Al­man­zora set to score

The Sportsman Midweek - - Canterbury Preview -

NOTE: RACES are as­sessed for a Good 4. All horses con­sid­ered starters un­less no­ti­fied by Mon­day at 1 PM. (N/R) de­notes no rat­ing.

RACE 1

1. I’M A LE­GEND (N/R) is ab­so­lutely on his last chance here. The son of Nic­coni has placed at 5 of his 6 runs which for some, may be ac­cept­able, but bear in mind that he has started; $3.20, $10 into $8.50, $4, $2.40 and $2.30 and lost ev­ery­one. That’s 50 per cent ‘beaten favourite’. He won a trial at Rand­wick over 1045m on Jul 13 but was rid­den out to get passed ‘stayer’ Maria Vic­to­ria (see Race 2). On top here by de­fault. 2. BE MIND­FUL (N/R) is a very hand­some son of Pierro part-owned by Bob Lap­pointe and trained

Chris Waller. This fel­low is 3s 0-2-0 and was 4th at the other one, the de­but here over 1250m on a Heavy 8. Be Mind­ful cer­tainly hasn’t done much wrong but you wouldn’t want to be back­ing him, or the top­pie, for sheep sta­tions here. Nei­ther has been ex­actly what you would call ‘sav­aging the line’ to this point. 3. MY KING’S COUN­SEL (N/R) was 4th to Gay­a­tri and Be Mind­ful at New­cas­tle on Jun 23 – about 0.8-lens be­hind Be Mind­ful. This Nick Mo­raitis­bred geld­ing tri­alled rea­son­ably well over 1200m on Jul 6.

RACE 2

I WAS quite keen on 4. SAFE LAND­ING (N/R) when he de­buted at WF Jul 11 and was a bit sur­prised he opened at $11 much less drifted to $14 by virtue on the fact that has tri­alled well back in Feb but more to the point had Hugh Bow­man rid­ing. Bow­man gave him all favours from gate 2, the son of Magic Al­bert just couldn’t reel in Taygeta thus clock­ing-in 1.8-kens 2nd. Safe Land­ing was scratched from two races at his home track at Goulburn on Mon­day and that doesn’t shock me be­cause when I saw the noms for this, I was cer­tain that Kurt Goldman would chose this – noth­ing to fear here. The afore­men­tioned 7. MARIA VIC­TO­RIA (N/R) is a daugh­ter of Medaglia D’oro out of Queens­land Oaks win­ner, Za­galia (by Zabeel). The John Sar­gent­trained filly has placed at 5 of her 8 runs, three of them the 2100m to end her last cam­paign. Granted she will get up over that kind of trip again but as I al­luded to in the open­ing race pre­view, she was pretty good in her Jul 13 at Rand­wick which fol­lowed 2nd to Chau­tauqua’s half sis­ter Mul­berry Walk in a Hawkes­bury heat on jun 26. 1. COLTRANE (N/R) is a Denise Martin/Chris Waller geld­ing by Nic­coni out of a Pen­tire mare. The horse opened his sec­ond cam­paign on a very en­cour­ag­ing note when clos­ing 3rd to speed ma­chine Cosimo in an 1100m maiden at Wy­ong on Jul 14. Looks open to im­prove­ment.

RACE 3

CAN­NOT wait to see the most in­ter­est­ing horse rac­ing all day (IMO) namely 4. ENG­LAND (N/R) who you can read about in our Syd­ney Trial Col­umn on page 94. Now that he drew bar­rier 4, I had to mark Eng­land’s prospects ‘up’ and ob­vi­ously de­lighted to have Ker­rin McEvoy on top. I reckon he might turn out to be a pretty good horse this one but he has cer­tainly found him­self in very deep race to de­but in. How can one find fault with the re­spec­tive de­buts of 2. DANAWI (N/R) and 3. SNEAK­ING TO WIN

(N/R). The lat­ter dead­set should have won here on Jul 4, he didn’t, but was still the run of the race, nay day. And as for Danawi – the son of Ep­som win­ner Se­cret Ad­mirer – faced the breeze in a very, very fast run 1200m at Rand­wick on An­zac Day beaten only by the po­ten­tial best 3YO in Aus­tralia next sea­son – The Au­tumn Sun. I reckon we might see a real eye­catcher here from the Godol­phin colt 6. CLOAK (N/R) whom I peg as a sort of Spring Stakes, Spring Cham­pion even VRC Derby horse in the spring. This is too strong (I think) for him just to zoom home over top of but I sus­pect he’ll be zoom­ing none the less. Ditto that last bit for 1. EXCELTIC (N/R). Crikey, this is a deep race. Who­ever wins is good horse, if it’s Eng­land – he’s real good horse!

