Has shown an ability to come to hand quickly, and was placed in a deeper race fresh last time.


*MAIN DANGERS: Local 4YO 2. Budderoo Blitz chased home a promising one in heavy ground first-up here, and this looks a nice follow-up race from the inside draw. Watch the betting on resuming local mare 4. Jac The Great who hasn't publicly trialled, but found the line on debut in very heavy ground behind a smart wet-track sprinter. Keep safe too debutant Warwick Farm filly 13. She Can Talk who won a recent trial at Hawkesbury; and local filly 11. Kermatin who has trialled quietly for a strong juvenile yard.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: Trifecta: 1,2,4/1,2,4,11,13/1,2,4,11,13


*Race 6 @ 4.13pm TAB FEDERAL HCP (1600m) - Benchmark 70; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Back out to the mile for the feature race in what will be a real battle of tactics. Have to stick with smart local 5YO gelding 2. EXPRESS COURIER (Keith Dryden/Blaike McDougall; 62.5kg) who should have won the Federal here last start when held up badly trying to get through from the 300m. Had won first-up in dominant fashion coming from well off the speed, and also won two straight in autumn over 2000m. Only needs reasonable pace on from the half mile to get over the top.


*MAIN DANGERS: Stablemate 5YO 1. Gunga Din is a versatile marvel. Was given a good freshen-up dropping back from the mile of the Forbes Cup to charge home late over 1000m here, and now retyurns to a more customary distance. Will carry 1kg less than the top selection after the 3kg claim. Home track 6YO and former Victorian 4. Royal Thunder has had two modest runs this prep, but can improve getting to the mile; while hard-fit Goulburn 6YO 3. Black Wand closed off okay in that same Federal a fortnight back.


Likely Tempo: Fair to Moderate

My Betting Attack: Express Courier to Win


*Race 7 @ 4.48pm PEET LTD HCP (1200m) - Class 1; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Resuming local 4YO mare 7. EXOTIC DEEL (Nick Olive/Jeff Penza; 56kg) is the one to beat over an ideal trip. Hasn't publicly trialled but came from well off the speed to score convincingly first-up last prep, and bred to get much further.


*MAIN DANGERS: Home track 3YO 4. Cavalier Charles is the clear threat resuming for leading stable. Hasn't officially trialled, but led all teh way on debut at Wagga, and went close in next two starts up to CL2 level. Only needs to slot in from the wide draw to be ultra competitive. Goulburn 5YO 1. Azoustic did his best work late resuming at home, and better suited over this jurnjey.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: Exotic Deel to Win


*Race 8 @ 5.25pm BIAJAG CONSTRUCTION HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Good race, with plenty of chances. Another one resuming for a leading local stable with no official trials can strike fresh. Progressive 4YO gelding 14. WICHITA WARRIOR (Keith Dryden/Tyler Schiller; 55kg) should come to hand quickly, and looks very well in at the weights after winning two straight, including a BM 70 Federal, to cap a strong last rpep.


*MAIN DANGERS: Goulburn 5YO 2. Bombdiggity rarely runs a bad one, and has built an impressive win rate from only 16 starts. Bolted in a weaker race from the front at Leeton last start, and can give another big sight. Speaking of good records, former Victorian 5YO gelding 4. Howlowcanyougo will attempt a sixth win from just 13 starts having his first run for new Boorowa trainer. Has had an eight-week freshen-up, and normally fires off a break. Moruya 5YO 13. Akeed is shooting for three straight from a lovely trailing draw and down in weight, but taking on some better ones here.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: Wichita Warrior each way and trifecta 2,14/2,4,13,14/2,4,13,14


*Race 9 @ 6.05pm TERRITORY HORTICULTURE HCP (1000m) - Benchmark 60; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


We close a big card with a competitive dash. Like many of the home track sprinters, 4YO mare 4. SHORES OF AVALON (Keith Dryden/Ellen Hennessy a2kg; 61.5kg) returns with no public trial, but draws to be right in the firing line. Has superior natural speed, and 2kg-claimer off-sets the big weight.


*MAIN DANGERS: Rival local 5YO 1. Major Time resumes with no trials and a big weight, but fresh form is okay and draws the inside gate; while home track 6YO 8. Flight Commander first-up, and improving 5YO Queanbeyan mare 11. Social Smile, are the best of the rest.


Likely Tempo: Good to Strong

My Betting Attack: Shores Of Avalon to Win




R2 7. SHENANDOAH** Expect: $2.60 - $2.75; My Early Rating: $1.95

R4 2. GUNALUVA* Expect: $4.00 - $4.50; My Early Rating: $2.45

R6 2. EXPRESS COURIER** Expect: $2.50 - $2.60; My Early Rating: $1.90

R7 7. EXOTIC DEEL** Expect: $3.45 - $3.70; My Early Rating: $2.25

R9 4. SHORES OF AVALON** Expect: $3.50 - $3.65; My Early Rating: $2.15




R8 14. WICHITA WARRIOR*** Expect: $6.00 - $6.50; My Early Rating: $3.20




Keith Dryden****

Matthew Dale*




Blaike McDougall**