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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans 21 January 2022

*RACE 1 @ 1.35pm NATIONAL CAPITAL TEST & TAG BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55.5kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Good competitive sprint for this grade gets us underway, and home track four-year-old 1. BROTHERS OF ANTRIM (Doug Gorell/Matthew Cahill; barrier 6 & 61.5kg) is the one to beat first-up. Comes to hand quickly, and is unbeaten from two starts over the distance, and should settle just off the speed and come with a dominant rush.


*MAIN DANGERS: Improving mare 5. Linden is the immediate threat second-up after a nice closing return at Nowra behind a promising one who has since scored again at the provincials. Gap to the rest headed by honest eight-year-old mare 4. Corazon De Oro second-up and 12-year-old 2. Byblos Boy also second-up off a two month spell; who can fight out the minor end of the prize.


Likely Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: BROTHERS OF ANTRIM to WIN & Quinella: 1 and 5


*RACE 2 @ 2.10pm GRAPEVINE MORTGAGES CLASS 1 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Very keen here on progressive Warwick farm filly 6. ONE POSE (Matthew Smith/Jack Martin; barrier 5 & 56kg) fifth-up in her first prep off a break-through maiden win at Taree where she sailed home from midfield to beat a handy line-up. Tackled provincial company in two runs to start her career, and will relish the long run home at this course.


*MAIN DANGERS: Local mare 5. Yesterday's Gone is much better placed back at home on a bigger and firmer track after working home fairly when never comfortable in heavy going on the South Coast. Watch the betting on metro filly 1. I Love Lucy third-up seven weeks between runs, with a key gear change. Well traveled four-year-old 2. Ronny Rock Art hasn't started since consecutive placings in late July, but normally comes to hand early in the prep. Lightly raced last-start maiden winner 4. Rubicon River draws a low gate and sneaks down in the weights.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: ONE POSE to WIN


*RACE 3 @ 2.45pm CAPITAL EA MAIDEN HCP (1300m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Improving provincial Sebring three-year-old 3. THE SEEKER (Brad Widdup/Blaike Spriggs; barrier 10 & 57.5kg) can open his account at just his second start. Given three weeks since closing off late on debut at Nowra, and winkers have been applied.


*MAIN DANGERS: Track the betting on three-year-old stablemate 4. Devil Racer (also accepted for Canterbury Friday night) who resumes as a gelding off a forward provincial trial. Country three-year-old 2. Charlemagne will appreciate the drop back to this level after puncturing under pressure first-up in mid-week metro company. Keeping safe improving three-year-old 8. Defcon One who rattled home from a mile back to miss narrowly third-up in his first real prep, and will relish the bigger track; while metro three-year-old 7. Starmoss heads the rest second-up and carries the lightest weight of his brief career.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: THE SEEKER Each Way & Box Exacta: 2,3,4


*RACE 4 @ 3.25pm C & C PAINTING GROUP BENCHMARK 65 HCP (1600m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Out to the mile we go and there's not much between most of these. Liked the way local eight-year-old 3. BALONNE (Keith Dryden/Damon Budler a1.5kg; barrier 5 & 58kg) hit the line behind a smart Federal winner here 24 days ago. Been up for a while, and naturally rises sharply in weight for this drop in class, but will be finishing hard.


*MAIN DANGERS: Randwick-based four-year-old 2. Aerobatic Warrior will be hard to hold out third-up. Has only been plain in two runs back, but fitter now and is desperate for the bigger track. Trained on the course, 4. Call Me Artie finished well here nine days ago, although no match for a barnstorming winner. Carries 2kg less, and blinkers are back on. Include honest mare 6. Denmiss from a nice draw with a 3kg claim; and 8. The Grundler second-up; in trifectas and first fours.


Likely Tempo: Reasonable to Solid

My Betting Attack: BALONNE Each Way and Box Exacta: 2,3,4


*RACE 5 @ 4.04pm GREG BURKE RACING MANAGEMENT MAIDEN PLATE (1000m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Very tricky maiden sprint, with some key first starters on show. THis stacks up nicely for improving Rosehill colt 3. DIJON (Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou/Adrian Layt; barrier 3 & 57.5kg) at only his second start. Held his ground okay behind a smart one in a much deeper provincial maiden, and the winner has since scored again at BM 64 level. Drawn to tuck in just behind the speed, and be strong late.


