Racing and Sports Canberra Racing Review Friday 7 August
The rain came and the track was downgraded to a Heavy 8 after Race 1 and to a Heavy 9 following Race 6. The inside section of the track was not the place to be and the outside rail saw plenty of action. There were a couple of upsets, but generally the market got it pretty right.
Race 1 (2000m) CL1 SW
A race ripped apart by scratchings. DUCLAIR (3) was backed into a $1:40 favourite with CLUB LEGEND the other one of the three given a hope starting at $3:20. Duclair led comfortably and quickened at the 600m. Club Legend came around him on turning and Duclair was soon under pressure and dropped out. The former came away to win comfortably from ZIPPY MISSISSIPPI $16 who showed some fight. When questioned regarding Duclair’s performance jockey Penza said the gelding had hung out throughout the race. In the view of co-trainer Paul Snowdon the horse did not handle the rain-affected going.
Race 2 (1000m) Open 3
WAAFIYA $1:40 was backed to the exclusion of all others. BLUE TONE $9.0 was next best-bet and then it was $18 the field. A few were slow away, especially Black Duke, but generally they all got their chance. It was busy early with four runners bunched on speed at the 600m. The favourite held the rail and was in-front turning for home working out wide in the straight. The eventual winner DIFFERENT TIME $18 had sat three wide outside Waafiya and was against the outside rail when the whips started cracking. ARIZONA NIGHT $14 came with him and they got to Waafiya around the 200m with Different Time proving too good. Stablemate CRUCIAL WITNESS $18 got a go-on late to snatch second and the favourite battled on in fourth. Not sure the Snowden-trained filly really appreciated the conditions and she’s worth another chance. It was a promising debut effort from Arizona Night.
Race 3 (1400m) Maiden
Only a small field after the scratchings with JACK THE BRUMBY (1) the $2.20 favourite and PHOTOGENIC was also a well-bet $3.30. The latter missed the start badly and ran last. A warning was recorded against the gelding regarding his barrier manners. Jack The Brumby led and passing the 1200m he commenced to hang out and then took charge of the rider opening up a big break on the field. He positioned to the outside rail and headed for home under hard riding. The eventual winner COSTA CHIN CHIN $7.50 had sat back on the rail smoking his pipe and made up considerable ground to be in striking distance out wide as they straightened. The pair engaged in a ding-dong go with the winner just getting up on the line. ALPHA LANE $31.0 had cut the corner and battled on well in third. The Stewards instructed that Jack The Brumby would have to trial satisfactorily before racing again and trainer Nick Olive said the gelding would be spelled in the interim. His was a big effort under the circumstances. No knock on the winner who had the others well-beat.
Race 4 (1400m) CL1
Oriental Gift stood flatfooted at the start and missed it by 10L. He will need to barrier trial satisfactorily before racing again. HIGH ADVICE $6.0 was beaten 11L and in the rider's view didn’t handle the heavy track and may have resented the kickback. MARSANNAY jumped a $2.35 favourite and there was good money as well for LADY KIRKHAM $2.60. The winner Marsannay bowled along in front and the runner-up Lady Kirkham settled a comfortable fourth behind the speed and was pushed along after the 600m. Marsannay held a clear lead at the 200m and came away to win by nearly 7L with DART STREET $31.0 sticking on well in third. Gai and Adrian have a nice horse on their hands with Marsannay who’d taken made good improvement off his win here two weeks prior. He moves well and relished the conditions and the extra distance. The colt is sure to go on. Lady Kirkham returned in good order and will be winning soon.
Race 5 (1200m) Maiden
The debutant KOWLOON TREASURE jumped a $2.70 favourite ahead of the winner WILFUL SOUL $3.10, and the only other one with any market interest was MHAHNA $6.0. There were a couple slow off and post-race the rider of Duke Of Buckingham B. Spriggs pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding for causing interference to Old Man Emu passing the 900m. There was a bunch vying for the early lead with the second placegetter Scalded holding the rail. She led clearly on turning working out to the better grass. Wilful Soul sat back but was well ridden to present on the outside rail on turning and began to work into it strongly. Kowloon Treasure was out there too and was also getting moving. Scalded and Wilful Soul engaged in a two-horse battle with the latter winning a lip on the line. Kowloon Treasure fought on to be beaten 3.5L and it was a good debut effort given the tough conditions. The winner was fit and well-prepared by the ACT premiership yard and Scalded was much improved and might have won if she’d positioned closer to the outside rail on turning.
Race 6 (1000m) BM60
A good betting race with CANYONERO and MR ALOYSIUS running equal $4.0 favourites. The winner OUR FINVARRA $7.0 was the only other runner under double figures. He was firm in betting throughout and in retrospect Penza’s booking was a decent lead. The Stewards were busy-post race and in particular inquired into the disappointing effort of Mr Aloysius. The gelding became restless in the stalls and broke through the front gates. The rider reported that his mount hung out throughout and returned to the enclosure with his tongue over the bit. Both he and the trainer agreed the gelding was not suited in the heavy conditions. There was another keen go to make the lead with four runners in contention before Tycoon Tily found a half length in them four wide. MUZZLEBURST $51 held the rail and did what no other leader had done all day, sticking to the inside. He was still in front at the 150m but three were coming out in the shadows of the grandstand with Our Finvarra proving too good for Canyonero and MANDALONG NICKO 21.0. Muzzleburst stuck on for fourth and there was merit in that effort. It was the case of strong finishers finding the right part of the track and clever rides by Penza and Loy in particular.
Race 7 (1600m) BM 70 Federal
RIOT ACT was backed into a $2.0 with the winner WICHITA WARRIOR $$3.50 on the second line and CASINO TIME $7.5 was the only other runner in the market. RIOT ACT was beaten 3.95L into 8th and the stewards inquired. The rider explained that the gelding did not handle the heavy conditions. A number were inconvenienced to some extent in the straight. Prince Jacko found a comfortable lead from Riot Act with SWEET KNUCKLE $31 trailing on the rail. The eventual runner-up GARROS $21 was three-wide midfield. These three worked to the outside of the track on turning but were hard at it and Wichita Warrior emerged against the outside rail after sitting back. He found the lead passing the 100m to beat Garros a length with Sweet Knuckle, who was probably in worse ground, sticking on well for third. All honours the well-trained and supported winner.
Race 8 (1300m) BM65
This was a competitive betting race with FLORA BEL $3.50 and GLAMOUR CAT $3.60 contesting favouritism and with TREASURE BOSS backed into $5.50. It was the locally-trained GEM DEALER who upset the apple cart winning at $20. He was on a 4-week return having switched from the Cavanough barn to Joe Ible and improving sharply on his most recent efforts. Flora Belle slipped over in the mounting enclosure and was passed fit to start. She travelled well in the run but showed little when placed under pressure. Post-race she was found to be lame in her off-hind leg. Glamour Cat was one of the few runners to stick to the inside of the track in the straight finishing second beaten 4L. The jockey said this was a deliberate tactic and this was confirmed by the trainer, who told stewards he’d observed the unfancied Muzzleburst do well racing on the inside section. He said the mare would now be retired from racing. Supplyzing sat outside Glamour Cat on the speed with Gem Dealer stalking right behind. Treasure Boss improved his position before turning and found the prized outside posy. Glamour Cat on the inside was still in-front coming to the 100m but the winner was winding up strongly and came away to win by a space. Glamour Cat’s effort had plenty of merit in the circumstances and RITMICO $11 was okay in third. Gem Dealer would have delighted connections and looks up to winning more races for the Ible yard.