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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans

*Track Good 4/Soft 5; Rail True; Penetrometer 4.22 so likely near or just off the speed early before levelling out for much of the day

(Last meeting Fri, Feb 7; Soft 5; Rail +8m; Penetrometer 3.94)


*RACE 1 @ 2.10pm MAIN LODGE PLATE (2000m) - Class 1; Set Weights & apprentices can claim:


Tactical battle for the stayers to get us underway. Consistent 4YO local gelding 1. DIP ME LID (Keith Dryden/Christian Reith) broke a frustrating run of close placings surging home to win third-up over the mile at the Sapphire Coast. Will likely drift a little further back from wider draw, but distance suits at this stage.


MAIN DANGERS: Well bred 3YO Rosehill gelding 4. SCICONIC raced in Group 1 company in the spring, but disappointed a little second-up at Newcastle when backed into an odds-on favourite. Fitter now and ready for this journey third-up, although drawn off the track. Kembla 4YO gelding 2. HAMOGANY has more to offer than his one win and five placings from 10 starts, although this trip third-up might be one run too soon. Draws to get a cosy run on the fence. Include home track 4YO gelding 7. OPPOSITE fourth-up getting to a suitable distance if you're playing the exotics.


Tempo: Moderate

My Betting Attack: DIP ME LID to Win


*RACE 2 @ 2.45pm TEMPLAR AND EMPLOYMENT TRAINING HCP (1400m) - Maiden; Min Weight 54kg & apprentices can claim):


Keen to see smart Randwick 3YO 2. FAST MELODY (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott/Adam Hyeronimus) returning as a gelding after six months off. Plenty to like about his three runs last year, and has trialled in typical quiet fashion. Drawn to get cover, and the blinkers stay on.


MAIN DANGERS: Resuming off an even longer break as a gelding since switching from Victoria, stablemate 3YO 1. ABIDING will likely go out clear favourite after smart work at the metro trials. No doubt has the quality, but a little risk at this trip fresh. Improving 3YO Canberra filly 9. STAND YOUR GROUND looks over the odds third-up after finishing hard in both runs back, and gets right down in the weights after rider's 3kg claim.


Tempo: Fair to Good

My Betting Attack: FAST MELODY to Win & Box Exacta 1,2,9


*RACE 3 @ 3.25pm TBC DISTRIBUTION PLATE (1200m) - Maiden, Set Weights & apprentices can claim:


Fairly even sprint here for the maidens, with several chances. Another Waterhouse-Bott runner coming back off two forward trials, 4YO gelding 1. BRING IT BACK (Sam Clipperton) will be hard to hold out if he gets cover from the awkward draw. Mixed his form in first prep, but that was against much deeper opposition.


MAIN DANGERS: Warwick Farm 3YO gelding 8. UNRESTRICTED (Unencumbered x Faith Firebird by Stravinsky) has been taken along quietly at the trials, and the fact leading trainer chose to debut him here is a fair pointer. Local 3YO gelding 7. SHENANDOAH can bounce off a nice debut at the Sapphire Coast, but will need some luck drawn right off the track. Watch the betting closely on 4YO mare and first starter 9. FIRECRACKER (All Too Hard x Dazzle Light by Danzero) from the home track stable of Matt Dale who hasn't trialled since last winter, but reportedly with plenty of ability; while despite the wide gate, expect sharp improvement second-up from Rosehill filly 12. DANAAT after dropping out at Newcastle.


Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: BRING IT BACK to Win and TRIFECTA: 1,8/1,7,8,9,12/1,7,8,9,12


*RACE 4 @ 4.05pm ALAN RUMMERY BOOKMAKER HCP (1000m) - BM 60; Min Weight 54kg & apprentices can claim:


Typically competitive sprint field at this level. Local 3YO filly 7. ELTHAM PALACE (Keith Dryden/Tom Sherry (a1.5kg) hasn't been the punters' pal in her last couple, but she showed enough from a wide barrier at Wagga last start to say she can win here. Will park right behind the speed from a handy draw, and winkers are on for the first time.


