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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans - 29 December 2020

*1st Race @ 1.00pm


*Track likely around Soft 5, with some showers forecast, and Rail True:


*RACE 1 @ 1.00pm TODD SMART RACING HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 56kg; 2YO's; Weights Raised 1kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


We start a terrific betting card with the youngsters, and it's tricky with most on debut. Goulburn gelding 1. ALMAHERO (Danielle Seib/Blaike McDougall; 58kg) was out the back and beaten a long way on debut in the Group 3 Breeders' Plate in early spring. Returns in a much easier race, and blinkers have been added.


*MAIN DANGERS: Wangaratta filly 5. Gold Gift has good early speed, and held on okay debuting at Bendigo, although was unwanted in betting. Well-bred Queanbeyan gelding 3. Rocstar Boy is by Japanese star Maurice, and zipped around his home track to win a trial. Local gelding 4. Super Riff is bred to fly being by Super One out of a Bel Esprit mare. Has had two quiet trials, and the stable is going great guns.


Likely Tempo: Strong

My Betting Attack: ALMAHERO to Win


*RACE 2 @ 1.35pm IBLE RACING HCP (2000m) - BenchMark 65; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Well out in distance now for a tactical showdown, and there's not much between all of them, with most coming through similar formlines. Local 5YO gelding 4. DIP ME LID (Keith Dryden/Blaike McDougall; 57.5kg) has been costly, going under narrowly in his last three as favourite, but don't jump off just yet. Back up to this journey returning home is his signature assignment, and right at peak fitness.


*MAIN DANGERS: Similarly, Albury 5YO 5. Sydney Blue has run a string 2nd placings, the last two over the border at Wodonga in slightly thinner grade. Draws to get a nice trail right behind the speed. Tough Queanbeyan 6YO 3. Alpine King edged out Dip Me Lid in a BM 65 here a month ago, but hasn't started since and meets him slightly worse at the weights. Local 5YO 2. Nicholas finished hard to beat Dip Me Lid in a BM 66 at Wagga before fading after leading in a stronger race at Wyong over the mile. This is more his go, but meets Dip Me Lid 1.5kg worse off at the weights. Queanbeyan 5YO 1. Havaduel won his home Cup two starts back before sticking on okay in the Federal here over this journey, and big weight off-set by rookie hoop's 4kg claim.


Likely Tempo: Moderate

My Betting Attack: DIP ME LID to Win and First Four: 4,5/2,3,4,5/1,2,3,4,5/1,2,3,4,5


*RACE 3 @ 2.10pm PEPPER RACING HCP (1300m) - Class 1; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Keen on home track 3YO filly 5. BOHO CHICK (Luke Pepper/Simon Miller; 55kg) in the race named after the trainer. Dominated from the front two starts back in heavy going at Wagga before making up a tonne of late ground here after blowing the start in a very handy CL1. Draws to get a lovely smother off the speed, and extra trip is ideal.


*MAIN DANGERS: Talented 4YO local mare 3. Propose To Me hasn't started for nearly nine months, and has by-passed any official trials, but is smart when fresh, and reportedly has been in work for some time. Swept home to win on debut early autumn before charging home to just miss in heavy ground as an odds-on fancy in her only other run. Another local mare 6. Rosy Dawn is looking for  more ground after working home okay in two runs back from a spell, and also draws to get cover. Albury 4YO 1. Shadow Company is a solid weight carrier, and loomed to win his last two at home, but just found one better. Must be a query, though, over the longer trip in what is a deeper race.


Likely Tempo: Fair to Solid

My Betting Attack: BOHO CHICK to Win


*RACE 4 @ 2.45pm GRATZ VELLA RACING HCP (1000m) - Maiden; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Tricky sprint battle for the maidens. Like home track 4YO mare 10. RED KANZI (Ron Weston & John Nisbet/Kayla Nisbet; 55kg) second-up on the limit weight. Blew the start and didn't have much luck resuming at Wagga, but still ran through the line late, and can find a midfield position here and finish over the top.


*MAIN DANGERS: Braidwood 4YO 1. River Mac was slow to begin on debut here a month back, but still hit the line well, and the second horse has since won two straight. Trainer has tinkered with the gear, and gets some weight relief after the junior rider's 2kg allowance. Watch the betting on Goulburn filly and first starter 7. Missirose who trialled well at home; while 3YO local filly 8. Pandering resumes with no official trial. Did her best work late on debut at huge odds in winter, and can improve here, with top regional rider going on.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: RED KANZI to Win and Quinella 1 & 10


*RACE 5 @ 3.25pm JOSEPH JONES RACING PLATE (1300m) - Maiden; Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Big and open field of maidens going around at set weights, and there should be enough pressure up front. Improving Queanbeyan 4YO gelding 4. JOBKEEPER (Rex Cole/Blaike McDougall; 59kg) has been very solid in two runs back, missing by a nose here in a handy maiden.


