Canterbury for midweek racing in the lead up to Christmas this week in Sydney. Small fields are the order of the day here, due to Sydney having nine metro quality race meetings within nine days, as well as multiple provincial meetings. We just don’t have the horses to get us good each-way betting. At least there is seven winners to be found. Outlook is a little weird, says it is going to rain. But its 32 degrees and sunny as I write this. Let's go with a good 4, rail is out 3m.
QUADDIES (races 4-5-6-7)
Skinny Play: 1,2,4 - 1,3,7 - 1,2 - 6
Wide Play: 1,2,3,4 - 1,3,4,7 - 1,2,6 - 1,2,6,8
BEST BET: R3 – 2. AQUA D’IVINA
Next Best Bet: R1 – 2. CHAIN OF FOOLS
Best Roughie: R4 – 1. IRISH OPTIMISIM
No 2 CHAIN OF FOOLS (NEXT BEST BET) has been doing a great job this time in, running her opponents into the ground. She found her best form when stepping up to the 1600m and being able to roll along at a good clip throughout. The step to 1900m won't be an issue at all given how she won at Warwick Farm last start. The claim for King, who is riding brilliantly at the minute for Gai, down to 55.5kg, is invaluable here and she should run them into the ground.
No 1 HIGHER GROUND didn’t have the best of luck in a weirdly run race last start, I think the step to 1900m here will suit much better.
No 3 VELOCITA won in really impressive fashion last start, she was out of the frame turning for home and finished off well. This is tougher.
No 5 REGAL RAGE is next best here in a race which drops away fast.
VALUE RUNNER: No 3 VELOCITA
No 5 DEFT has been trialing in good order coming into this debut run and really extended well when asked by Brown in the trial. She is quite well bred and gets a good run on the map here from barrier 5. Godolphin have been going well at the midweeks as of late.
No 7 WE HAVE LIFT OFF comes out of the Calaway Gal this time last year where she started fav off, two good trials. She has since changed to the Widdup yard and has been trialing quite well coming into this. She looks to be Magic Millions bound and would need to be winning this to go there.
No 6 GUANGDONG (say that quickly 5 times) has improved trial to trial coming into the debut run here. She is a very well bred filly, and Waller usually produces a few this time of year. From the gate Glyn will probably settle back in the field and come at them with one run.
No 1 LEAGUE OF NATIONS has been nothing short of disappointing for punters this time in getting beaten at short quotes. He comes out of some good enough races early in his career. Maybe he has been taking time to get fit. Jockey change suits here.
VALUE RUNNER: No 6 GUANGDONG
No 2 AQUA D’IVINA (BEST BET) really ran right through the line in brilliant fashion first up in a race which wasn’t at all run to suit. She didn’t have the best of luck there, but found the line so well. She should take a lot of improvement from that and finds a weaker race here. Gate 9 is a touch sticky, but she can roll forward here if Ford decides to take the race by the scruff of the neck.
No 3 MASCOT found the line quite well on resumption in what looks to be quite a good race, he should improve off that and gets Avdulla from a good gate here and brings quality form into this.
No 6 SOVIET was run down late first-up and comes out of form behind Ace High and Unforgotton. That’s pretty good form to have in a maiden on a Wednesday.
No 7 WHOOSKA was quite good first-up behind Soothing, in what is quite a good race. She should improve second-up from a spell and gets Shinn on here which is an added bonus.
VALUE RUNNER: No 7 WHOOSKA
No 2 SPEED HERO has been going ok enough this time in, with two solid runs over 1400m where he has finished off well and looks as if he has been looking for further, and the step to the 1550m here is much more suitable. This isn’t the best race and he has a chance.
No 1 IRISH OPTIMISIM (BEST ROUGHIE) resumes here and comes out of some ok enough races last preparation in Melbourne. The trials have been nothing fantastic. But again this isn’t the best race and the claim helps here and gives him a chance fresh.
No 4 FANTASTIC man has been going well enough this time in with some solid enough runs in Class 1 races, yes this is a step up in grade. But he gets a soft run on the map here from barrier 1, and if the luck comes his way he can figure.
No 3 MORE THAN FABULOUS resumes here and finds Shinn on board which intrigues me coming into this. The trial a few weeks ago was quite good, and I am to assume that Payne has poured the work into him and if he is fit enough he can run well.
VALUE RUNNER: No 1 IRISH OPTIMISIM
No 1 BAYSA won in good style last start coming with a well timed run from Shinn, who she loses for Angland here. But there is no worries at all there for punters. She gets a softer run on the map here from barrier 3. She is going to be able to settle that touch closer and looks hard to beat.
No 7 HITTITE didn’t get the best of rides from Avdulla last start, and she probably should have gone close to winning with a good ride. The step up to the 1550m looks to be ideal for her, here and Avdulla will be out to make up for last time.
No 3 JAUNTY didn’t have the best of luck last start when stepping out of maiden grade. She is a mare who looks to be on the way up in my opinion and with better luck in running here, she is going to be in the finish somewhere.
No 4 MOLLYFIED gets a great run on the map here from barrier 2 for JVO who also claims down to the 54kgs here. She has been in quite good form as of late and has built a solid little record over time. With that good run, she is a chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No 4 MOLLYFIED
No 1 JEMEDAR puts the bromance of Avdulla and owner N Snow on the line here. The three runs for the new stable have been quite good, and the trial coming into this has been quite good. From gate 5 he looks to get a good run on the map here and should make Christmas lunch for Snow and Avdulla a happy one.
No 2 SAMADOUBT was good enough first-up with the big weight, where he looked to blow out late, he does have a bad fresh record so the run wasn’t that bad. Second-up is a touch better and he carries 2kg less than the last start and he should run well again.
No 6 KOOL VINNIE has quite a good first-up record and has been trialing in good order coming into the fresh run here. He improved with each run last time in. from the gate I expect him to get back here and try and pick off runs as they come and he should run well.
No 3 KENT gets a good run on the map here from barrier 3 for Angland. The two trials coming in were quite good and he should bounce off them. The fresh record is a touch of a concern, as he usually bounces second-up. I still expect him to run well.
VALUE RUNNER: No 6 KOOL VINNIE
No 6 EMPEROR’S WAY won as he should have last start in very good order at Gosford, running solid enough time on the day there. Avdulla stays aboard here from gate 5 and drops 4.5kgs from that effort. He is the horse on the way up here and looks very hard to beat.
No 8 SMOOTH WHISKEY run quite well last start and has finally found the winning way after taking forever to breakthrough. The form this time in has been quite good and he has kept on improving this time in.
No 1 COYS comes out of the same form lines as Smooth Whiskey last start and was solid enough there. Back to Canterbury, is much more suitable here as she can find the front and keep rolling along like she has done in her past two starts at the track. Parr off for Heywood is a slight concern here, as he isn’t the best front running rider. But the claim helps.
No 2 THE GAVEL should improve here dropping well in grade from Saturday level. He has been finding the line well enough there and gets in quite well at the claim for Adkins down to 56kg here. Now that he is fully fit after three runs back, the step up to the 1900m looks suitable and he should run well.
VALUE RUNNER: No 8 SMOOTH WHISKEY