MAIN DANGERS: Local 4YO mare 5. JEWEL OF THE CLAN is starting to hit her straps. Was swamped late in a handy Class 3 at Corowa before a dominant all-the-way win against weaker at Forbes. Hard fit, and will be tough to run down with the rider taking 3kg off. Progressive 3YO Warwick Farm filly 4. FOR LOVE eased in betting, but still finished hard first-up in a BM 64 at Newcastle, and little extra trip a plus, although up sharply in weight. Hawkesbury 5YO gelding 1. CHARLIE CHAP resumes after some useful performances against stronger late last year. All his five wins from 41 starts have come either first or second-up, but handicapper hasn't missed him with 63.5kg; while local 6YO gelding 8. IMITATION GAME hasn't missed a place in his last four, and got home nicely from the back in that same race at Wagga as top selection; while Moruya mare 9. SARZANA, a Class 1 winner two runs back, is best of the rest.


Tempo: Good to Strong

My Betting Attack: ELTHAM PALACE to Win and FIRST FOUR: 4,5,7/1,4,5,7,8,9/1,4,5,7,8,9/1,4,5,7,8,9


*RACE 5 @ 4.40pm FRONTLINE HOSPITALITY HCP (1400m) - Class 1; Min Weight 54kg & apprentices can claim:


Improving 3YO Hawkesbury gelding 3. BULLET STORM (Brad Widdup/Adam Hyeronimus) looks the one to beat second-up from the inside draw. Closed late resuming in a BM 64 at Kembla, and was a consistent finisher in deep races last spring.


MAIN DANGERS: Former Victorian 3YO gelding 2. BARACUS has his first run for the Snowden team at Randwick, and third-up for the prep having bolted in his maiden by five lengths on a heavy track at Yarra Valley six weeks back. Canberra 7YO gelding 11. YOUR KNUCKLESHIP has found the line okay in handy company this prep, and gets his chance fourth-up to nail a second win down to his lightest weight in a long time and out to the right trip.


Tempo: Moderate to Good

My Betting Attack: BULLET STORM to Win


RACE 6 @ 5.15pm ETS REFRIGERATION AND AIR CONDITIONING BLACK OPAL PREVIEW (1000m) - Set Weights; 2YO's & apprentices can claim):


An exciting line-up of mostly first starters preparing to lay the foundation for a start in the Group 3 Black Opal next month, although market could change abruptly with a few key runners also entered for Canterbury on Friday night. One of those is debutant Randwick colt and consistently smart trial performer 3. ON THE LEAD (Im Am Invincible x Marechal by General Nediym for Richard & Michael Freedman/Sam Clipperton) who draws well, and bred to handle all types of going.


MAIN DANGERS: Beautifully bred Warwick Farm filly 6. LADY OF LUXURY (Criterion x Miss Beauty World by God's Own) has had two trials for leading juvenile yard, and draws to get a cosy run. Expect a big finish from Warwick Farm filly 10. TUDOR MUSIC who charged home late resuming  in a handy maiden at Scone. Drops significantly in weight, and only win so far came second-up; while Randwick colt 1. AFTERMATH (Spirit Of Boom x Elusive Gift by Elusive City) has won two of four trials since spring, and debuts in winkers.


Tempo: Good to Strong

My Betting Attack: ON THE LEAD to win and Box Trifecta 1,3,6,10


*RACE 7 @ 5.55pm TAB FEDERAL NATIONAL SPRINT PREVIEW HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 54kg & apprentices can claim:


High class entree to one of the best races in the capital all year. Top notch local mare 2. SAUSEDGE (Matt Dale/Kayla Nisbet) has a terrific winning strike rate, and four of her six career wins have come either resuming or second-up. That said, she'll need all her crack finishing ability to overcome a wide draw and 60.5kg first-up. The plan is simply. Go right back, and be saved for one final surge from the turn!


MAIN DANGERS: Rival local gelding 4. MANZANA improved nicely at his second run back collared late in the BM 86 Bega Sprint at the Sapphire Coast, and again gets in light after rider's 3kg claim. Expect 5YO local mare 5. GOLD TOUCH to bounce back sharply after having little room back in the field at Wagga. Drawn wider out, but hard fit and senior rider gets back on. Another gelding trained on the track 7. PRINCE JACKO is slowly working back to his best, and can peak here third-up.


