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Cracking Canberra Preview by Neil Evans - 7 April 2023

*RACE 1 @ 12.10pm JOHN McGRATH AUTO GROUP MG PHILLIP 3YO & UP CLASS 1 PLATE (1600m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. PIONEER LASS (Matthew Smith/Ms Robyn Freeman; 57kg & barrier 2) -The big 9-race historic meeting kicks off with a more than handy field for this grade over the mile. Keen at huge odds on this tough & improving 4YO metropolitan mare by Stratum Star who can strike deep into the prep getting back on a bigger track. Was dominant and impressive charging home 1st-up in a country maiden two starts back before again finishing off okay from well back on a more difficult & tighter turning circuit in a similar graded race. Should park around midfield from a low draw here, and can produce a sharp closing 400m burst


DANGERS: 2. **Cut On A Dime; 3. *Ellie's Dream; 6. **Offspring; 8. *Daddy Frank; 10. *Uptick


Likely Tempo: Fair to Solid

My BET PLAN: PIONEER LASS Each Way & Box Exacta: 2,4,6


*RACE 2 @ 12.45pm THANK YOU TIM OLIVE CLASS 1 HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 3. VANCOUVER QUEEN (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott/Ms Winona Costin; barrier 6 & 58.5kg) -Back we come in distance, and doubt anything can stop this talented and emerging 3YO metropolitan filly by Golden Slipper winner Vancouver. Exploded away on debut to thump a handy country maiden field before stepping up sharply in trip to a provincial BM 64, but after leading from a wide draw through inferior heavy ground, was well and truly swamped. Back on a firm surface here is a huge key, and she will roll forward again from a middle gate


DANGERS: 1. *In De Sun Iwilcome; 5. *Loud; 7. *Diamond Star


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 3 @ 1.20pm SEEARS WORKWEAR MAIDEN HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 56kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 2. LA MA VIA (Keith Dryden/Damon Budler a0kg; 58kg & barrier 3) -This shapes nicely on the speed map & over the 5 furlongs for a 4YO home track mare by reliable sprint sire Your Song 2nd-up. Held her ground resuming in the much deeper Lickety Split here on Cup day, and she reloads off a 25 day break staying at the journey, with winkers coming off


DANGERS: 1. *Vanoureuce; 3. *Agony Aunt; 5. *Venatic


Likely Tempo: Good



*RACE 4 @ 1.55pm GET BUILT CLASS 2 HCP (1400m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 7. MANILLA THRILLER (Keith Dryden/Jeff Penza; 55kg & barrier 1) -Hard to settle here in a tricky tactical affair; although there's good value around this locally-trained 6YO mare again by Your Song who can pounce 2nd-up over a furlong further at good odds. Worked home okay from last resuming here in a similar graded race, but fitter now and she can park closer from a much softer draw. Over the odds despite a modest career strike rate


DANGERS: 1. **Warby; 2. *The Maxinator; 3. Eberlee; 4. *Powerbeel


Likely Tempo: Reasonable to Solid



*RACE 5 @ 2.30pm JOHN McGRATH AUTO GROUP KIA PHILLIP COLTS, GELDINGS & ENTIRES CLASS 1 HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. HELLO JACK (Scott Collings/Nick Heywood; 58kg & barrier 7) -Now the all-boy sprinters lock horns, and this tough & underrated country 4YO by Super One can hit back hard at good odds deep into the prep. Led for a long way here in a Class 1 on Cup day before given little or no chance at Albury in similar grade when made to do far too much work to find the front. Should get a more economical run here, & the drop back a furlong in trip is crucial


