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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans 22 July 2022

*1st Race @ 12.16pm

*Track improving to Soft 6 & Rail out +7m (+3m last meeting):


*RACE 1 @ 12.16pm IRON JACK CLASS 1 PLATE (1600m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. CRIME SPREE (Peter & Paul Snowden/Robbie Dolan; 57.5kg & barrier 2) -We kick off another deep & strong Federal card on a Soft surface, with the improving milers. Can't go past this progressive Randwick-based 3YO who is ideally placed getting out to the mile 2nd-up. Failed to run on in a deeper provincial CL1 when resuming, but carries the same weight here against weaker opposition, and is drawn to get a lovely smoother back in the field


DANGERS: 2. *Donegal Lights; 7. *Finn's Fortune


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My BET PLAN: CRIME SPREE to WIN & Quinella: 1 and 2


*RACE 2 @ 12.51pm TAB LONG MAY WE PLAY BENCHMARK 65 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. SIFU (Natalie Jarvis/Ms Jess Taylor; 59kg & barrier 6) -Very even sprint, but got plenty of time for this underrated 5YO South Coast mare who can strike 1st-up coming back in grade. Swept home to beat a good CL2 field at this track in January, then placed in deeper metro company before levelling out against much tougher opposition than this. Comes to hand quickly, and from a draw where she will drift back in the field, should relish the long straight here. Over the odds!


DANGERS: 1. **Beauchamp; 2. **Galaxy Force; 5. *Sky Diamonds


Likely Tempo: Good

My BET PLAN: SIFU Each Way & Box Exacta: 1,2,4


*RACE 3 @ 1.26pm HOPS & HOOVES FESTIVAL RACE DAY - 24TH SEPT MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55.5kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. I AM MIGHTY (Joseph Ible/Rory Hutchings; 58kg & barrier 10) -Plenty of chances in this sprint as well, headed by a lightly raced 4YO provincial mare who gets her chance to break through starting a second prep behind two steady trials. Regularly found the line in deeper company last prep, and flew late to beat all bar a handy country winner on debut last December. Will settle back from a wide barrier, but should lap up this long stretch home, and boasts a superior closing 300m. Bred to thrive in soft ground


DANGERS: 4. *I Am Mighty; 5. *First Grange; 7. *Appetite For Risk 8. *Dehero


Likely Tempo: Good



*RACE 4 @ 2.01pm TAB MELBOURNE CUP RACE DAY -1ST NOV MAIDEN PLATE (1300m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 8. AUNT BRIDGE (Donna Scott/Simon Miller; 57kg & barrier 13) -One of the tougher and more open races on the program. Keen on this tough and improving 3YO filly 2nd-up off a 10-week break, and coming back 100m in trip. Stuck on well enough resuming for the new Albury stable when carrying half kilo more through inferior ground, and despite a wider draw here, can roll across & dictate up top again. Ultimately bred to get much further by four-time Group 1-winning Japanese super sire Maurice and out of a Monsun mare


DANGERS: 1. *Avvertimento; 3. *Butter Both Sides; 6. *Pyrat; 14. *Region Time


Likely Tempo: Reasonable



*RACE 5 @ 2.36pm VALE SHANE CONNOLLY BENCHMARK 50 HCP (1300m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 2. BEAU ROCK (Gratz Vella/Jean Van Overmeire; 62.5kg & barrier 15) -Another very tricky affair for the lower-graded sprinters. This tough home track 4YO doesn't win out of turn, but is hard fit and has built a nice record here. Worked home okay in a deeper race at Albury only 10 days ago, and a far superior and senior rider taking over is a big plus. Drawn wide, but should have enough early speed to get across into a handy enough position, and the more the track dries out the better he's placed. Over the odds


DANGERS: 6. *Lennox Road; 7. **Mandalong Cash; 8. **Samindi; 9. *Shecago; 11. *Cartography


Likely Tempo: Solid

My BET PLAN: BEAU ROCK Each Way & First Four 2,7,8/2,6,7,8,9,11/2,6,7,8,9,11/2,6,7,8,9,11


*RACE 6 @ 3.13pm JOHN McGRATH AUTO GROUP BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1600m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 6. STRATUM PRIDE (Keith Dryden/Damon Budler a1.5kg; 58kg & barrier 5)  -Good quality mile battle for this grade, again with several chances. Like this progressive 3YO local filly to win again after a breaking of run of outs with an impressive CL1 win at Albury finishing hard from midfield. Again draws to get good cover a few lengths back & has the superior closing sprint in soft going. Was only 3 lengths from the winner in a much tougher Highway six weeks back, and right at peak fitness


DANGERS: 2. *Twig; 7. *Tip Top Timing; 8. *Super View


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 7 @ 3.53pm TAB FEDERAL BENCHMARK 70 HCP (1300m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. GUSONIC (Donna Scott/Ms Coriah Keatings a4kg; 61.5kg & barrier 5) -They don't get much tougher & genuine around such a grade as this front-running Albury 5YO who reloads off a six week break. Was always ultra competitive before leading all the way in tougher metro BM 72 grade, and the form behind him has held up very well. Only concern is a very junior 4kg-claiming rider has been booked to off-set the huge weight, but she should have little trouble dictating up top from this draw


DANGERS: 3. **Molly Nails; 8. *Easy Rosie


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My BET PLAN: GUSONIC to WIN & Quinella: 1 and 3


*RACE 8 @ 4.33pm SEEARS WORKWEAR CLASS 1 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. EUPHRATES DREAM (Matthew Smith/Ms Robyn Freeman; 59kg & barrier 13) -Back to the short course for the closer, and again there's a few chances, but clearly headed by this progressive 3YO Warwick Farm filly who can strike third-up coming back in quality. Finished wall behind a smart winner at the provincials in her first run for nearly six weeks, and with extra fitness now, she looks a class above in this company despite drawing the outside gate. Expect her to be ridden quieter, and produce a dominant final 300m


DANGERS: 3. *Awesome Audrey; 4. *Lethal Lady; 5. *Miss Lamar


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good





R6 6. STRATUM PRIDE** Expect: $4.25 - $4.50; My Early Rating: $2.45

R8 1. EUPHRATES DREAM** Expect: $3.40 - $3.75; My Early Rating: $2.25




R2 4. SIFU** Expect: $5.75 - $6.00; My Early Rating: $3.75




R2: Box Exacta: 1,2,4