Tempo: Fair to Good

My Betting Attack: SAUSEDGE to Win


*RACE 8 @ 6.34pm AFFINITY ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGIES CANBERRA MILE (1600m) - Quality; Min Weight 54kg & apprentices can claim):


As you'd expect a deep inaugural running of the $150K mile classic, and there's a stack of chances. Loved the first-up run at Wagga of smart and lightly-raced 5YO local mare 4. MAID OF ORE (Nick Olive/Shaun Guymer) who finished hard under a huge weight. Supremely in here dropping right down to 54kg, and second-up this trip looks ideal. Boasts a 50 per cent winning strike rate from just 14 starts.


MAIN DANGERS: Progressive 4YO Rosehill gelding 11. CINQUEDEA is a big threat on the limit weight. Has been right around the money in his last four, including a close 2nd to ultra smart She's Ideel in a BM 78 at Randwick, and will be very hard run down if she gets a nice position up front, with an off-side blinker on for the first time. High class 7YO Warwick Farm gelding 1. SIR PLUSH has been freshened coming back from a series of tough and brave runs in Listed and Group company, but under 59kg from a wide barrier, still has the task ahead. Randwick 5YO mare 5. TINKERMOSA can be hard to catch, but comes back from the much tougher Group 3 Carlyon Cup at Caulfield. Charged home to win the Group 3 Belle Of The Turf at Gosford just after Xmas, and if there's enough speed on up front, she will be finishing hard under a luxury 54kg weight. Stablemate gelding 7. VALENTINO ROSSA will also appreciate the drop in grade from the Carlyon Cup, and in well at the weights from a much friendlier draw. Warwick Farm 6YO gelding 6. SALSONIC is way better than his modest two wins and six placings from 34 starts suggests. Was okay resuming in the Listed Carrington at Randwick nearly four weeks back, but always improves into next run, and has trialled since.


Tempo: Fair to Good

My Betting Attack: MAID OF ORE Each Way & First Four: 1,4,5,11/1,4,5,11/1,4,5,6,7,11/1,4,5,6,7,11


*RACE 9 @ 7.04pm EPC SOLAR CANBERRA GUINEAS PREVIEW HCP (1400m) - BM 65; 3YO's; Min Weight 54kg & apprentices can claim:


Strong betting closer for the 3YO's, and keen on Randwick staying filly 6. FOXBOROUGH first up over an ideal distance, with the blinkers removed. Progressed through black-type carnival company to the Group 1 Victoria Oaks in the spring, and has had two trials to prepare. Will naturally settle well back from the widest gate.


MAIN DANGERS: Similarly, rival Warwick Farm gelding 7. SIRMAZE also resumes off two quiet trials after competing in the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Randwick last spring only three runs after landing his maiden at Hawkesbury; while completing the Warwick Farm trio, emerging gelding 3. MYSTERY TRICK from the Bjorn Baker yard has had two trials, and will try to repeat the dose from his debut win at Kembla last winter surging home over this distance and defying a betting drift. Promising gelding 2. GAELIC from the Waterhouse-Bott stable steps up to the mile after a smart debut win in the heavy at Canterbury.


Tempo: Moderate to Good

My Betting Attack: FOXBOROUGH to Win




R4 7. ELTHAM PALACE** Expect: $3.85 - $4.00; My Early Rating: $2.65

R5 3. BULLET STORM* Expect: $3.15 - $3.25; My Early Rating: $2.35

R9 6. FOXBOROUGH* Expect: $4.50 - $4.65; My Early Rating: $3.20




R7 5. GOLD TOUCH* Expect: $17.00 - $21.00; My Early Rating: $8.10

R8 4. MAID OF ORE** Expect: $7.50 - $8.00; My Early Rating: $4.80


*Jockeys to follow: Sam Clipperton; Adam Hyeronimus


*Trainers to follow: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott; Keith Dryden;