NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Good 3. All horses considered starters unless notified by Monday at 1 P.M. (N/R) denotes no rating.
THE Pariah connection may well strike again here via the Choisir colt 1. FAEGER (N/R) who has some remarkably deep form. The Peter and Paul Snowden chestnut raced 5 times (placed 3 of them) in races won by Villa Carlotta, Almanzora, Sanctioned, Beacon and Songlike. Faeger’s last run was at the t/d where he was mowing down winner Songlike to get within 1.1-lens off a really good filly. He can race handy; his time win has come it seems. Although, I would have preferred something other than barrier 8 of 8. 3. HANG QUIGONG (N/R) is a potent threat however. The Team Hawkes trained Pierro colt should have nearly beaten Pierata (good horse) at HQ on debut on Anzac Day then was tipped out after this 5-lens 6th of 10 to Godolphin pair Malahat and Kementari here on May 10. Very nice trial winner in recent times beating the Waller colt 6. BEZZINA (N/R) who I expect to be rattling home here, maybe not over the top, but certainly in to the placings. 2. HIGH DIVE (N/R) was good at his opening campaign and his third in a recent trial was nice work. Hails from family that delivers winners.
DOUBT there is a better bred horse racing at Canterbury tomorrow than 3. MARISHKA (N/R), after all, full relations to Golden Slipper winners don’t come along every day of the week. Marishka’s Slipper sibling is Overreach and like her, is owned and bred by a true ‘Gentleman of the turf’ in George Altomonte. This filly is also sister to Outreach who Group 3 placed and a three- quarter to a couple of other handy types in Longreach and Skylimit. Trials aren’t everything but gee whiz, four smashing efforts, two in summer, two recently — they have been as good as you’d see from a horse about to make its debut. Another blue blood filly lining-up here is 6. WILD ABOUT HER (N/R), a Big Brown out of AJC Oaks winner Once Were Wild. This classically bred filly was absolutely flying home over the last 150m on debut to finish 1.6-lens behind the stablemate Gold Standard who is Group 3 placed since. Wild About Her was beaten a lip in a 900m Rosehill trial on Aug. 18. Pedigree says she wants 1400m now but a fast run 1100m, you never know, she might finish over them this time. Keep an eye on 1. FIFTH AVENUE ((N/R), she’s an underrated filly who could get into the placings at odds.
1. FOUR CARAT (72) has the Waller grounding to back up his stamina that saw him feature somewhat in last year’s 3200m Sandown Cup when fourth to Qewy. His campaign this time in has seen him run over 1500m, 2000m and then those two 2400m’s. He was a fair way off Auvray and Sayed last start at Randwick but he (Four Carat) was certainly going faster at the line than a lot of others, Sayed included I reckon. 2. NAPOLEON (66) has only won 3 from 29 but he has placed 12 times and best of all, his last win came as recently as Aug. 12 when he outstayed his rivals in a 2900m race at Newcastle. If it comes to a war of attrition, Napoleon could be the last to surrender. There are few horses here that finished behind Napoleon last start that will probably finish behind him again so I went for 5. ZAVEENA (61) as the one most likely to place outside of Four Carat and Napoleon. Zaveena has carried 58, 57.5 and 56.5 in her three tuns this preparation, she’s in with 53 tomorrow when you’re running 2700m, the less baggage to carry the better.
6. DYLAN’S ROMANCE (63) hit his best stride this campaign when a nose 2nd in a 1900m Bm75 here on Aug. 16. He was $31 into $21 that day, I assume because it was a real on-pacers/ fence sort of track and many speed mappers may have had him leading fence. Anyway, he was 4th, one- one as it turned out — a pearler of a ride by Deanne Panya that just missed. The horse races well at the t/d, he is 3s 1-10. Facts, figures and form says 1. ESTIKHRAAJ (69) wins but 3 out of 27 is not exactly the stat you want when you are taking expected shortish odds. He is a costly horse to follow, I remember him being beaten at $1.70 in a 4-horse race t/d last prep. Against that, he does run his best races at this track and distance and Bowman seems to coax the out of him pretty much every time he’s legged aboard. 2. TAIKOMOCHI (68) is going for three straight but what has he beaten lately? Not much.
GO back and watch 7. BRACES (66) runs at Canterbury and Kembla. He should have finished closer at Canterbury and maybe I’m talking through the kick but he should have darn nearly won at Kembla. It wasn’t a flash ride to be honest. It’s taken Braces an eternity this prep to strike any form whatsoever but he’s getting back to what we know he is capable of doing on his day. The Greg Hickman trained gelding has raced 5 times at this venue and finished second 3 times so he does like it here. 8. FANTASIZE (70) has raced well throughout her current preparation and sometimes up against much superior horse than what she takes on tomorrow. She is a fit and honest mare that has drawn well so I see her racing in the first few after that, it’s all up to her. 2. FORTENSKY (70) is a chance but he was a bigger before drew 11. I am sure 6. TAHSIN (67) is better than last run, much better in fact. Expect some sharp improvement.
GOOD race! I have always been a bit of a 9. CANNON RUN (65) fan. I am pretty sure tipped him to win his debut at Hawkesbury because he’d been trialling well. I know for a fact I tipped him first-up last prep where he was beaten a nose at Kembla; so he’s all but 2 from 2 fresh — after all, what’s a nose when you come from far back like he did that day. I have liked his two trials and Josh Parr who rode him in both, sticks for race- day. Going to be big odds — so long as he doesn’t drift alarmingly, I think might shock a few of these. As soon as they crossed the line in that Jul. 29 race at Rosehill I wrote down ‘next time’ alongside 5. ROCKAFELLA (67). The Fastnet Rock son was doing good things late in a race where most of the action was way up ahead of him. Nice horse. The class in the race is definitely the Godolphin runner 11. MALAHAT (70) who deserved to win here first-up. That was a massive effort on his part to get as close as he did from the wide gate and being last at the 400m. Look at his form; 3rd to Pariah, 3rd to Invader, beats Kementari, etc. Bowman gate 1 — on paper, that’s a blessing, but not always.
RON Quinton trained filly 14. DEVOLVING (67) has barrier 14 of 15 but I hope the master trainer still runs her. I think she is good enough to go back a bit anyway and hopefully find some cover run over the top of them — but it is a very strong field make no bones about it. Devolving is only lightly-raced with 3s 1-1-1. She 1s 0-0-1 at the t/d which happened to be her first-up 3rd to 8. REGIMEN (69) which time she (Devolving) was really eating into the margin. I see obvious improvement in the Quinton filly who has always looked bound for Saturday racing. Massive interest in how the market will assess 15. HIGH LOW BET (66). The Waller trained 3YO is by High Chaparral out of Wager’s daughter We Betcha. High Low Bet beat a nice looking lot horses in her Anzac Day debut at HQ when $11 to $14. I thought the trials have been excellent on her part, I suspect they go fast here and High Low Bet is warming up late, how late and how warm she gets is a little query but she can gallop! The speed, much of it anyway, rests with 1. MISSILE CODA (72) who has drawn 4. She drew 10 of 10 last start but led on her ear, they never saw her coming or going for that matter — she won by 4-lens and didn’t look too puffed out to me after the effort!