DANGERS: 1. *Chesteray; 3. *Beagle; 5. **Motion Legend


Likely Tempo: Reasonable

My BET PLAN: HELLO JACK Each Way & Trifecta: 4,5/1,3,4,5/1,3,4,5


*RACE 6 @ 3.05pm IRON JACK MAIDEN PLATE (1300m) - Set Weights; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 5. CYCLE PEAK (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott/Lee Magorrian; 58.5kg & barrier 9) -Good testing maiden here, and plenty of value around the early favorite. One of those over the odds is this emerging 3YO by Caravaggio who progresses into his 2nd start for a leading metropolitan yard. Held his ground chasing hard on debut at the Beaumont track when backed from $3.00 into $2.80; and that looms as a useful form reference for a race like this. Fitter now, he can give a huge sight as long as he tucks in for some cover from the tricky draw


DANGERS: 4. *Aussie Pharoah; 13. *Choose Your Words; 14. *Matronymic


Likely Tempo: Reasonable to Solid

My BET PLAN: CYCLE PEAK to WIN & Box Trifecta: 4,5,13,14


*RACE 7 @ 3.40pm TAB FEDERAL BENCHMARK 70 HCP (1200m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 8. WATCH ME RUMBLE (Clint Lundholm/Jake Pracey-Holmes; 58.5kg & barrier 10) -Another good quality Federal sprint on offer, but nothing is better placed than this big-finishing and sparingly raced 4YO Stratum Star mare 3rd-up, and coming through superior formlines. Swept home for a dominant Class 4 Country C'ship Preview win before again finishing well late five weeks between runs in a Country C'ship Qualifier where the 2nd horse then went on to win the big Final at Randwick last Saturday. Again comes off a month break for this drop in trip, and has proven big time she's well up to carrying big weights


DANGERS: 1. *Transplant; 2. *Zelago; 6. *Puerto Rico


Likely Tempo: Solid



*RACE 8 @ 4.15pm CANBERRA SOUTHERN CROSS CLUB TUGGERANONG CUP BENCHMARK 65 HCP (1600m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 4. PERSEVERE (John O'Shea/Reece Jones a0kg; 60.5kg & barrier 1) -Now the feature & most open race of the day over a mile, and it stacks up nicely at good odds for this improving metropolitan 4YO by Medaglia d'Oro who is primed to strike 3rd-up from a low draw. Was only fair resuming in a provincial BM 64, but hit the line better when ridden quieter second-up in a deeper [provincial race, and he can be tucked away midfield here on a nice big & spacious track and saved for one last surge over the final 400m


DANGERS: 1. *Ferus; 3. *Sizzling Cat; 6. **Stratum Pride; 7. *Twig; 14. **Loose Love


Likely Tempo: Reasonable to Solid

My BET PLAN: PERSEVERE Each Way & First Four: 4,6,14/1,3,4,6,7,14/1,3,4,6,7,14/1,3,4,6,7,14


*RACE 9 @ 4.50pm HAPPY 40TH HUTCH BENCHMARK 60 HCP (1000m) - Min Weight 55kg; Apprentices Can Claim:


TOP SELECTION: 1. CHIEF CONDUCTOR (Sara Ryan/Jeff Penza; 62.5kg & barrier 12) -Back to the short course for the closer, & keen to ride home aboard this progressive and well bred provincial 4YO 3rd-up. Kept on strong resuming in more than handy provincial Class 1 before boxing on for a long way here in a Class 1 on Black Opal day here when rock solid in the market. Stays at the trip 26 days between runs, and is supremely bred being by prolific sire I Am Invincible out of Group 1 Lightning Stakes-winning mare Snitzerland


DANGERS: 2. *Beau Rock; 6. *Nomara; 12. *Giddy Up Gidleigh


Likely Tempo: Good to Strong





R2 3. VANCOUVER QUEEN** Expect: $2.50 - $2.85; My Early Rating: $1.90

R9 1. CHIEF CONDUCTOR** Expect: $2.60 - $2.85; My Early Rating: $2.00




R1 4. PIONEER LASS** Expect: $18.00 - $19.00; My early Rating: $6.80

R7 8. WATCH ME RUMBLE** Expect: $4.60 - $4.85; My Early Rating: $2.75




R4: Box Exacta: 1,4,7

R6: Box Trifecta: 4,5,13,14




"NE Says"