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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans 21 October 2021

Track likely Soft 5/6 & Rail out +3m from 900m to 275m & True the Remainder:


*RACE 1 @ 2.05pm IRON JACK MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 57kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


A little give in the track with a few showers in the lead-up. We start with a shallow yet tough maiden where the first starters could have a big say. One of them, three-year-old Divine Prophet filly 10. PROPHET'S PRIDE (Paul Facoory/Shaun Guymer; 57kg) is trained on the track, and has progressed through three open trials, winning the latest. Draws to find a handy trail off the fence. 


*MAIN DANGERS: Canberra mare 11. Serb Alert has beaten all bar the winner in her last two, both sitting on the speed and coming from well back. Draws to get plenty of cover again back in the field, and will be strong late. Rival Canberra three-year-old 5. Keynes Time resumes from a nice trailing gate, and while he hasn't publicly trialled that's typical of the stable, and he's expected to run a big race fresh. Metropolitan colt 7. Mandalong Cash lines up for his 12th start and deep into the current prep. Form is very mixed, and will need some luck from a tricky draw. Watch the betting too on local filly 6. Island Bay Lady who hasn't been seen at the trials since trailing the field in heavy ground at Rosehill in autumn, and has his first run for the new local stable after transferring from the Chris Waller yard. Reportedly been working nicely, and debuts in blinkers.


Likely Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: PROPHET'S PRIDE to WIN & Trifecta: 5,10,11/5,6,7,10,11/5,6,7,10,11


*RACE 2 @ 2.40pm HYGAIN BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Plenty of speed on here in another tricky sprint. Tough local six-year-old 2. CONCRETE (Joe Cleary/Jake Pracey-Holmes; 62kg) comes back significantly in class from a Federal here when he did his best work late. Goes up a hefty 7kg, but still looks well placed, and can settle a bit closer from a soft gate and be the strongest late.


*MAIN DANGERS: Lightly raced six-year-old ex-Coffs mare 7. Fantini is six weeks between runs having her first start for a new Canberra stable. Was beaten under five lengths in a much stronger Highway two months back, and if she can slot in from an awkward draw will be hard to hold out. There are few more honest than the eight-year-old 4. Revolver who had placed in four straight runs until finishing just out of the money in a similar race at Leeton. Strike rate is modest, but he's been carrying weight for much of his career and draws to get a decent run off speed. Including eight-year-old 3. Exaggerate and five-year-old mare 5. Deviate in wider exotics.


Likely Tempo: Strong

My Betting Attack: CONCRETE to WIN


*RACE 3 @ 3.20pm TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY CLASS 1 HCP (900m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Back to the scamper trip where any mistake at the start here is nearly always curtains. Typically, there's plenty who will show early speed, including progressive Warwick Farm four-year-old 2. MONTE DI FIORE (Greg Hickman/Adrian Layt; 60kg) who is ready to strike fourth-up. Backs up in eight days after being edged out late here when doing a tonne of work from the wide draw, and with a softer run to the turn and back 100m in trip, he's the class in the race.


*MAIN DANGERS: Plenty of them headed by home track mare 3. Pruscino who resumes for a second prep without officially trialling, but comes to hand quickly and is destined to win better races. Promising Canberra filly 5. Nephradiva fought well when resuming here after doing plenty of work from the wide gate, and with improved race manners, she's right in this carrying the same weight. Included in exotics three-year-old filly 6. Cosmic Serenade third-up with blinkers coming off; while local four-year-old mare 7. Surprise Factor is best of the rest fifth-up.


Likely Tempo: Strong

My Betting Attack: MONTE DI FIORE to WIN & Box Exacta: 2,3,5


*RACE 4 @ 3.55pm JOHN McGRATH AUTO GROUP BENCHMARK 60 HCP (2000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Out in distance for what could be a leisurely run affair. Improving home track seven-year-old 1. HILLTOP HOOD (Mick Smith/Damon Budler a1.5kg; 61.5kg) can peak here third-up nearly five weeks between runs. Worked home nicely in a deeper race here last time, and this is the thinnest assignment he's faced in a while.


