Preview and tips for Friday night racing at Canterbury. Pandemonium (2) is a promising filly for the Waterhouse/Bott stable and she made an encouraging return over the unsuitable distance of 1200m back on Feb 16. She led and stuck on gamely for 3rd. She’ll probably be at her best when getting beyond a mile, but she should still be too classy in this grade. So You Win (1) is coming off a win at this track and distance a fortnight ago, sprinting from back in the field to score by a head. The time for the race wasn’t flash. High Chaparral gelding Smiling Manolito (5) hasn’t been far away in two runs this campaign and will be fitter with the two runs under his belt.
Going for a bit of value in debutant Think Straight (5). By So You Think out of the Stravinsky mare A Fairy’s Kiss, he’s bred to get over a bit of ground, but he put in a nice trial at Randwick over 1045m, showing decent early speed to lead before finishing a close-up 3rd without being pushed along. He’s drawn well here in barrier 5. Leningrad (2) has been to the trials on four occasions and his latest trial showed he is ready to go, responding well when placed under pressure to win the 1045m trial by a length. Sweet Missile filly Prahaar (8) made a dramatic debut, dumping Jason Collett at the 25m when she looked set for victory. She’s been back to the trials since and was on her best behaviour. The wide draw is the knock on her here. Last Order (6) did bugger all on debut back in September, but her two recent trials have been promising.
Verdict: Think Straight e/w
Expecting an improved run from All But Gone (4) here with blinkers going on for the first time. He was running on when it was all over at this track and distance a fortnight back and the addition of shades should sharpen him up. He placed behind Embley over a mile in the spring which is a very good form reference for a race like this. Tinker Dan (1) scored a strong win from the front last time out at Kembla Grange. The form has stacked up with runner-up Tamarack a subsequent winner.
Verdict: All But Gone
Just the six runners and it would be a shock if the winner came outside the top three in the market. Very keen on the chances of Mariquita (1) at the odds. She contested the Group Three Triscay Stakes first-up where she was badly held-up on the rail inside the final furlong and couldn’t be fully tested. She’s the class runner in the field. It’s Time For Magic (3) trialled well before resuming at Warwick Farm, but was still sent around at big odds. She stuck on well to finish just a head off a good mare in Once More A Lady. Hammoon Dream (2) just missed in the Walcha Cup last time out. She’s going to be right up on the speed from the inside draw.
Decent staying race with a couple of promising gallopers. Furore (6) is undefeated in three starts for Kris Lees, with the Pierro gelding winning his past two by big margins. While he hasn’t been up against much, he has done it in style. The start will be all-important for him here. If he can cross and take up a forward spot without doing a stack of work, he’ll be very hard to beat. Domed (8) has really been testing the patience of punters this campaign with three straight placings. She flew home last start at this track and distance but couldn’t reel in Cyrus Rocks. Letter To Juliette (7) did it tough in the Bathurst Cup, caught wide without cover through the first half of the race. She stuck on gamely to finish a close-up 4th. She should enjoy a much better run here from barrier 2.
Bright Future (7) has a good each-way chance fresh. He was a winner first-up last campaign at Goulburn over 1200m. He was given a very soft trial on Feb 5 before having a serious hit out over 1030m on Feb 19, winning the trial by 1.5 lengths. Tim Clark should push forward from barrier 8. Malaigo (4) has had his races spaced this campaign. He ran into a very smart one in Cradle Mountain two starts back and had to sustain a long run last time out at Gosford when finishing 2nd as favourite behind Legadema. Catesby (5) raced wide throughout at Hawkesbury first-up, but was still able to score by the barest of margins over Fifth Affair. Glyn Schofield has a wide draw to overcome once again. Three-year-old Hong Qigong (9) wasn’t far off Deprive last start and is drawn to get a good run from barrier 2.
Verdict: Bright Future e/w
Pelethronius (1) and Nat King Cu (2) come out of a strong race at Rosehill last week. The pair raced tightly over the concluding stages with Pelethronius just finishing ahead of Nat King Ku. Pelethronius won four straight at the start of his last campaign and he may just about have reached his mark, but this is the easiest race he has contested for a while and gets weight relief with Jean Van Overmeire aboard. Expect Lee Magorrian will be able to find the lead here on Nat King Ku from barrier four and the nine-year-old has been racing well this campaign. Quick Defence (3) bounced back from a poor second-up run to score at big odds over a mile at Randwick last start. He goes down slightly in grade which sees him rise 5kg at the weights. Reiby The Red (5) had every chance last start when 3rd here behind Jemadar, but he should be fitter now third-up and he placed at Listed level last campaign.
Have made Vincero (5) the best bet on the card to finish the night. The Gary Portelli-trained four-year-old won two of three starts last campaign, with his only defeat a 2nd to smart mare Missile Coda. He’s had two trials heading into his return, winning his latest hit out in style. He’s likely to settle midfield from the good draw and should be finishing hard off a solid tempo. His biggest danger is Floki (10) who won his recent trial at Newcastle with ease in solid time, despite being kept under a tight hold. He won his debut last campaign by 8 lengths before a luckless run at Muswellbrook and a narrow defeat on the Beaumont track.