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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans 29 December 2021

*RACE 1 @ 1.46pm ONECALL FORM & STEEL BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1200m) Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Competitive battle in this grade to open a big card, and a few strong chances as well. Home track four-year-old mare 3. EVANORA (Luke Pepper/Matthew Cahill; 59.5kg) can peak first-up off a soft trial from a low draw. Was scratched from the next race to be saved for this.


*MAIN DANGERS: Capable mare 1. Jac The Great normally races well on the fresher side, and this looks an ideal trip off a 15-week break. Local seven-year-old 2. Romeo Vella has never raced better, thundering home to win a similar race here 17 days ago. Hasn't finished further back than second in his last four, but it's been a long time since he's been asked to carry 60kg. Watch the betting on improving metropolitan mare 5. Winning Business who slides back from CL1 provincial grade fifth-up, and draws the inside; while keeping safe another metro mare 4. Everyone deep into her prep.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: EVANORA to WIN


*RACE 2 @ 2.21 BEGA CUP 2 DAY CARNIVAL 29-30 JAN @SAPPHIRECOAST CLASS 2 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Very forgiving of lightly raced mare 1. OUTTA REACH (Kurt Goldman/Ms Hannah Williams a2kg; 56.5kg) after flopping badly here first-up. Had to pass a vet's exam to start; and then beat one home before pulling up with a very slow recovery. Much better than that, and from a handy trailing draw in a weaker race, she can bounce back hard.


*MAIN DANGERS: Big watch on emerging Warwick Farm filly 4. Per Ivy who was heavily backed on debut before cutting down the leader late at Wyong. Has been given five weeks since via a tidy trial and draws to get a soft run. Improving metro mare 2. Time For Peace is a threat third-up back a little in grade; while keeping safe three-year-old 6. Extravagant Lad who just missed behind a smart one here third-up.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: OUTTA REACH to WIN and Trifecta: 1,4/1,2,4,6/1,2,4,6


*RACE 3 @ 2.56 CAPITAL RACING STABLES BENCHMARK 65 HCP (2000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Another testing affair over the longer journey. Improving four-year-old and hard fit metro mare 2. SPROUT WINGS (Matthew Smith/Ms Jess Taylor; 58kg) is primed to finally win a second race at her 11th start. Has missed narrowly in her last two, and on a suitably bigger track was preferred here to Orange on Monday.


*MAIN DANGERS: Honest five-year-old 6. Subtly Spring was close-up in weaker grade last time, and drops sharply in weight but would need everything to go his way from a tricky draw. A pair of six-year-olds 5. Street Cred and 8. Confident Lad came out of that same BM 58 at Queanbeyan when fair to the line and well in the market; while home track five-year-old 4. Clem Fandango gets nice weight relief returning home after putting in a shocker at Orange.


Likely Tempo: Fair

My Betting Attack: SPROUT WINGS to WIN


*RACE 4 @ 3.31 LONGPARK MEAT CO MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 56.5kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Very tricky dash for the maidens, with a few key first starters. Keen on provincial-based Dream Ahead three-year-old 2. NOVEMBER RHYTHM (Terry Croft/Jeff Penza; 59kg) who is ready to rock off two forward trials. Stable has taken plenty of time to earmark the debut race, and he draws okay.


*MAIN DANGERS: Metro three-year-old 5. Dante Alighieri returns as a gelding behind two trials. Big watch on resuming filly 14. Shez Rising who flopped in heavy ground on debut in winter, but has been given two very quiet trials by leading Warwick Farm stable. Local mare 3. Yesterday's Gone charged home late on debut in a weak country maiden despite being unwanted in betting. Watch the market on US-sired three-year-old 1. Lockup The Kittens who debuts for a leading local stable behind a nothing trial; as well as 4. Iridium who draws the inside for his third start with winkers added. Both metro filly 6. Hollow Dollar third-up and home track debutant filly 10. Dandjel are worth including in trifectas and first fours.


Likely Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: NOVEMBER RHYTHM Each Way


*RACE 5 @ 4.06pm NICE OLIVE RACING MAIDEN PLATE (1300m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Another very tough maiden to assess. Progressive three-year-old filly 14. SANTORINI SUN (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace/TBA) was okay late, resuming in a much classier maiden on the Kensington track 26 days ago. Stays over this trip, will relish the long run home here, and showed plenty of closing power in two runs for a leading stable through winter.


