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Racing & Sports Canberra Preview - 29 December 2020

 With Xmas come and gone and the New Year almost upon us, racing heads to Thoroughbred Park for a competitive nine race program on Tuesday afternoon. Rail is true for the entire circuit and the weather forecast looks divine.

Gold Gift expected to work to the lead at a strong tempo. ROCSTAR BOY (3) gets the nod on debut. He was impressive winning a trial at Queanbeyan recently in readiness. Settled off them before cruising past some well-credentialed horses to do it in fine style. Small field is engaged and happy to be in his corner. SUPER RIFF (4) is an interesting runner. Norm Gardner sent this bloke to Sydney to trial back in September. He had another hitout last week at Goulburn. Taken slowly by Norm but he's clearly shown him something to trial him in the big smoke. GOLD GIFT (5) sat handy and was okay when fourth on debut at Bendigo. Race experience is vital and a senior rider is aboard. Worth noting that Jake Duffy doesn't come here often and he's based near where this bloke is trained. SOUTHERN BROWN (6) has had three trials to learn the caper. Will get every chance. ALMAHERO (1) and LOOSE LOVE (2) have minor claims. That’s all of them. SUGGESTED PLAY: Rocstar Boy in the opening event.

Pace only fair with Havaduel rolling to the lead ahead of Sydney Blue and Alpine King. Giving HAVADUEL (1) another chance. He was very ordinary in a race of little change here last meeting. Settled back and where they were on the corner was where they finished at the post. He's the fittest horse in this contest and the weight off for Williams' claim only helps his cause. Qbyn Cup win two starts back was gritty. If he repeats that he goes close. NICHOLAS (2) went hard in the lead last start at Wyong, finishing midfield. This appears a drop in class on that effort. Showed a nice turn of acceleration winning at Wagga prior to that. Ridden move forward appears to be key and despite a strong 2000m being a query, he must be respected. ALPINE KING (3) is in calculations. He's never been in better form winning three of his past five. Track/distance winner here a month ago with Nicholas in that race, as was DIP ME LID (4), who has been thrashed by Nicholas subsequently at Wagga. Chances galore, best ride probably wins it. SYDNEY BLUE (5) overdue for a win is next best. SUGGESTED PLAY: Havaduel to bounce back.

Pace looks strong where Sir Finn and Tiz War Bro will forge to the lead closely followed by Shadow Company and Rheingau. PROPOSE TO ME (3) is fresh off a lengthy break. Not sighted since an unlucky third as a short favourite here in April. Her debut win prior off a wide run was strong. She's got plenty of scope and the Matt

 Dale yard should have her ready to fire on resumption. SHADOW COMPANY (1) makes the trek from Albury for Mitch Beer. He's got a severe fitness edge on a few key rivals and that'll stand him in good stead. Tries hard having placed his past two. Won't be far away again. SIR FINN (4) is a market watch. Did good things in his first preparation, including a win on debut at Gundagai. He went to Narromine on a bog track and would've lost no admirers. Nice style of horse who demands plenty of attention today. Has speed and should find the lead rather comfortably. BOHO CHICK (5) bounded on jumping here last meeting and was forced to settle well back but she found the line OK. Probably wants it wetter but she's in the mix. ROSY DAWN (6) hasn't come up this campaign but is getting fitter. SUGGESTED PLAY: Propose To Me straight out.

Expecting a genuine speed in this contest. RIVER MAC (1) produced an encouraging debut here a month ago. Slightly slow to muster early and was pressured a fair way out but he stuck to his guns brilliantly to only be beaten a length. Sure to come on from the race experience. Has plenty of options from the barrier and with even luck rates as good a chance as any. FANCYTHATMO (6) resumes. Made the trip to Scone before a spell and after drawing 10/10 over the 900m it was always going to be a challenge. Performed well closer to home prior to that with placings to Nuremburg Castle & Mas Dinero. She's clearly good enough, just needs to overcome a sticky alley. PANDERING (8) was midfield here on debut at huge odds. Given time off to develop and McDougall is atop for her resumption. Keep safe. RED KANZI (10) was solid without threatening first-up in a leader dominated contest. Probably wants further than the 1000m but expect her to be doing her best work late. MISSIROSE (7) on debut is a market watch. SUGGESTED PLAY: River Mac. Backing to win.

