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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans - 12 March 2023

*RACE 1 @ 1.05pm TAB FEDERAL RIHARNA THOMSON MEMORIAL MAIDEN HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 6. IMPENDING HARMONY (Keith Dryden/Tyler Schiller a0kg; 56kg & barrier 6 -Tricky start on feature Black Opal day with the maidens, and most having very little experience. Settled on this 3YO home track filly by Impending who returns off a 5 month spell for only her second start. Didn't run home on debut at Wagga; but was never comfortable on the heavy ground, yet was backed that day from $4.20 into $2.70. Reportedly working well, and with a return to firm going and winkers being added; she shapes much better this time


DANGERS: 3. **Vonk; 7. *Giddy Up Gidleigh; 8. *Miss Ghent


Likely Tempo: Solid

My BET PLAN: IMPENDING HARMONY to WIN & Quinella: 3 and 6


*RACE 2 @ 1.45pm PFD FOOD SERVICES CLASS 1 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. LONRIOLI (Richard & Will Freedman/Tim Clark; 58.5kg & barrier 8) -Back to the shorter course here, and it stacks up nicely for this resuming 3YO metro filly by Lonhro off a strong & forward trial. Took big strides in her first prep bolting in a country maiden at third start before struggling in Listed carnival grade when ridden forward on rain-affected ground. Has enough tactical speed to off-set the wider draw, and will be a different galloper back on firm ground


DANGERS: 1. *Chief Conductor; 6. **Troika; 9. *Vinolass


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My BET PLAN: LONRIOLI to WIN & Quinella: 4 and 6


*RACE 3 @ 2.20pm AIR CONDITIONING CANBERRA, DAIKIN SPECIALIST CLASS 2 HCP (1600m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. HOW'S IT KEV (Alison Smith/Billy Owen; 60.5kg & barrier 3) -Out to the mile we go for a deeper class, and there are plenty of chances in what will be an absorbing battle of tactics and tempo. Always had plenty of time for this country-based 5YO by Zariz who hasn't been far away in 3 three runs against deeper opposition since surging late to win a BM 58 mid January. Only went down by 2 lengths in a competitive Highway before doing his best work late in a Country C'ship Qualifier at Mudgee. Rider lost his bearings last start under a similar weight but local sharpshooter "Billy The Kid" jumps on here, and the extra trip with a gear change is a further plus


DANGERS: 2. **Loose Love; 3. *Lights On The Hill; 4. *Gravy Train Magpie; 5. **Les Goh; 8. *Nopain


Likely Tempo: Reasonable to Solid

My BET PLAN: HOW'S IT KEV to WIN & First Four: 1,2,5/1,2,3,4,5,8/1,2,3,4,5,8/1,2,3,4,5,8


*RACE 4 @ 2.55pm POLYTRACK BENCHMARK 65 HCP (1400m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. TWIG (Matthew Dale/Keegan Latham; 60.5kg & barrier 6) -Good strong race for this grade, and it looms large for this talented 5YO mare by Shooting To Win who can peak 4th-up off a sharp 9-day turnaround. Did best from the trail to win a country CL3 when resuming before failing to run home in a BM 70 Federal here seven weeks ago off a 5 week break when bogged down through inferior inside ground. Was much stronger to the line behind a smart winner in another Federal recently, and right at his prep peak fitness-wise, comes back to a race with a little less depth


DANGERS: 1. *Louie's Legacy; 2. **Jumeirah Beach; 5. *Bon Frankie


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 5 @ 3.35pm UNDERGROUND SPIRITS BENCHMARK 75 HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55.5kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 2. RUBAN BLEU (Matthew Dale/Jeff Penza; 61kg & barrier 6) -Up in grade we go for another open sprint. Keen at the value around this tough 7YO by Artie Schiller who comes back in grade & trip 31 days between runs. Powered home from midfield to win a BM 70 here 10 weeks ago before failing to run home in a country BM 74 when struck traffic problems from the inside draw. Hit the line impressively in a BM 85 at Wagga, and while the handicapper has shot him back up in weight again, he will settle back with enough speed to chase home, and blinkers replacing winkers again is a key gear adjustment