*MAIN DANGERS: Home track five-year-old 2. Oahu Gaze worked home nicely first-up at Wagga when well specked at an each way price, and the set weight conditions are a little bonus. Watch the market closely on So You Think three-year-old 6. Orton Park who resumes for only his second start behind two trials for a strong metro juvenile stable. Also returning for a second start is provincial colt 7. Selvam off two quiet trials; while Randwick mare 9. Kyalla will find this easier than her last two despite being drawn off the track; and home track mare 12. Third Eye resumes for a second prep.


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My Betting Attack: SANTORINI SUN to WIN & First Four: 2,6,14/2,6,7,9,12,14/2,6,7,9,12,14/2,6,7,9,12,14


*RACE 6 @ 4.41 TAB FEDERAL BENCHMARK 75 HCP (1400m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Feature race of the day, and there's not much between a few of these so early tactics and tempo will be crucial. Expecting sharp improvement second-up from talented local mare 3. MEG (Matthew Dale/Ms Amy McLucas a1.5kg; 58kg) after being well outclassed in a stronger BM 72 at Randwick. Up 300m in trip is a big plus being a dominant CL1 winner over the mile last prep, and she has the superior acceleration.


*MAIN DANGERS: Tough Queanbeyan mare 1. Girls Are Ready is right at the top of her game fourth-up. Up sharply in weight after powering home to win a deeper Federal here last meeting before missing a run with the abandoned Moruya card. Prefers it wetter, but loves this distance. Local six-year-old 2. Major Time is looking for this trip now after two solid runs back. Capable five-year-old 4. Hezredhot won two straight before doing too much work on speed at Wagga, and has a solid record here at home.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: MEG to WIN & Quinella: 1 and 3


*RACE 7 @ 5.16pm CLEANAWAY HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Competitive dash, and plenty to like about smart South Coast five-year-old 1. MR MAGICAL (Jamie Stewart/Nick Heywood; 60kg) who is a proven weight carrier and can erupt first-up over his pet trip. Won three straight last prep, including a dominant BM 82 feature win, before spelling, and has a strong fresh record for an underrated stable.


*MAIN DANGERS: If the top selection brings his A game doubt there are any, although would keep safe local mare 2. Proud Mia who has a 33 percent winning strike rate over this trip; while four-year-old 5. Colonel was brave chasing fourth-up behind a smart short-course winner in the recent Moruya Town Plate. Under-rated mare 7. Look Only second-up is best of the rest.


Likely Tempo: Good

My Betting Attack: MR MAGICAL to WIN


*RACE 8 @ 5.51pm ECO-ROAD HERO DUST/BLOKR CLASS 1 HCP (1300m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


Capable Randwick filly 2. MY SNOW QUEEN (John Sargent/Brendan Ward; 59.5kg) gets a timely drop in class fifth-up, with an important gear change. Has early tactical speed, and if she runs up to her last effort at Hawkesbury will take a power of beating.


*MAIN DANGERS: Liked the trial from five-year-old provincial stallion 1. Speed Zone who resumes for a fourth prep, and normally comes to hand quick enough. Included in wider exotics 4. Budderoo Blitz first-up off an 11-week break; and provincial mare 7. Divine Future who comes out of that same Hawkesbury race as the top selection.


Likely Tempo: Solid

My Betting Attack: MY SNOW QUEEN to WIN


*RACE 9 @ 6.30pm CAPITAL EA CLASS 1 PLATE (1600m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


Tricky battle over the mile at set weights to finish. Keen on lightly raced Randwick three-year-old 3. KING OF SPADES (John O'Shea/Jeff Penza; 57.5kg) who hasn't been far away in three provincial runs this prep, and draws to get a nice position on speed in a thinner race. Bred to get further, but has also accepted for Gosford.


*MAIN DANGERS: Watch the betting on metro mare 8. Fleetwood Macca who drops sharply in grade second-up, with blinkers added. Included in exotics metro filly and last start maiden winner 11. Lovin' Feelin' with blinkers removed; while provincial colt 13. Brave Boy emerges from a strong provincial form race second-up.


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My Betting Attack: KING OF SPADES to WIN














R6: Quinella: 1 and 3




John Sargent*

Terry Croft*

Matthew Smith*




Jeff Penza*