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Racing and Sports Canberra Racing Preview Friday 3 April

Racing returns to Thoroughbred Park for the first time since the hugely successful inaugural Canberra Cup Carnival in early March. Weather is gloomy but the fields boast healthy numbers in what appears a competitive day of Friday racing.


Race 1 @ 2:10pm XXXX Gold Plate (1300m)


Strong speed headed by Uprise. UPRISE (4) has worn down most punters. He's had the ten starts for six minor placings. Prepared to give him one final chance. He was 2-1 in a much harder race at Wyong last start and beat all bar the flying Aytobe. If you assess him on exposed form alone he clearly should be winning. Pushes forward in a race void of speed and hopefully today is the day. SCARLEO (3) looms as a danger. Beaten favourite in both runs back but has raced well. Settled back and wide when fifth in the Federal maiden behind Zelago during the Carnival, an outstanding form race that has produced three subsequent winners. He's got talent. Big threat. CONGENIAL MISTRESS (6) gives fitness away to a few key rivals but she never runs poorly. Carried limit weights in easier races last campaign and wasn't able to land the knockout blow. Doubt she can win but expecting a bold performance nevertheless. ELIANA STAR (9) got back in the run on a day you had to be handy at Moruya three weeks ago. Capable of better. SUGGESTED PLAY: Last chance for Uprise.


Race 2 @ 2:45pm John McGrath Auto Group Handicap (1600m)


Hard to find an early leader. TRUST THE PROCESS (3) was outclassed by two high class fillies in Funstar & Probabeel in the Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill last start. Terrific here prior to that when making up strong ground behind the G1 placed Foxborough. Happy to trust that form. He won consecutive races this track/trip last time in. Ticks plenty of boxes. WAR DECK (6) is knocking on the door. He's placed his past two on the home track his past couple. Few gear changes. Nisbet knows him well and the horse can reel off a strong final sectional as we've seen recently. Danger. FIRST LADY (5) is hard to assess. Rarely does she string two good runs together. Has been competitive in better races over her career and if she's here in the right frame of mind she can win. THE DOCTOR'S SON (1) has talent but the weight and lack of speed are big negatives for him. Place chance. PINCH PASSION (4) draws a gate for the first time this campaign. Next best. SUGGESTED PLAY: Trust The Process. Backing with confidence.


Race 3 @ 3:25pm Canprint Communications Plate (1600m)


Genuine speed assured. OUTAHAND (3) can go on with the job. Impressive winner at Goulburn last start when coming from near last. Holds plenty of scope. The step up to the mile appears suitable. This race drops off quickly and his back and wide racing pattern should prove the spot to be with the rail out. TRI NATIONS (7) is the obvious threat. He was superb winning at Scone after coming from a hopeless position on straightening. He promised to do that for awhile and the drop back from city grade was obviously what he needed. Confidence at a high. Warrants plenty of respect. Those two clear out from SATURN (10). Led and kept fighting to win at Orange last start. It took her thirteen tries at winning one but she was well backed that day. In astute hands. Not the worst. EXPRESS COURIER (1) found his race last start at Albury. He's sure to benefit from that but his record at this track is ordinary. Likely to start under the odds with the Dryden factor and for that am happy to oppose him this afternoon. SUGGESTED PLAY: Outahand. Backing to win.


Race 4 @ 4:05pm Seppelt Handicap (1000m)


Gamblers Quest should be quick into stride. The nicely bred son of I Am Invincible FULL OF FIRE (1) goes on top. He's had the three career starts and placed in two of them, indicating good ability in the process. 280 days since he last raced so it clearly hasn't all been smooth sailing. Like the stable confidence resuming him without a trial. Weight offset with the claim. He's got enough potential to see it out on the speed. SEVENTH SEAL (2) is a threat. If the Snowden's have him cranked to the max then it's big trouble. He's a full brother to First Seal. Weakened out late in an above average provincial maiden on debut. Now gelded and his recent trials have been crisp. VOL PRIVE (12) hasn't been far off her past couple. She's fit and the drop back to 1000m is beneficial. DIAMOND AFFAIR (8) creates interest for the Rolfe camp. First start for them. Two runs in town this campaign have been average but the form has stood up. Booking of Cahill is worth noting and she'll get a nice run in the slipstream of the leading bunch. SUGGESTED PLAY: Full Of Fire. Would love a market push closer to jumptime.


Race 5 @ 4:40pm Hygain Handicap (1000m)


Speed everywhere you look in this as expected over the sprint trip. Handy race. With all this pace upfront I can't see FARTHING WOOD (6) not running well. She has the best final sectional of any runner on her day.  First-up, 1000m with a cracking tempo is when she shines. If the 60kg doesn't dampen her sprint she'll take a power of holding out. None more deserving of a win than NOBODY'S PUPPET (10). She's proven this campaign that she doesn't have to lead to show her best, something which could take effect in this with so many on-pacers. Made up plenty of ground behind the talented Look Only (winner of four in a row) at Goulburn last start. She loves this track/distance. Creeping towards D-day. OLIFANTS (4) has never raced better. This is his bread and butter. His winning chances have taken a massive hit by the wide alley but he still should perform well. DANGEROUS BREEDING (5) from the rails draw will be competitive for a long way. GRETZKY (3) next best. SUGGESTED PLAY: Farthing Wood on top in a very competitive contest.


Race 6 @ 5:20pm TAB Federal Handicap (1300m)


Expect a solid speed. MNEMENTH (14) gets the nod. He's still on the up. Loved the way he fended off the late challenger to win at Albury a fortnight ago. His Flemington run three starts ago was terrific. Getting better all the time. Happy to lean the way of the untapped horse in this line-up. POLYXENA (13) is an honest mare. Had her chance to win her past couple but denied by hungrier horses. Good enough on her day. Will have admirers. PEYTON PLACE (2) makes his own luck on the pace. He was rather dominant at Goulburn last time out. Ticks all the right boxes. Big weight is a concern but he's tough. SAFE LANDING (4) hasn't won for well over a year. Not beaten far at Muswellbrook last start with the 63.5kg. He always threatens in his races but his final furlong he just holds ground when others sprint. In the game on best form. SUGGESTED PLAY: Mnementh for the win.


Race 7 @ 5:55pm TAB Long May We Play Handicap (1300m)


Strong speed to end the program. BIGGER THAN THORN (2) was a good winner at Goulburn on resumption. They went quick upfront and he was right there amongst it all but to his credit continued to stick his neck out in the run home, defying all challengers. He's a nicely bred son of Snitzel who fetched $200,000 at the sales. This appears a suitable stepping stone. No knock on PROPOSE TO ME (10). She was a debut winner at Wagga but the form out of it has been shocking. In saying that she can only beat what's in front of her. Dale trains. Must respect. AZOUSTIC (1) is deep into a campaign. To his credit he continues to race well. Should be one of the stronger ones late. WICKED WILLY (9) best of the rest. Deserving win last start when given a peach of a ride.  SUGGESTED PLAY: Bigger Than Thorn to end proceedings.


Best Bet: Race 5 no 6 Farthing Wood 

Next Best: Race 7 no 2 Bigger Than Thorn