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Racing & Sports Canberra Racing Preview — 19 February 2021

The rail is back in the true position and with fine weather forecast through to race day the Good 4 rating is likely to hold. It’s a cracking card and the feature — the $150,000 Canberra Mile — looks a beauty.  A programme that is sure to appeal to racing aficionados and punters alike — with plenty of emerging gallopers engaged, including from top Sydney yards.


Race 1 (1300m) CL1


Fever Tree can run them long from First Crown and Tornac. FIRST CROWN (5) was just nudged out at Newcastle second-up and has more to give. Draws to get the run of the race and the Snowden yard strikes at a whopping 37% this track (75 runners). TORNAC (3) won the Maiden first-up and then jumped to a CL2 and was beaten a nose. He will use the low barrier and a dryer track won't bother. Will be fitter and may be ready to test his peaks recorded in the care of Team Hawkes. VALLAURIS (1) resumes for Matt Dale. Has strong figures over longer trips but it won't surprise to see wound up this time around. BOMBARDEO (4) won the Maiden here first-up as favourite and will get every chance to build on that. OBIRI (2) resumes off two trials and is a betting watch. BET: Backing First Crown.


Race 2 (1000m) MDN


Plenty of early speed with Grand Lusitano and Blackhill Kitty the most likely to lead. GRAND LUSITANO (2) brought strong dry track placings to resumption and was beaten 2.4L on the heavy surface (backed off the map). He's obviously pleasing and gets the blinkers applied first time. He has the speed to make short work of the wide gate and will take beating on the good surface. BLACKHILL KITTY (4) ran along and was just lipped-out first up at Goulburn. She will push forward and keeps McDougall (and he would have had choices). She will improve off that and can make the finish. ELUSIVE BIRDIE (5) debuts for Edward Cummings with Lever booked. Draws out and expect her to be much better than the trial finishes suggest. The betting will tell, as it will with PEARL ELITE (7) who debuts for an in-form local barn owning a nice trial. ILIANA (9) is Snowden-trained and had big backing on debut. That suggests she's a lot better than what she's showing. BET: Going with the promising local Grand Lusitano.


Race 3 (1000m) BM60


Luxurial can run them along and a few can sit handy. CLOSE TO ME (6) won his Maiden by a space and then was spelled after racing favourite in better grade than this not beaten far. Brings two trial hit-outs and she gets the run of the race from the rail. She's well-bred and promising and definitely the one to beat. LUXURIAL (7) led and just missed first-up and has returned to racing a number of lengths better. She draws well and the second-up record is sharp. Should control the race and will be tough to get past. MANILA THRILLER (11) is one of three Dryden acceptors and she will be better for the 1.7L defeat here on resumption. She also goes second-up and the back-figures are strong. SHEPHERD OF FIRE (5) was close-up resuming in the Luxurial race and set for a good campaign. He has more up the sleeve and will race handy. BET: Backing Close To Me to win.


Race 4 (1400m) Canberra Guineas Preview BM65


Abundant early pressure from the speedy pair Yaletown and Nothinsweetaboutme. YALETOWN (3) led and won her Maiden easily at the provincials and was immediately spelled. Resumes today off a nice Randwick trial and will ride the speed from the low barrier. In a leading Sydney yard and expect him to be further improved and take beating. HARMONIUM (2) peaks off a close-up effort in better class at Canterbury 7-days. She can lift her figures again and should go close getting a soft on-pace run from the rail. MOLLY NAILS (9) won a Wagga the Maiden by 7.5L first-up and that stacks right up. Keeps McDougall and fitter and drawn well will get every chance to repeat. CADENABBIA (1) won a trial for the new barn and then led at Newcastle first-up when just beaten as favourite. He has plenty up the sleeve and can take this out without surprising. NTHINSWEETABOUTME (10) is Yaletown's stablemate and won on debut here comfortably on the slow after being slow off and wide. Sharp improvement is likely. BET: Going with Yaletown in a good contest.


