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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans 30 December 2022

*1st Race @ 12.55pm

*Track likely Soft 5 & Rail True:


*RACE 1 @ 12.55pm GRATZ VELLA RACING BENCHMARK 65 HCP (2000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. COUNT ON ME (John O'Shea/Reece Jones a0kg; 58kg & barrier 2) -we open a terrific day's racing with a small field, but genuine staying test, and not much separates most of them. Keen on this provincial 4YO who is ready to strike over more ground 3rd-up. By Reliable Man who will find this a shade easier than his last couple, and gets a soft run around midfield before producing a superior closing 600m over a suitable long run home


DANGERS: 2. *Adelaide's Diamond; 3. *Diamond Class; 4. *Casino Time; 5. *Jessandi


Likely Tempo: Fair



*RACE 2 @ 1.31pm BEGA CUP CARNIVAL JAN 28 & 29 BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 3. I AM MAMWAAZEL (John Rolfe/Billy Owen; 62kg & barrier 5) -back to the sprint trip, and it all stacks up nicely 4th-up for this home track 5YO by I Am Invincible coming back a little in trip. Was dominant from the front here in a handy CL2 19 days ago, and the jump in weight is off-set by a lack of depth in this field, especially if one of the main market rivals heads elsewhere


DANGERS:  4. **Enzina (also accepted for Orange); 9. *Mezzatorre


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My BET PLAN: I AM MAMWAAZEL to WIN & Quinella: 3 and 4


*RACE 3 @ 2.06pm NORM GARDNER RACING MAIDEN PLATE (1300m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 6. AMARANTZ (Danielle Seib/Ms Hannah Williams a1.5kg; 56kg & barrier 4) -doubt anything can hold out this promising and progressive 4YO Animal Kingdom mare 2nd-up over a crucial 300m further. Charged home late behind a speedster first-up at Goulburn where it wasn't easy to make up ground, and she looks thrown in at the weights carrying 2.5kg less after the claim. Settles back again with cover, and has a 40 percent place strike rate from 12 starts against generally better opposition


DANGERS: 2. *Prometio Mas; 3. *Up To Me; 4. *Bulleyes


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 4 @ 2.41pm ECO-ROAD HERO DUST/BLOKR CLASS 1 HCP (1300m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 3. BIANCO VILANO (Ron Stubbs/Nick Souquet; 60kg & barrier 5) -A bit of quality here, and confident this progressive 4YO by Foxwedge can hit paydirt 2nd-up over more ground for a good Albury sprint stable. Hit the line well resuming in a deep CL1 at home, and this is an ideal next assignment given he impressed winning his only previous outing over the journey. Drawn to sit off the speed with a trail, and can lay down a claim for a start in a Highway if he takes care of this lot


DANGERS: 1. **Dirty Merchant; 9. *Patrika Mist


Likely Tempo: Solid

My BET PLAN: BIANCO VILANO to WIN & Quinella: 1 and 3


*RACE 5 @ 3.16pm ROSS MOIR SIGNS CLASS 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 6. JAMROCK (Annabel Neasham/Ms Alysha Collett; 55kg & barrier 1) -very keen on this Warwick Farm-based 3YO by Pierro peaking at his 3rd start, and importantly staying at the mile trip. Liked the way he attacked the line late in a strong maiden at the provincials three weeks back, and he can be tucked away from the inside here, and saved up for a superior closing rush over the final 450m


DANGERS: 3. *You Are King; 4. *Merisi; 9. *More Saintly


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 6 @ 3.53pm LONGPARK MEAT CO BENCHMARK 50 HCP (1400m) - Min Weight 58kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. APPETITE FOR RISK (Bryce Heys/Ms Molly Bourke a1.5kg; 61kg & barrier 5) -lower grade battle here, but a few chances. Hard fit and having won two of his last three over 1300m, this tough metro-based 5YO by Savabeel can put another paling on the fence despite rising in weight for the drop in grade. Stable has found the key with him rolling to the front, and he should do the same again here. Looks supremely graded here when you consider the minimum has been lifted to 58kg


