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Racing and Sports Canberra Review - 12 January 2024

The Rail was out 3m the Entire and they raced on a Good 4. Mostly very competitive with the highlight Tap ‘N’ Run’s 1300m track record when impressively winning the TAB Federal with Matt Cahill aboard. Jean Van Overmeire rode a double. 

Race 1 1600m CL3

Three of the better prospects were scratched and only four gallopers faced the judge. AUTUNNO $1.26F was going to be hard to beat regardless and put them away comfortably. Sat on the leader’s flank and hit the front at the 200m. ZABELLSARERINGING $5.50 ran on determinedly beaten 1.7L. The rest were outclassed. The winner has won his last three of his last four starts all over a mile at this track at this track and was gifted this. 

Race 2 1400m BM65

We thought that GOOD LIEUTENANT $5.50 was a decent chance, bringing strong provincial and city form and he proved much too good. The favourite SIR MING $2.30 found the lead early from the low barrier but gave it up to Good Lieutenant who was caught three wide and had to work. They were all in with a chance early in the stretch. Sir Ming chased the best but never looked likely, beaten 2L. OVERICE $4.40 finished third 4L from the winner but did make some ground. Good Lieutenant was simply too good. 

Race 3 1400m MDN

It was a toss-up for us between FLYING IMPALA $1.50F and the debutant CABLE EXPRESS $4.40 with the latter prevailing by 0.64L. It was $17 + the field behind them with BIN CHICKEN $18 finding third beaten almost 7L. Cable Express used an inside gate and held the lead and the rail while Flying Impala had to do a stack of work from the outside gate to eventually sit outside him. This pair sprinted away in the stretch with Cable Express getting the upper hand in sight of the post. Given the early toil, Flying Impala’s effort was commendable. Having said that, Cable Express absorbed the pressure, and it was a promising debut. He brought a Canberra trial win and will only be better for the experience.     

Race 4 1200m MDN SW

Plenty of these were given a chance but we got it right along with the market with the $4.80 favourite PICASSO'S DREAM proving 2.3L too good for MEDIA FRENZY $7, with FERGHANA $5 not far away in third. Picasso’s Dream settled midfield two and three wide and turned well off the rail but within striking range. The filly let down impressively and hit the front at the 200m. She booted clear and it was soft on the line. The runner-up Media Frenzy settled rearward away from the rail and turned the widest with a stack of work to do. She finished it off strongly. Ferghana sat forward three wide and wanted to lay out in the straight. There was merit in the effort. There was tightening at the 350m with MEGHAN $5.50 the most disadvantaged. Put the pen through her finishing position. Picasso’s Dream was peaking off a decent rating effort at Queanbeyan and there was a lot to like about this win. 

Race 5 1300m Open – Federal

All things equal we thought TAP 'N' RUN $4.20-$3.80 could knock over the favourite CHAMPIONS LEAGUE $2.40 and he got the job done by 0.3L from KING GUTHO $8. Champions League found a disappointing third, 5L from the winner. INCENTIVE $3.60 was tailed off after going too hard early over the longer sprint. Having his first go at 1200m the speedy Incentive flew the gates and was at least 8L in front passing the 800m. He still held a clear margin as they headed for home, but the strides were shortening.  King Gutho railed and led the others and found the lead at the 200m. He looked the winner before Tap ‘N’ Run came with a withering burst to nab him in sight of the post. Tap ‘N’ Run sat rearward today and was last and widest on turning, and it was a mighty effort. Set up by Incentive, he broke the 1300m track record at Canberra.  The way the race was run likely unsettled Champions League who just battled at the business end. An inquiry was opened into the rider’s handling of Incentive, and it was adjourned to a date to be fixed. 

Race 6 2000m CL1 SW

We made the Maher-Eustace-trained CHEVAL SAVANT $2.60 the best of the day but there were heart flutters when he was headed at the 100m by the roughie BLIND DATE $26. He somehow lifted off the canvas to win by 0.23L with PREFER THE WINK $5, 1.25L from the winner in third. Cheval Saint sat quietly behind the leading division and was travelling sweetly at the 800m. He made a sharp forward move after the 600m and hit the front as they straightened. Blind Date positioned midfield and turned 4L adrift in clear air.  Cheval Savant wanted to lay out and blind date got the better of him at the 175m point before the winner got his second wind. Prefer The Wink ran on strongly in third making up a stack of ground. The rest were beaten almost 4L +. LA SAGRADA $4.80 raced three-wide throughout. Cheval Savant got the job done. Blind Date made good improvement on the Nowra placing and his effort would have pleased connections. Prefer The Wink had to do plenty and is knocking on the door. 

Race 7 1300m CL1

We pulled the wrong rein with our danger OUTSMARTED $2.70F taking the race out by 0.46L for the Sydney yard. Tiger Town $15 made sharp improvement in second from DARK VADER $3 who was beaten 1.3L in third. They were well clear of the rest. Dark Vader was pushed along to lead and Outsmarted sat on his back.  Tiger Town was three wide but within striking range. FAR TOO HOT $26 pressured DARK VADER from the 700m but the latter had his measure at the 200m, but couldn’t hold out Outsmarted and Bling Date, that pair hitting the line strongly. CRITICAL TIME $3.20 didn’t respond to riding in the straight and disappointed (vet cleared). The winner built on his Bathurst win on debut and looks like a nice galloper in the making. Tiger Town had been well beaten at Queanbeyan prior and improved lengths third-up. Dark Vader surprisingly raced forward today and experienced some pressure. We’re sticking with him.    

Race 8 1000m BM 55

ZAZEL disappointed as a $3.10 favourite beaten 3.8L in fourth. The three other best-bet gallopers finished in front of him. TITAN STAR $4.60 was on a 3-day backup and won narrowly from RIVA D’MORE $4.20 and SPIRITS BURN DEEP $5.50. Plenty were keen to find the front before Spirits Burn Deep and JACOBS JOE $10 paired off cutting at each other. Riva D’amor railed midfield and Titan Star sat back and was one of the widest on the turn. Spirits Burn Deep was in front at the 200m but couldn’t hold out the spirited finishes of the other pair, especially that of the 99-start 6yo Titan Star. Zazel got a lovely run-through in the stretch but just battled. The filly was vet-cleared and will be spelled.