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Racing and Sports Canberra Racing Review - 12 March 2023

Race 1 (1200m) Maiden

The 2yo debutant filly MISS GHENT $8.50 kicked off a terrific carnival for local trainer Norm Gardner. There was pressure upfront and Miss Ghent railed off-midfield. In a nice piece of riding jockey Jess Taylor was able to ease away from the rail at the turn and found clear air as they headed for home. The filly powered home down the middle of the track and easily put them away over the concluding stages. The finishing margin was 3.5L. She’d come off two soft Goulburn trials and clearly had plenty in the tank. VONK $6.50 led and there was plenty of merit in her second placing, fighting off SUNSHINE REGGAE $9.50, who’d sat three-wide on speed.  The firm favourite GIDDY UP GIDLEIGH $3.20 sat outside the leader and had every chance, beaten 4.8L. IMPENDING HARMONY raced wide and post-race was found to have kickback material in an eye. Miss Ghent impressed.

Race 2 (1000m) CL1

The three best-supported gallopers filled the trifecta, with the Keith Dryden-trained VINOLASS $3.70 winning by 1L over CHIEF CONDUCTOR $4.80. They spaced the rest. The favourite TROIKA $3.60 managed to hold third, 4.58L from the victor. With Chief Conductor on her outside, Vino Lass held the lead from the rail, and they broke away in the straight. Troika presented at the right time but lacked finishing dash. SUCCESSFUL $7 raced three-wide throughout.  It was a tidy first-up effort from Vinolass, building nicely on her debut win.

Race 3 (1600m) CL2

It was an even betting affair with LES GOH $6.50 winning by 1.5l from GRAVY TRAIN MAGPIE $3.60, with LOOSE LOVE $3.60 a clear third, 3.2L from the winner. Gravy Train Magpie led clearly from the jump and ran along at a good clip. Les Goh did the chasing and headed the above at the 200m recording a comfortable win. Loose Love settled rearward and made ground. Gravy Train Magpie was stepping up to the mile and was much too keen early to see it right out. The favourite LIGHTS ON THE HILL $3.40 raced ungenerously and was found to have suffered her second bleeding attack. The race worked out nicely for Les Goh.

Race 4 (1400m) BM65

JUMEIRAH BEACH drifted out in the betting to $4.20 but managed to hold-out LOUIE'S LEGACY $4.40 and BON FRANKIE $10 in a close finish. There was a good early speed and Jumeirah Beach got a nice sit behind the leading pair. Louie’s Legacy also enjoyed a nice passage forward on midfield. They straightened away from the rail with Jumeirah Beach defying a late surge from Louie’s Legacy to prevail. Bon Frankie raced three-wide throughout and was doing his best work late down the middle of the track. The favourite TWIG $4 had all the favours in the run but stayed on the rail, which wasn’t proving the place to be. He looked a chance before the 200m beaten 2.6L.  Not much between the better ones as the market suggested.

Race 5 (1200m BM75

Team Joseph-Jones brought up its second win with ZELAGO $8 defeating CRUCIAL WITNESS $8.50 in a good finish. RUBAN BLEU $4.80 found third, beaten 2L. Zelago settled forward in the run trailing Crucial Witness, and Ruban Bleu positioned midfield off the rail. In the stretch Zelago and Crucial Witness both found the sweet spot well off the rail and Ruban Bleu was coming further out. Zelago proved too strong scoring by 1L with Ruban Bleu doing his best work late, 2L from the victor in third. Just a run from the favourite RETIRO $4.40. He raced with concussion plates on in a late notification. KIMURA $4.80 had excuses. Jockey Latham reported that his mount was (1) disadvantaged from an inside barrier (2) did not appreciate the shifting track and (3) resented the kick-back. She was eased down inside the 100m exaggerating the neaten margin. A well-managed win by Zelago.

Race 6 (1000m) Quality

DISTILLATE $2.90 was clearly the best backed but finished tailed off. When questioned regarding the performance rider Amy McLucas said the mare didn’t travel comfortably at any stage. She resented the kickback and couldn’t make ground in the straight. Post-race Distillate was found to be lame in the near foreleg. DELACORE $15 recorded a double for local trainer Norm Gardner, saluting in a ripper finish at the healthy odds of $15. There was a head separating her from WASHINGTON TOWERS $11 and a half-length to SOUTHERN LAD $6.50.  Washington Towers trailed behind the leading pair with Delacore positioned nicely on her outside. Washington Towers took the short way home along the rail and got the better of the leader I CALL JUNEE HOME $9 at the 200m. Delacore presented down the middle and despite running in noticeably, found a margin on the line. Southern Lass also finished determinedly. SHORES OF AVALON $4.60 bounded on jumping and raced very wide throughout. The winner showed plenty of tenacity and was given a pretty ride. It was a pleasing return to form by Washington Towers. The effort held merit given he raced in the inferior ground.  

Race 7 (1400m) Listed National Sprint

VRENELI $2.60 and CAVALIER CHARLES $3.60 were clearly the best bet, but the Wagga-trained ANOTHER ONE got the win in a close-go from HANDLE THE TRUTH $8 and Cavalier King Charles. They spaced the others. Vreneli was beaten 6L and rider Regan Bayliss said his mount raced flat. He said while receiving interference at the 300m he was a beaten horse at the time. No abnormalities were found post-race. The local SUPER HELPFUL $11 sped to a big lead and pulled hard in the middle stages. Another One and Vreneli led the chasers. They got to within 1L as they commenced the turn with Cavalier King Charles presenting on the outside four-wide and Handle The Truth emerging through the middle. It was a ding-dong go to the line with Another One finding enough. Super Helpful was checked at the 150m under pressure and could have finished a bit closer in fourth. Neat efforts from the winner and placegetters and Wagga-based Group 1 winning jockey Danny Beasley was seen at his best.

Race 8 (1200m) Group 3 Black Opal Stakes

TIZ INVINCIBLE $2.70 won the battle for favouritism over AUTUMN BALLET $4.40 and THE YEARS $4.20, but she had to be content with fourth placing after racing wide throughout. Autumn Ballet proved dominant winning by 2L from Waterhouse-Bott stablemate The Years, with MAKE A CALL $26 next just ahead of the favourite and DISNECK $20. The Years led and they fanned right across the track as they straightened for home. Autumn Ballet came off his heals and was in front at the 100m and dashed away. Make A Call and Disneck ran on down the middle of the track but never looked likely, split by Tiz Invincible who battled on along the rail. A cleanly run Opal with Autumn Ballet clearly superior and the first debutant to win the race. Tiz Invincible deserves another chance and Make A Call will be a bet over more ground.

Race 9 (2000m) CL1

YARRAWONGA was heavily bet to start even-money favourite but was lipped out by DOMINGO $4.60 with SPITFIRE $5 just 0.37L away in third. They dominated the rest. It was a steady tempo with Yarrawonga trailing the long-shot leader. Domingo and Spitfire raced together forward of midfield. This trio were abreast at the 150m with Domingo in the middle getting the head down at the right time. Domingo deserved win building on the Warwick farm placing at the mile, but effort first-up it was a training feat by Waterhouse-Bott to have the former Irish galloper Yarrawonga primed off a 34-week break. There was also plenty to like about Spitfires’ performance.