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Cracking Canberra Preview 24 August 2021 by Neil Evans

Run at Queanbeyan (NSW)

*RACE 1 @ 12.30pm SIREN BAR MAIDEN PLATE (1460m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


We start with the transferred meeting on a track that will probably be well into soft range. Dissident mare 6. MORE EXCITEMENT (Keith Dryden/Damon Budler a2kg; 55kg) has been very average in two runs back, considering she's been solid in the market both times. Couldn't make up ground from a mile back on the synthetic last start, but much better suited back on turf over a longer trip.


*MAIN DANGERS: Stablemate mare 8. Third Eye comes out of that same synthetic race when finishing okay into a place, and draws to get a softer run here. Improving mare 4. Disco Queen is on the cusp of breaking through deep into the prep, having worked home nicely in her last couple. Keep safe five-year-old 2. Epizeel who has been in the placings in his last two, and draws to get a nice trail just off the speed.


Likely Tempo: Fair

My Betting Attack: MORE EXCITEMENT to WIN


*RACE 2 @ 1.05pm JOHN McGRATH AUTO GROUP CLASS 1 PLATE (1600m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Keen on progressive and consistent five-year-old mare 6. LA VALKYRIE (Norm Gardner/Damon Budler a2kg; 55kg) who put the writing on the wall charging home at Forbes before again hitting the line at Wagga but forced to share the victory. Looks very well placed here from the draw and with a 2kg claim, and this isn't strong.


*MAIN DANGERS: Improving five-year-old 3. Roman Candle is the main threat up in distance from the inside draw. Has found the line nicely in his last couple, and desperate for more ground. Home track four-year-old 2. Le May can rebound after an ordinary effort on the synthetic; while Zoustar mare 5. Inconically dropped out badly in a CL1 after bolting in her maiden.


Likely Tempo: Moderate to Reasonable

My Betting Attack: LA VALKYRIE to WIN & Quinella: 3 and 6


*RACE 3 @ 1.40pm LONGPARK MEAT CO MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Pace should be back on over this journey. Improving and well-weighted three-year-old 8. LOOSE LOVE (Todd Smart/Damon Budler a2kg; 55kg) can find his best after failing to finish off on the synthetic first-up when well backed. Much better placed back on the turf from a nice draw, and trainer has removed the blinkers.


*MAIN DANGERS: Lightly raced filly 5. Stratum Pride can figure third-up after having every chance in that same synthetic race when just missing. Include at big odds resuming Sizzling filly 7. Coupla Days who draws to get a good run; while six-year-old 2. Antonio has been freshened up via a forward trial, and this is a shade weaker than last start at Canberra.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: LOOSE LOVE to WIN


*RACE 4 @ 2.15pm TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY BENCHMARK 65 HCP (2000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Out in distance for what will be a typical cat-and-mouse affair, but progressive five-year-old 2. ZOUNIQUE (Luke Pepper/Matthew Cahill; 60.5kg) looms as the one to beat with winkers applied. After a strong closing win at Albury in heavy ground, charged home from the back in consecutive BM 66 races, and despite the weight hike is facing much less depth here.


*MAIN DANGERS: Honest five-year-old 1. Invincible Dash was close-up on the synthetic fourth-up but more at home on turf, and beat a handy BM 66 field three runs back. Under-rated six-year-old 5. Pride Of Kaluru dug deep to lead all the way on the synthetic, but there was a strong leader bias that day, and taking on a couple of better ones here. Include in exotics five-year-old mare 4. Sam Old Scene who drops in weight.


Likely Tempo: Fair

My Betting Attack: ZOUNIQUE to WIN & Trifecta: 1,2/1,2,4,5/1,2,4,5


*RACE 5 @ 2.55pm AUSTRALIAN HEALTH & SAFETY MAIDEN PLATE (1200m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Emerging four-year-old mare 8. PANDERING (Keith Dryden/Damon Budler a2kg; 55kg) should have won first-up when heavily backed charging home to miss narrowly on a leader-bias synthetic surface. That was her first run in seven months, and back on the turf she can put this lot to the sword over a bit further.


*MAIN DANGERS: Progressive three-year-old 11. Loose Love is well placed second-up with blinkers off, although more likely to start in that earlier race. Big watch on ex-Tasmanian four-year-old 3. Sunsoutgunsout who draws well for his first run in nearly seven months for new Canberra stable; while three-year-old 9. Tia Kerete can improve third-up.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: PANDERING to WIN


*RACE 6 @ 3.35pm AINSLIE LAUNDRETTE CLASS 1 HCP (1280m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Hard to see promising three-year-old filly 5. MISS MANAZANILLA (Nick Olive/Damon Budler a2kg; 55kg) not making it two straight at the weights in only her fourth start. Swept home from the trail for an easy win on the synthetic and is headed for bigger prizes than this.


*MAIN DANGERS: Capable mare 2. Little Hela only battled in heavy ground third-up, but better placed here from the draw on a somewhat firmer surface. Liked the way four-year-old 1. Khaleej worked home on the synthetic fourth-up in the slower part of the track; while 3. Lenny's Lad took over on the turn last start and held off the smart Pampering, and will roll forward again from a handy draw.


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My Betting Attack: MISS MANZANILLA to WIN & Quinella: 2 and 5


*RACE 7 @ 4.10pm TAB BENCHMARK 75 FEDERAL HCP (1206m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Feature race of the day has plenty of depth headed of course by smart home track four-year-old 6. ISLAND BAY BOY (Tony Sergi/Richard Bensley; 56.5kg) who drops down sharply in class after working home behind King Of Sparta in a metro-graded BM 72 first-up. Generally improves into his second-up run, and drawn to get plenty of cover tucked away off the speed.


*MAIN DANGERS: High class five-year-old mare 5. Exotic Deel has a smart fresh record, and draws to settle off the speed with a trail and be strong late. Gap to the rest headed by tough mare 2. Delacour who finished best to win the Federal 18 days ago; while keep safe six-year-old 8. Eurosay who has won two of his last three sweeping home from off the speed, but taking on some smarter ones here.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: ISLAND BAY BOY to WIN & Quinella: 5 and 6


*RACE 8 @ 4.45pm GIBLEY GARDENING BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1080m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


We finish with a very competitive sprint, and this stacks up nicely for lightly raced five-year-old mare 5. STARLIV (David Kelley/Shaun Guymer; 59.5kg) who resumes. Was only beaten narrowly in a handy CL3 in May, and that was her first outing since the middle of last year. Will park right behind the speed and pounce early in the straight.


*MAIN DANGERS: Also first-up, consistent mare 6. Crucial Witness draws to get an economical run; while resuming five-year-old 2. Hezredhot from a wide gate; and 9. Underthespotlight fifth-up with a claim; can both run into the placings.


Likely Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: STARLIV to WIN




R2 6. LA VALKYRIE* Expect: $3.50 - $3.65; My Early Rating: $2.29

R5 8. PANDERING** Expect: $1.95 - $2.05; My Early Rating: $1.70

R6 5. MISS MANZANILLA** Expect: $2.10 - $2.25; My Early Rating: $1.85




R8 5. STARLIV* Expect: $4.75 - $5.00; My Early Rating: $3.20




R4: Trifecta: 1,2/1,2,4,5/1,2,4,5




Keith Dryden**

Nick Olive*




Damon Budler***