Canberra hits the Highway

Nine Canberra horses have been nominated for Saturday’s $75,000 TAB Highway Handicap at Randwick (1400m).

Racing NSW recently restored the eligibility of Canberra-trained horses to compete in Highway races.

However NSW country-trained horses benchmarked above 50 get first preference in the Highways, leaving any remaining spots for Canberra and other gallopers.

With the rail out 10m at Randwick on Saturday, the field limit for the Highway is 13 with four emergencies.

Almost Court springs into Spring

Jones says Canberra Cup winner Almost Court will kick off his spring campaign in Saturday’s BM 94 Handicap (1400m) also at Randwick.

Almost Court shares the equal top benchmark (96) in the race and Jones says he’s ready to go.

“He’s had a nice jumpout and then galloped between races on the course proper in Canberra last Friday, with race-rider Christian Reith in the saddle.

“Christian was excited with the work. He’s believes he’s come back stronger and more balanced and gave him a great feel.”

Victorian Veteran Confirmed for Canberra Friday

Victorian-trained Severn Road is a certain starter at Friday’s Canberra race meeting on the Acton synthetic surface.

The now 10 year old Severn Road is trained by Jamie Edwards at Emsley Lodge at Freshwater Creek, 15 minutes out of Geelong.  

Edwards said Severn Road is a “duffer” on the wet and enjoys synthetic surfaces.  

“He’s hit his mark in Victoria and is carrying a lot of weight — and is often competing against horses from leading city yards,” Edwards said.

“We thought Friday’s race looked a good option for him.

Canberra Has Its First Training Trio

Joseph, Jones & Jones is a name befitting a prestigious law firm, but it represents in fact, Canberra’s newest thoroughbred training partnership.

After six years ‘off and on’ as foreman to Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones, son and younger brother Matt Jones is officially joining the family team as a third co-trainer.

Matt Jones has always had a close involvement in the stable operations, and especially in the last year when his brother Paul was out of action for three months recovering from knee reconstruction.

Don't miss the Action with ACTION buses

Free buses will run on TAB FEDERAL Tony Campbell Memorial Race Day and Students Race Day from ANU and UC.  Check the race day page for more information.

On Tuesday 6 November ACTION will be providing free charted services from Thoroughbred Park to the City Bus Station, diverting to the official after-race day venue The Duxton, O'Connor between 4.00pm and 7.30pm. More information is available on the ACTION website.

CANBERRA RACING CLUB UPDATE

Following the Racing NSW announcements on prize money increases, and the introduction of the $1.3 million Kosciuszko for country trained horses at Randwick in October, the Canberra Racing Club Committee will consider a number of race programming and prize money options.

Canberra’s Kayla Nisbet Racking Up The Winners

Canberra Jockey Kayla Nisbet set the Moruya meeting alight on Monday booting home four winners.

Nisbet built on her two winners at Friday’s Canberra meeting on the Acton in the capital, including on Shezacraftsman in the $50,000 TAB Federal.

Having overcome injuries and illness, Nisbet’s success is well deserved and her services are increasingly in demand.

At Moruya, Nisbet rode a double for leading Canberra trainer Matt Dale and was on Melberra Star who returned to the winners list for Canberra’s Luke Pepper.

Gratz seeking hat trick with Stephan

Canberra trainer Gratz Vella will have a handy representation at Friday’s meeting on the Acton track, headed by STEPHAN.

The stable always performs at this time of the year and has produced a creditable 12 winners this season at Canberra.

Stephan lines up in Race 2, the Club Lime Benchmark 67, seeking the hat trick.

The 5yo Krupt gelding had his first run in August 2015 placing third in a Canberra Maiden and then was off the scene for nearly three years with a frustrating run of setbacks.

Canberra Connection Strikes At Grafton

Simply Striking saluted at the Grafton carnival Wednesday for Sutton trainer Neil Osborne and Canberra comeback hoop Billy Owen.

Osborne is a regular participant at the carnival and presented Simply Striking (4.00) in top order for the BM 55 over 1100m.

Simply Striking came off a solid fourth at Grafton almost a week ago and Osborne brought him back a touch in trip and put the blinkers on.

“Good gate and good ride”, Osborne said after the win.

Owen said Simply Striking gave him a good feel going to the gates and he gave him the perfect ride.

Premiership winding up

Injuries to jockeys Matt Cahill and Brendon Ward have left the door open for Goulburn-based Richard Bensley to win his first ACT Jockey Premiership.

With just two Canberra meetings of the 2017-18 racing season remaining, Bensley sits six wins behind Cahill who has been on the sidelines with a hand injury incurred in June in a race fall at Wellington.

Cahill finished second in last year’s premiership, two wins behind Ward, whose season was cruelled when he fractured a hip in a track work incident in December.