*MAIN DANGERS: Watch the betting on local 4YO 5. Port Douglas who returns as a gelding for leading stable off an 11-month absence. No public trials, but showed enough early in his career, and blinkers have been removed. Expecting a big run at second start from local 3YO 15. Party All Night who was unwanted in betting on debut, but worked home nicely in that same maiden as Jobkeeper, and is drawn to get a soft run. Wangaratta 4YO 2. Debbonaire Boy resumed with a tidy finishing effort at Wagga, and suited by the longer trip, although will need to slot in early from an awkward draw. Home track 4YO mare 9. Just A Pearl got home late resuming at big odds in that maiden behind Jobkeeper. Will again go back from a wide barrier, but watch for her running on.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: JOBKEEPER to Win and Trifecta: 4,5,15/2,4,5,9,15/2,4,5,9,15


*RACE 6 @ 4.05pm LUXE TOWNHOUSES GOULBURN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Good competitive and high pressure sprint, with a few strong chances. Like 4YO Queanbeyan mare 2. GIRLS ARE READY (Joe Cleary/Ms Ellen Hennessy a1.5kg; 54kg) who drops in distance third-up off a six week freshen-up. Finished hard resuming in a BM 70 Federal before again doing good late work in a provincial BM 68. Gets in sensationally at the weights after the claim, and just needs clear running from the inside draw.


*MAIN DANGERS: Local 4YO mare 4. Shores Of Avalon returns home where she's won two from five, and has a 33 percent winning strike rate over the trip. Found it way too tough in a metro BM 72 last start, but also gets in well at the weights carrying 4kg less here. Goulburn 6YO 8. Mr Kylin will typically roll forward from a good gate, and can prove hard to get past. Form rider goes on, and this is the lightest weight he's carried since a brave effort in a Randwick Highway early September. Home track 6YO mare 5. Eve's Miss improved sharply to miss by a head in a BM 82 at Moruya, and also boasts a solid record this track and distance; while resuming 7YO 7. Our Finvarra is best of the rest also down in weight.


Likely Tempo: Good to Strong

My Betting Attack: GIRLS ARE READY to Win and Trifecta: 2,4,8/2,4,5,8/2,4,5,7,8


*RACE 7 @ 4.40pm ROB POTTER RACING HCP (1200m) - BenchMark 60; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Another fairly open affair where again there should be solid speed up front. Don't be concerned by the poor winning strike rate of 5YO local gelding 8. EUROSAY (Todd Smart/Blaike McDougall; 57.5kg) who draws to find an ideal trail. Came off two solid closing runs here to find the line just behind the place-getters in a tougher Highway at Randwick. Hard fit, and back to 1200m is ideal.


*MAIN DANGERS: Big watch on speedy 4YO mare 6. Polyxena who has returned to her original stable at the track after an average Victorian campaign. Trialled nicely for her return, and just needs to slot in from an awkward barrier. Tough Queanbeyan 5YO 1. Concrete hasn't finished off his last two in tougher grade since a dominant front-running win in a weaker race at home. Back to a more suitable trip and class, although even with a 4kg claim, still weighted right to his best. Goulburn mare 5. Ameares hasn't won for a while, and climbs in weight, but did hit the line okay in a BM 65 here last start.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: EUROSAY to Win


*RACE 8 @ 5.15pm TAB FEDERAL (1400m) - BenchMark 70; Hcp; Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Now for the feature race, and in typical Federal-style, there's plenty of chances. Smart local 5YO 4. NIECES AND NEPHEWS (Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones/Patrick Scorse; 60kg) has won two of his last four, and draws to get a lovely trail just behind the speed. Scraped home in a BM 66 at Mudgee two runs back before sticking on gamely in the BM 82 Xmas Cup at Moruya.


*MAIN DANGERS: Much will depend on whether smart 6YO mare 6. Successful Day can find the front from a wide gate without doing too much work after her dominant all-the-way win here second-up. She drops 2.5kg going up to this level, and has a touch of quality about her. Include in wider exotics local 7YO mare 11. Away She Goes who drops in weight with a significant jockey change, and motored home behind Successful Day.


Likely Tempo: Strong

My Betting Attack: NIECES AND NEPHEWS to Win and Box Exacta 4,6,11


*RACE 9 @ 5.55pm NICK OLIVE RACING PLATE (1600m) - Class 1; Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


We cap a strong day's racing over the mile, and 5YO mare 9. RIVERSTOCK (Joseph Ible/John Kissick; 57kg) is the one to beat coming back from a strong finishing effort in tougher Highway grade over 1800m. Had previously finished close-up in two runs around this grade, and only needs clear air from the turn to be charging home.


*MAIN DANGERS: Local 4YO 10. Heydaze is better suited dropping back to the mile at only his third start.


Likely Tempo: Fair

My Betting Attack: RIVERSTOCK to Win














R4: **QUINELLA 1 & 10

R8: *BOX EXACTA 4,6,11