Race 5 (1300m) MDN SW


Genuine tempo with the speedy Jack The Brumby crossing over with Zouflu. ZOUFLU (14) had been well-trialled and led first-up in town and just found one better on a heavy track. He gets onto a dry surface and Nash Rawiller rides for a top national yard. She will run along and fitter is clearly the one to beat. VITTORIOSA (13) debuts off a sharp city trial and is also in good hands. Expect her to have the speed to manage the sticky gate and a bold run is on the cards. SPANISH PEARL (9) has placed all four runs this campaign at provincial level. The gate is a bit tricky but she deserves to break through. PHEARSON (6) is a promising local who can build on the debut near-miss here two weeks ago and a dryer track is sure to advantage. Gets McDougall today and he has a positive record linking with Matt Dale. BET: Keen on Zouflu.


Race 6 (1200m) OPEN — Federal


Genuine tempo with Akeed leading the way. REVITUP REDNUT (5) has been busting to win and can find her peaks again on a dry surface. Draws well and Chad Lever takes over today and rides the track well. She draws handy and the blinkers are off first time. RUTHLESS AGENT (4) has just missed the last three and they stack right up. He hasn't won for a while but is sure to go close. INVICTUS PRINCE (1) hasn't won for an age but has a stack of ability when right. He’s had the distinction of racing well against Winks and is a big watch on his stable debut. McDougall is reunited with MOOKAREENA (7) who was just beaten the latest in a good Sapphire Coast sprint coming from the back. She's likely to push forward today and will be given every chance.  STEPHAN (3) comes out of the same race and is also a player enjoying a dryer deck. BET: Leaning to Revitup Redneck.


Race 7 (1000m) OPEN — Black Opal Preview


Speculative how they settle but we know Pretty Woman is fast early and Queen Of Dubai is likely to scoot across from a wider gate. QUEEN OF DUBAI (12) debuts for a leading city yard owning a Wyong trial win. O'Hara is booked and expect her to cross over and ride the speed. She'll be tough to beat on what we've seen. BRUCKNER (1) is also in a top city yard and has trialled well for the debut. Draws okay and Nash Rawiller comes down to ride. The colt is bred to be fast and good. PRETTY WOMAN (11) won the Maiden by a space here on debut and impressed. Will be fitter and a better surface shouldn't bother. Gets a handy gate and will get her chance to repeat. CONGLOMERATE (2) was a big Gosford trial winner and debuted in the Listed Lonhro Plate where he was caught wide without cover for the majority of the race. He was well in the market and expect sharp improvement from the Snowden-trained galloper. VAAROOM (6) is a local that interests. Had no luck at all here on debut against Pretty Woman and no surprise if he proves very competitive. BET: A terrific race. The market will be instructive but Queen Of Dubai appeals at first blush.


Race 8 (1600m) OPEN — Canberra Mile ($150,000)


Expecting a strong gallop with Canasta and Mercurial Lad taking up the running over Foxborough. CANASTA (3) brings outstanding city form to peak. Led and made a ratings spike winning the Rosehill 78 by 3.5L and then was a bit down on that at Randwick in the 88. He will ride the speed again and will take a stack of beating on the 6-day return. ENTENTE (1) returns to racing for Waterhouse-Bott and has trialled. Won twice at good level before an excuse run in the Geelong Cup and was spelled. Needs a good ride but expect him to be ready to go and make the photo. OUTBACK DIVA (5) has just missed her last two starts in Randwick 72s and has never raced better. She's a serious player if she brings that form to the mile. SOLDIER OF LOVE (2) is Canasta's stablemate and is also showing plenty. Led and missed a lip in the Randwick 88 two starts back and go on that. MAID OF ORE (4) resumes for the local yard and is more than capable. Gets a raft of gear changes and is worth a look despite the sticky gate. BET: Backing Canasta to win.


Race 9 (1600m) CL1


MIRROR MODEL (13) won the Maiden by a space before the spell and returned to racing improved placing at Goulburn where he ran out of puff late. He will use the rail and will be hard to roll with the extra fitness. PROMPT PRODIGY (5) just missed at Kembla Grange and then raced handy delivering a big Newcastle Maiden win. That stacks right up and he draws for the run of the race. KRISTALOVE (7) resumes off two trials for Waterhouse-Bott and was last seen in Group company over the mile. She's been off the scene for 336 days but is up to this and the betting must be monitored closely. FAVREAU (14) is also Sydney-trained and did about what expected resuming off decent efforts in Group company. The mile suits better and he's capable of taking this out without surprising. BET: Leaning to Mirror Model.