DANGERS: 1. *Single Crown; 5. *Borsalina; 6. **Newtown Braveheart; 8. *Vintage Barossa


Likely Tempo: Moderate

My BET PLAN: APPETITE FOR RISK to WIN & Trifecta: 4,6/1,4,5,6,8/1,4,5,6,8


*RACE 7 @ 4.33pm GOLD COAST TURF CLUB CLAN O'SULLIVAN 2YO HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. DENMAN STAR (Ciaron Maher & David Eustace/Ms Louise Day; 59.5kg & barrier 4) -an exciting 1st leg of the Canberra Summer Series for the 2YO's honouring the brilliant sprinter from 30 years ago, and it stacks up beautifully for this impressive Denman colt peaking 4th-up in his first prep for a powerhouse city stable. Backs up in nine days after chasing hard to miss by a whisker at Warwick Farm when hard enough in the market, and with good tactical speed and blinkers being added, he's the one to catch


DANGERS: 2. *Chasing A Quid; 5. **Hokusai; 8. *Relatives


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My BET PLAN: DENMAN STAR to WIN & Trifecta: 1,5/1,2,5,8/1,2,5,8


*RACE 8 @ 5.13pm MATT KELLEY RACING OPEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 6. MR MOPPETT (Phil Sweeney/Josh Richards; 58.5kg & barrier 3) -terrific open class battle over the short course, and there'll be a good tussle for outright favouritism. Always been a big fan of this country 5YO by Sizzling who loves this distance, and can strike 5th-up settling back from a good cover draw. Swept home to easily win the BM 88 sprint feature on Snake Gully Cup day at Gundagai before working home late in a much deeper BM 78 at Pakenham in Victoria. Way better placed here on a bigger track, just doesn't want too much rain turning up


DANGERS: 3. *Major Time; 4. **Smuggler's Bay; 5. *Shores Of Avalon


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good

My BET PLAN: MR MOPPETT to WIN & Quinella: 4 and 6


*RACE 9 @ 5.53pm TAB FEDERAL BENCHMARK 70 HCP (1400m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. ALMOST PERSUADED (Rob Potter/Ms Rochelle Wedrat-Kroezen a3kg; 56.5kg & barrier 2) -another competitive Federal feature where the pattern may have a big say if any rain arrives by late in the day. Settled on this home track 5YO mare by Casino Prince who is as tough as they come, and shoots for a third consecutive win. Was well backed at each-way odds before leading all the way in a good quality BM 66 at Mudgee four weeks back, and she can plot a similar path here from a soft draw. Was preferred here to the meeting at Orange


DANGERS: 1. *Propose A Toast; 5. **Miss Ostend; 7. **Trooper Knuckle


Likely Tempo: Reasonable to Solid

My BET PLAN: ALMOST PERSUADED to WIN & Box Exacta: 4,5,7


*RACE 10 @ 6.34pm POTTER RACING RAY IRWIN MEMORIAL MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 56kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 7. REBEL LOVE (Matthew Smith/Blaike Spriggs; 56.5kg & barrier 8) -the maiden sprinters bring home a big day's racing, and very much aboard this progressive 3YO Dissident filly who reloads 27 days between runs since missing narrowly 1st-up at Newcastle. Stable has always had a decent opinion of her, and significant that after a sound provincial trial 11 days ago, near side blinkers have been added


DANGERS: 3. *Just Wai; 4. *Maresca; 6. *Frose; 11. *So Rosie


Likely Tempo: Solid to Good





R3 6. AMARANTZ** Expect: $2.00 - $2.10; My Early Rating: $1.78

R4 3. BIANO VILANO** Expect: $4.00 - $4.25; My Early Rating: $2.40

R8 6. MR MOPPETT** Expect: $3.85 - $4.25; My Early Rating: $2.25




R5 6. JAMROCK** Expect: $4.50 - $4.75; My Early Rating: $2.75




R4: **QUINELLA 1 & 3

R7: *TRIFECTA : 1,5/1,2,5,8/1,2,5,8