Alpha Lane has fast early speed and from that gate he should show his usual customary speed. DEBBONAIRE BOY (2) was a beaten favourite on debut at Wagga but his effort was good. He only got going late in the piece, indicating that the rise to 1300m is a significant benefit. Jake Duffy making the trip to Canberra is a strong lead. Cherry ripe now and should be hard to beat. JOBKEEPER (4) had the race shot to pieces here last meeting but it took a freakish last sectional from Galactic Warrior to spoil the party. Getting fitter all the time. Doubt he's gone backwards since last start and if that's the case, he's the obvious danger. GAMBLER'S QUEST (3) is overdue to break the maiden. Every chance when jumping $3 here last start. In fourteen starts he's had ten at this venue. On best form he's right in it, especially with the Keith Dryden polish. PORT DOUGLAS (5) was well-backed to win a race Canterbury in January of this year. He's now in the hands of Matt Dale. Keep safe despite the wide alley. SUGGESTED PLAY: Debbonaire Boy for the win.

Exaggerate should inject plenty of pace in this contest. SHORES OF AVALON (4) got sick of chasing La Foret at Canterbury last start. She's also a risk at 1100m and was galloped on during the race so happy to overlook that effort. 1000m at home is what she strives for. Tragedy beaten two back at Gundagai on their big day. Held off the in-form Major Time to win here prior to that in a race that has produced four subsequent winners. Greets this going as well as anything. Ready to fire. GIRLS ARE READY (2) hasn't threatened in two runs back. Getting fitter and drops sharply back in trip for this assignment. The fast pace will play into her hands and she has the class to run right over the top of them. Mentioning fast pace, MR KYLIN (8) has plenty of that. Posted on a limb here last start and had to tire. McDougall on from the soft gate and he'll try run these into the ground dropping back to 1000m. EVE'S MISS (5) can bob up without shock whilst the same could be said for STEPHAN (1). SUGGESTED PLAY: Keen on the chances of Shores Of Avalon.

Strong speed anticipated with Concrete, Ameares & Zaromatic all expected to be prominent. Absolute D-day for EUROSAY (8). 494 days since his last success but his recent form is far superior to today's rivals. Stuck on bravely at Highway level ten days ago. Placed in BM65 grade here prior to that. Fit as a fiddle and it's now or never with McDougall in the saddle. AMEARES (5) showed signs of improvement here last meeting when crossing the line with Eurosay. She's a handy mare on her day and presents as a very good chance in this if she's right. HEZREDHOT (3) is a lightly-raced type. Plain when in the market here first-up when doing plenty wrong in transit. Will derive benefit with the race fitness. CLERGYMAN (2) and CONCRETE (1) both good enough. SUGGESTED PLAY: Eurosay to win or never again.

Race 8 - 5:15PM TAB FEDERAL (1400 METRES)
Successful Day is drawn out but will attempt to cross the face of the field. SUCCESSFUL DAY (6) carried the weight of plenty of punters here last meeting and she did the job in impressive fashion. Leading them up is when she fires best. Will be handlebars down from the deep draw and she's the testing material in a very competitive TAB Federal. PACKER'S BOND (10) has the hype around him to be a very smart galloper. He was stuck in a sticky spot at $1.26 at Wagga before a break but class prevailed. In fairness Jophiel who ran second in that wouldn't beat horses rated double figures in this but to the eye, you had to like what he did. Distance well short of his best but a tidy trial in readiness. Keep very safe. NIECES AND NEPHEWS (4) was beaten under a length in a very bunched finish at Moruya last week. Loves Canberra and will get the run of the race. FUSCA (8) is a query in this grade but a place hope. SUGGESTED PLAY: Successful Day in the feature.
Dawnlight has enough pace to take up the running early from her wide draw. JAC THE GREAT (8) can make the leap. She broke the maiden at her fifth start last week at Moruya. Hit the front a fair way from home but was kept to the job well by Jeff Penza and she gaped them at the finish. Holds nice potential. Well-placed to make it back to back victories. PROPOSE A TOAST (4) can improve out to this distance. Disappointing as favourite on the home track last start. Fitness peaks and the longer straight should play into his hands. WONDALGA (3) was just beaten over 2000m here last meeting. Performed well holding off Le May when winning prior to that. Racing well and should be entertained. RIVERSTOCK (9) was strong in Highway grade when third last start. He's been a beaten favourite a lot but has claims on his latest effort. HEYDAZE (10) best of the rest. SUGGESTED PLAY: Jac The Great to end proceedings.
Best Bet: R6 no 4 Shores Of Avalon Next best: R9 no 8 Jac The Great