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Invertational looking to invite herself to Country Championship Qualifier

Friday’s race meeting at Canberra is highlighted by an intriguing edition of the TAB Federal (1400m). The Benchmark 70 will see flying filly Invertational step up to take on last start TAB Federal winner I Am Mamwaazel amongst a host of quality country gallopers.

Matthew Kelley’s Invertational is hunting three consecutive victories after a powerful last start win at Wagga on the 5th of January. The three-year-old daughter of Invader was held up at a key stage in the straight and had every right to not finish the race off.

Once she got across heels and found clear air though, it was evident she was a class above when pulling away to score by almost two lengths. While this was impressive, Trainer Matthew Kelley thinks she is going even better going into this Friday’s TAB Federal.

“She has trained on excellently.” Kelley said. “Her work was great before that win at Wagga but she’s been even better this week.”

“She’s been working through the grades nicely and now has to prove herself with more weight here.”

“She has drawn wide here (Barrier 10) so we’ll look to settle mid-field or maybe a bit worse and we will be looking to run past them late.”

Kelley has mapped out a preparation for Invertational that will ideally culminate in the Country Championship Final (1400m) on the 1st of April at Royal Randwick.

“I’m hopeful she can run top three here to pick up a few benchmark points to get her into the Moruya Qualifier (5th March).” Kelley said.

“I’ve been spacing her runs about four weeks apart so this is a perfect lead in for her.”

Kelley looks to have a nice hand in the Country Championships Moruya Qualifier with Invertational likely to be joined by stablemates I’ve Bean Tryin’ and Prophet’s Pride.

Earlier in the day, a full field of two-year-olds have assembled in the Mike Cramsie Memorial Race Day Handicap (1000m) with the ETS Refrigeration Black Opal Preview (1000m) just three weeks away.

Local Trainer Gratz Vella looks to have two nice juveniles in his care with Chop The Ice and Chasing A Quid running great races in the first Canberra two-year-old race of 2023 on the 21st of January.

Both have drawn favourably on Friday with Chop The Ice to jump from Barrier 6 while his stablemate is just inside him in Barrier 5.

Norm Gardner’s Gold Coast Turf Club Clan O’Sullivan winning filly Miss Belgium has also been entered in the contest as Gardner looks to get her fit and ready to go for a tilt at the $100,000 Aquis Park Canberra Speed Series Bonus. The bonus is paid out to any two-year-old that can win the Clan O’Sullivan, Black Opal Preview and the Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes (1200m).

The locals will have their work cut for them with a pair of Godolphin gallopers amongst those travelling down the Federal Highway. Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou’s Carnaby, a $650,000 yearling, has been particularly impressive at the trials and is certainly one to watch.