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Racing & Sports Canberra Racing Review — 29 December 2020

Canberra raced under blue skies & sunshine for their meeting just a few days after Christmas. Rail was true throughout & we raced on a Good 4 surface. Punters would’ve been feeling fairly good with themselves come the end of the day, with the majority of favourites winning and the longest priced victor paying just $7. It was regular faces to the fore, with Keith Dryden notching up three winners as his superb run this season continues. Race 1 - 1:00PM TODD SMART RACING HANDICAP (1000 METRES) We opened the meeting with a small field of two year olds. It appeared an even race on paper and certainly played out that way. Norm Gardner continued his hot run with juveniles as his gelding SUPER RIFF was ridden to the front and simply refused to be headed in the run home. Of course the stable produced Miss Ostend to win a similar race here a few meetings ago and that Filly subsequently finished fourth in the Magic Millions 2YO behind She’s All Class at Wyong. The beaten brigade all had their chance, with the runner-up ROCSTAR BOY Boy performing well on debut off an impressive trial win. The son of Maurice was ridden cold but finished off strongly, indicating that he’ll take some beating in a 1200m contest around this region in the coming weeks. Race 2 - 1:35PM IBLE RACING HANDICAP (2000 METRES) This race was one for the dartboard come acceptances on Friday but as time drew closer to the start, punters really zeroed in on DIP ME LID and they got it bang on. With only a moderate race on paper, Blaike McDougall took the bull by the horns and sent the five year old straight to the lead. It was curtains from then on. It was an important win for the Helmet gelding, with three runner-up cheques leading into the race, two of which behind key rivals in the race Nicholas & Alpine King. Regular faces in Havaduel & Alpine King filled the minors, with the former going well with the 62kg even after the claim. Moving forward, these staying events tend to throw up similar fields and different winners at each meeting, and each of them in this race will get their turn to win again soon. Race 3 - 2:10PM PEPPER RACING HANDICAP (1300 METRES) Again, the market got it spot on with this one. The Matthew Dale trained PROPOSE TO ME was backed into the red in the minutes before jumptime. She was resuming off a heavy track placing at this venue in April. Scratched from a few places to run here, everything went to script and she was far too good in the run to the line. Holds nice scope and that surely won’t be her last win in her career. ARABISC was huge in second. He was having his first start for Luke Pepper and the market said he had none ($41). Led at a good clip and he wasn’t collared till the 100m. 1400m looks his go and he won’t be those odds for awhile on the basis of that effort. Those two really cleared out from the rest, and they are the ones to blackbook moving forward. Race 4 - 2:45PM GRATZ VELLA RACING HANDICAP (1000 METRES) This was a wide open maiden. PANDERING was the money horse due to the McDougall/Dryden factor. She was presented with the perfect run fourth just behind the speed, peeled out and looked to go bang before the Weston/Nisbet trained RED KANZI had other ideas. Race fitness was on her side and she put the writing on the wall with a solid fourth at Wagga on the riverside last time out. With that being said, eventual third placegetter RIVER MAC should’ve won. She was in the next race she was that far back on straightening. They ran home in 34.02 so to say she went 33.5 or quicker home would be a fair assessment. Want to be with her next start, with a rider change sure not to hurt her chances. MISSIROSE jumped favourite and hit the front at the furlong, but she was overpowered late. $3.00 was always unders. Race 5 - 3:25PM JOSEPH JONES RACING PLATE (1300 METRES) It was the right race for JOBKEEPER to break the maiden and he didn’t let us down, giving McDougall three of the first five winners. Punters doubled down on this gelding after he was all but home here last meeting but a freakish effort from Galactic Warrior spoiled the party. Brave punters went again with Gambler’s Quest ($5 to $3.50) and you have to wonder if Keith Dryden wasn’t doing the polish would he be getting the same support? Either way he’s had fifteen goes and is long overdue. Of the beaten brigade PORT DOUGLAS was the best of the closers off a long layoff. Being by Adelaide he’ll only improve as the distances increase. Race 6 - 4:05PM LUXE TOWNHOUSES GOULBURN HANDICAP (1000 METRES) The speed was on from the get go in this 1000m dash. While they appeared to run along at a strong clip, the first three rounding the bend were the first three across the stripe. It was the honest EVE’S MISS who settled third and was able to finish over the top of them, extending her sharp track/distance statistics to 8:4-1-1. It was a stable quinella for Keith Dryden, with his more fancied elect SHORES OF AVALON jumping $3.50 and losing no admirers back to her right grade in second. The speedy MR KYLIN showed his customary speed and boxed away nicely in third. In a race of little complexion, those back in the run never got sighted including market chances Logan River & Girls Are Ready. Race 7 - 4:40PM ROB POTTER RACING HANDICAP (1200 METRES) It was all honours to the winner here in CONCRETE for Joe Cleary. I understand it was his last start for Joe, as he progresses on to SA to race for new connections over there. He was facing a drop in grade on the Xmas Cup run at Moruya the week beforehand. Speed upfront was crisp the early stages with four across the track at one point passing the 600m. Concrete had the sit on those in fifth and was produced at the right time under Hannah Williams, a good ride for a kid still in the early part of her career. EUROSAY is an enigma to say the least. Not sure how he hasn’t won his past two starts this track/distance and I’m sure his rider (McDougall) will be saying the same. HEZREDHOT was locked in the speed battle early and he stuck on well. Third-up next time he looks a bet for the Kirkup yard. Disappointment of the race was smart mare POLYXENA. Admittedly was fresh but her record under those conditions is strong but she dropped out rapidly late in the piece. Race 8 - 5:15PM TAB FEDERAL (1400 METRES) The feature TAB Federal brought forward a very competitive field. The hype horse in PACKER’S BOND was priced favourite purely on reputation. We had the usual suspects line-up and it was GUNGA DIN who came out on top, another one for Keithy. Ridden cold by Heni Ede, his closing sectionals were superb with the big weight. It was the best run KANERUPT (2nd) has produced in yonkers whilst NIECES ‘N’ NEPHEWS was game in third, he’s got a sense of timing as he heads to the mile fourth-up. PACKERS BOND receives a huge tick also. First-up off a CL1 2000m win three months ago. He got a long way back in the run and was forced to make his run on the inferior ground. Mitch Beer has a smart one and he should be winning his next start provided he’s put in the right race. Disappointments were definitely Away She Goes ($6.50) & Successful Day ($4.40) who led at a reasonable tempo but was one of the first horses beaten. Perhaps BM70 level found her out but look for her to be hitting back as she does have ability. Race 9 - 5:55PM NICK OLIVE RACING PLATE (1600 METRES) The market had it settled on two horses as soon as they opened, ANTILLES & RIVERSTOCK. Money late was all for the Dale horse Antilles ($2.30 - $1.90) but it was Riverstock ($2 - $2.60) who had the last laugh. They settled first and last, with the turn of foot from Riverstock from the back rather impressive under the urgings of John Kissick. Former European Antilles had no answers at the furlong and those two paneled the rest, as the market said they would. None of these have more talent then Riverstock and with that in mind, he looks the one to follow from this race moving forward. The Joe Ible team certainly on a roll at present.