*MAIN DANGERS: Local five-year-old 3. Subtly Spring gets back out to a more suitable trip with a little weight relief after failing badly over 1460m eight days ago. Keep safe five-year-old mare 5. Mahsinger who can mix her form, but will relish a bit of cut out of the ground; while capable mare 9. Room Number is very fit and looks to be recapturing the form of her early days.


Likely Tempo: Fair

My Betting Attack: HILLTOP HOOD to WIN


*RACE 5 @ 4.35pm SEEARS WORKWEAR MAIDEN PLATE (1460m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Moderate maiden, with several hopes. Hard to believe four-year-old Canberra mare 6. PANDERING (Keith Dryden/Brendan Ward; 57kg) is still chasing her first win ahead of her seventh start, and for most of that time she's made an art-form of burning a hole in punters' pockets. Again got well back here eight days ago before working home late, and the significant step up in trip is timely fourth-up, and the switch can finally be flicked on this daughter of UK sire Zebedee.


*MAIN DANGERS: Watch the market closely on five-year-old 1. Gilded Crown having his first start for a new and in-form provincial stable off a two month break, and likes soft tracks. Keep safe local four-year-old 3. Swiss Promise who was heavily backed from an each-way quote here eight days ago in his first run for the new stable, and was disappointing. Include in wider exotics three-year-old filly 10. Coupla Days fourth-up with blinkers added.


Likely Tempo: Fair to Solid

My Betting Attack: PANDERING to WIN


*RACE 6 @ 5.10pm TAB FEDERAL HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Feature race of the day will serve up good pressure from barrier to box, and there's any number of chances. Trained on the track, five-year-old mare 4. GIRLS ARE READY (Joe Cleary/Jake Pracey-Holmes; 56kg) looms as the big value resuming off a four month spell. Hasn't publicly trialled and is well used to racing over further, but normally fires early in her prep, and looks well treated at the weights.


*MAIN DANGERS: Speaking of pressure, there'll be plenty riding on Canberra five-year-old 1. Washington Towers who comes back in grade after dropping out badly at Rosehill when going way too hard in front. Had let punters down in his previous two when well in the market, and can be ridden a little quieter here over a bit more ground. Must keep safe tough seven-year-old 3. Mr Kylin who jumps up sharply from a smart win in much weaker grade, but draws the inside carrying 5kg less. Honest five-year-old 6. Hezredhot has stuck on well in his last couple, and back to 1200m from an ideal gate, he can give another big sight. Included in exotics seven-year-old mare 7. Milamoo who rattled home to win a weaker race here, but this is a big step up.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: GIRLS ARE READY Each Way & Trifecta 1,3,4/1,3,4,6,7/1,3,4,6,7


*RACE 7 @ 5.50pm WATERLAND CLASS 2 HCP (1460m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


We close the meeting with a competitive battle. Progressive three-year-old Canberra filly 7. STRATUM PRIDE (Keith Dryden/Michael Heagney; 55kg) can add a second career win at just her eighth start. Came from well back to land her maiden here two runs ago before a good thing robbed in a BM 58 eight days ago behind Milamoo who contests the Federal prior. No surprise to see a superior jockey taking over, and she is the one to beat on the minimum weight.


*MAIN DANGERS: Consistent local mare 1. Bring It Bella won a BM 65 here two runs back, and draws to get a sound run on speed. After two runs back from a long spell, Canberra six-year-old 3. Who's Shout is ready to peak, also with a significant rider change. Keep safe seven-year-old mare 5. Sly Song who was close-up in that same BM 58 as the top selection.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: STRATUM PRIDE to WIN














R3: Box Exacta: 2,3,5




Keith Dryden*

Joe Cleary*




Jake Pracey-Holmes*