DANGERS: 1. *Lemaire; 4. **Sky Diamonds; 6. *Retiro; 7. **Kimura


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My BET PLAN: RUBAN BLEU Each Way & Trifecta: 2,4,7/1,2,4,6,7/1,2,4,6,7


*RACE 6 @ 4.15pm LAND HQ QUALITY SPRINT (1000m) - Min Weight 54kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 6. SHORES OF AVALON (Keith Dryden/Robbie Dolan; 55kg & barrier 10) -Good class sprint here with plenty of heat and pressure on from the jump. Like this ultra consistent 6YO local mare by The Factor coming back to the shorter trip 16 days between runs, and is the best weighted runner in the race back down to only 1kg over the 54kg limit. Hasn't missed a place in her last 3, the latest working home well in a BM 89 Federal when carrying 2kg more. Has enough tactical speed to off-set the outside gate, and loves dry ground.


DANGERS: 1. *Southern Lad; 2. **Distillate; 4. *Akeed; 5. *Look Only


Likely Tempo: Good

My BET PLAN: SHORES OF AVALON to WIN & Quinella: 2 and 6


*RACE 7 @ 4.55pm SEEARS WORKWEAR LISTED NATIONAL QUALITY SPRINT (1400m) - Min Weight 55.5kg; Weights Raised 1.5kg; Apprentices Cannot Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 5. CAVALIER CHARLES (Matthew Dale/Sam Clipperton; 55.5kg & barrier 7) -Another strong field lines up in this traditional Listed battle, run under Quality conditions. Very keen on this talented yet still lightly traced Denman 6YO who finds an ideal race under a somewhat luxury 55.5kg. Swept home from midfield to win a very handy metro BM 88 in early December before again strong late in similar city company coming off a near 10 week break. Races have generally been well spaced this prep, but the 2-week turnaround here suggests he's going great guns. Never missed a place in three starts at this track


DANGERS: 1. *Superium; 3. *Vreneli; 6. *Another One


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 8 @ 5.40pm JOHN MCGRATH AUTO GROUP 3 2YO BLACK OPAL STAKES (1200m) - Set Weights + Penalties; Apprentices Cannot Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. THE YEARS (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott/Regan Bayliss; 56kg & barrier 8) -Now an open & challenging feature Group 3 sprint for the 2YO's in its celebrated 50th year. Like this Randwick-based UK-bred colt by Time Test and out of an Iffraaj mare at only his 3rd start. Given 17 days after he jumped to the front at Kembla and blew away his opposition by nearly 5 lengths, running good time for Soft 6 going. Carries 1kg less here, and again will be strong at both ends


DANGERS: 2. *Legolas; 14. *Autumn Ballet; 12. *Empress Of Wonder; 16. *Tiz Invincible


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good



*RACE 9 @ 6.15pm SEPPELT 3YO & UP CLASS 1 PLATE (2000m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 12. BALINOR (Annabel Neasham/TBA; 55kg & barrier 2) -Well out in distance we go in a big field & very open race to close the meeting. Content to ride home with this emerging Warwick Farm-based 3YO by the great UK sire Camelot at just his second start (although has also been accepted as 1st Reserve for Saturday's Gosford meeting). Carried 59kg on debut over a mile when working home okay in a more than handy provincial maiden, and the extra 400m on a much bigger track are right up his alley. Drawn to get lovely cover around midfield dropping significantly in weight to the 55kg limit, and only needs clear air from the 600m to be attacking the line


DANGERS: 3. *Spitfire; 5. *Yarrawonga; 13. *Domingo; 16. *Picko Rocks


Likely Tempo: Reasonable





R1 6. IMPENDING HARMONY** Expect: $4.25 - $4.40; My Early Rating: $2.55

R7 5. CAVALIER CHARLES** Expect: $4.50 - $4.75; My Early Rating: $2.60




R4 4. TWIG** Expect: $6.50 - $7.50; My Early Rating: $4.00

R6 6. SHORES OF AVALON** Expect: $5.75 - $6.00; My Early Rating: $3.70




R2: **QUINELLA: 4 & 6

R3: *FIRST FOUR: 1,2,5/1,2,3,4,5,8/1,2,3,4,5,8/1,2,3,4,5,8

R6: *QUINELLA: 2 & 6



"NE Says"