*MAIN DANGERS: US-sired three-year-old 2. Bobby Is King hasn't been seen since a smart provincial trial win last July, but has plenty of ability so watch the betting. Keep safe US-bred three-year-old 5. Reach For Gold who debuts from a nice draw behind two forward trials. Trained on the track, Cable Bay filly 7. Burgundy Girl debuts in winkers off two improving trials; while include in wider exotics three-year-old Sooboog filly 10. Mrs Gloop who debuts in blinkers behind three consistent and recent trials; and capable mare 6. Stella Siren who resumes without publicly trialing, but that is typical of the stable and she boasts a tidy fresh record.


Likely Tempo: Good to Strong

My Betting Attack: DIJON to WIN


*RACE 6 @ 4.44pm ONECALL STEEL & FORM 2YO MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


It doesn't get much easier here with the babies, most of whom are on debut. Going with beautifully bred Randwick colt 3. GOLDEN PASSPORT (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott/Ms Winona Costin; barrier 2 & 57kg) who debuts in blinkers for leading juvenile stable. Showed good cruising speed in two trials, draws to get a soft run, and is by late and prolific Golden Slipper winner Sebring out of multiple Group 1 winning NZ staying mare Princess Coup.


*MAIN DANGERS: Rival metro colt 5. Sir Artie is a serious threat on debut in blinkers, having bolted in a recent provincial trial on soft ground. Big watch too on debutant Snitzel filly 9. Mrs Patmore behind two recent trials, with blinkers applied. Home track Rubick filly 10. Opal Ridge looked strong winning a trial nine days ago, and can lead home the local brigade; while expecting a big first-up run from 2. One Destiny after tackling stronger opposition in two runs last spring. 


Likely Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: GOLDEN PASSPORT to WIN & Trifecta 3,5,9/2,3,5,9,10/2,3,5,9,10


*RACE 7 @ 5.25pm TAB FEDERAL BENCHMARK 75 HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Feature race of the day, and keen on Albury six-year-old 9. SWAGGER (Mitchell Beer/Jordan Mallyon; barrier 2 & 56kg) second-up after returning with a strong closing effort in a good feature sprint on Moruya Cup day. Normally progresses into his next run, and draws to be tucked away back in the field and saved for a big finish.


*MAIN DANGERS: Smart Goulburn mare 7. Ten Bells (also accepted for Canterbury Friday night) is the obvious threat if she runs first-up off a nice trial win in good time, although a little query at six furlongs under 58kg. Won three from four last prep, including two Highways at Randwick. Gap to the rest headed by tough local mare 2. Calescent (accepted for Canterbury as well) who finished best to claim the Federal here nine days ago; while home track seven-year-old 4. Mad As Zariz is a knock-out chance at odds, third-up and drawn to get cover, and coming out of that same race as the top selection.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: SWAGGER to WIN & Trifecta: 7,9/2,4,7,9/2,4,7,9


*RACE 8 @ 5.55pm WOMEN IN RACING CLASS 1 PLATE (1600m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


We wrap it up over the mile, and while there's a few legitimately over the odds here, can't go past progressive Randwick four-year-old 7. SUPREMO (John Thompson/Billy Owen; barrier 2 & 59kg) back sharply in grade fourth-up. Was swamped late after leading for a long way in BM 64 metro class 16 days ago, but hits peak fitness now from a soft draw, and suited under the set weight scale.


*MAIN DANGERS: Got plenty of time for four-year-old 6. Ribeauville who hasn't been far away in two runs since claiming his maiden in dominant fashion at Hawkesbury, and is looking for this trip now. Another metro visitor 4. King Ratel third-up; and provincial  six-year-old 3. Destacado third-up; can fight out the minor money.


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My Betting Attack: SUPREMO to WIN & Quinella: 6 and 7




R1 1. BROTHERS OF ANTRIM** Expect: $2.65 - $3.00; My Early Rating: $1.96

R2 6. ONE POSE* Expect: $2.45 - $2.70; My Early Rating: $2.10




R5 3. DIJON** Expect: $5.50 - $6.00; My Early Rating: $3.45

R7 9. SWAGGER* Expect: $5.50 - $6.50; My Early Rating: $3.98




R7: Trifecta 3,5,9/2,3,5,9,10/2,3,5,9,10




Matthew Smith*

Brad Widdup*

John Thompson*