RACE 4

2. IMANUI (73) is go­ing well again this prepa­ra­tion and looks ready and able to strike a blow now third-up. The Ron Quin­ton­trained 5YO came from 15th of 15 first-up to fin­ish 3.7-lens away from Manolo Blah­niq and co in a 1300m race at Rand­wick on Jun 16. Imanui was 1.8-lens 4 of 7 here af­ter that over 1550m with 60.5kgs on his back. It was a very hon­est ef­fort from a very hon­est horse. It’s time now for Imanui to step out to 1900m. was 0.2-lens over 1800m at Rose­hill last cam­paign then 2.6-lens be­hind Al­ward and Up ‘N’ Rolling in a de­cent Bm82 over 2000m there three weeks later so you have to say he is ef­fec­tive at the trip, or at very least, will run it in this com­pany – surely. 6. FAN­TAS­TIC MAN (69) was quite pleas­ing first-up de­spite what the 9 of 12 might in­di­cate in that New­cas­tle maiden. The John Thomp­son­trained Red­oute’s Choice son came to WF 18-days later and ran a pos­i­tive 0.6-lens 3rd over the mile. Has won here but un­placed all three at or around 1900m but ‘Failed to Fin­ish’ in one of them. Blake Shinn sticks from the Farm run. The Chris Waller pair of 4. RAQEEQ (72) and 8. SHADAL (67) will have ad­mir­ers and for good rea­son. Raqeeq is not hard to find and with Bow­man on, I am think­ing he is go­ing to be very, very pop­u­lar TAB pun­ters so he might be un­ders so it is a price thing not a tal­ent thing. My lit­tle is­sue with Shadal is that I thought/ ex­pected he might win eas­ier last start but at least he won.

RACE 5

THE sys­tem horse here is 1. BAN­NER SEA­SON (71). The sys­tem be­ing one of my per­sonal favourites – first-up out of a Derby (or an Oaks de­pend­ing). Ban­ner Sea­son was last seen fin­ish­ing 12-lens 11 of 16 in the Queens­land Derby at $41 hav­ing won over 1850m and 2200m two runs prior. Bear in mind that he re­sumes over 1550m here and with the aid of an easy trial over 900m on Jul 12. I sus­pect he still has a bit of resid­ual fit­ness in his body. Kris Lees has en­ticed Ker­rin McEvoy to ride and who knows, maybe the horse can make some use of bar­rier 2 thus get a ground sav­ing run? Breed­ing buffs may like to know he is three-quar­ter

Rul­ing Dy­nasty and his 3rd Dam is none other than Danc­ing Show (USA). 3. CARLUCA (70) hit his best stride at WF last start third-up in a mile race where it paid to be on pace as he was, as is his cus­tom. Carluca’s rac­ing pat­tern ac­counts for why the son of Vol­li­tant is 5s 1-1-1 at Can­ter­bury; the same as his t/d record as it hap­pens. 4. HE’S A GIVEN (70) cel­e­brates 50th start to­mor­row and may very well make it a day to re­mem­ber for his band of own­ers trainer Clarry Con­ners. This geld­ing is 9s 1-2-2 at the venue and 5s 0-2-1 at the t/d. He went within a whisker of win­ning at WF over 1400m last start and we know he’s pretty ef­fec­tive at the 1550m here.

RACE 6

JAMES Cum­mings holds the aces here with his two fil­lies namely 8. AL­MAN­ZORA (70) and 9. ESCHARA (70) who as you can no doubt see, both have the same bench­mark rat­ing at this stage of their ca­reers. I think I am on safe ground how­ever in say­ing that Al­man­zora is the su­pe­rior horse, cer­tainly she has depth to her form that her sta­ble­mate doesn’t. For in­stance, Al­man­zora beat Aqua D’Ivinia and Sanc­tioned on de­but then was 5th to 2018 The Ever­est run­ner Shoals in the G2 Percy Sykes and fi­nally 4th in the Listed Wood­lands at Scone. This daugh­ter of Lonhro has tri­alled twice and they have both been out­stand­ing not least her Jul 13 nose 2nd to Siege Of Que­bec and ahead of She Will Reign. Eschara mean­while is a Street Cry so has the scope to go on­ward and up­wards as she ages. Her tri­als have also been tick-wor­thy. The way I see it, is that Al­man­zora is better suited at the 1100m than Eschara. I hate to have to tip against one of my favourite horses in 11. BLOW­ING KISSES (68) whom I have to ad­mit, thought would be a Group win­ner by this stage of her career. She’s very well bred (Red­oute’s Choice – Eskimo Queen) and moves so beau­ti­fully. She’s deadly fresh and the tri­als have been ace, won last one.

RACE 7

1. SAMADOUBT (78) was my ‘best bet’ when he re­sumed at Rand­wick on Jul 7 in a very tough race. No one else seemed to share my en­thu­si­asm – he was $16 out to $21 back into $19. The Bjorn Baker-trained ch­est­nut got back and cov­ered some ex­tra ground too but was 2.5-lens from Noble Joey She Knows, it was an eye-catcher to say the least. The rea­son I made him ‘XXX’ bet on the card that day was that he was dead­set tri­alling the house down be­fore hand but maybe I over es­ti­mated his prospects first-up be­cause he was 5s 0-2-0 fresh go­ing into the race. Bear in mind that is 3s 1-1-0 sec­ond-up. Better still, he 4s 2-1-0 at the trip and 2s 1-1-0 at the t/d. The win was a big win, 2nd was a nar­row one to Pas­sage Of Time. 9. SAV­VAN (73) was a shade dis­ap­point­ing when 4th in the 1400m Bm85 at HQ on Jun 23. I was su­per keen her given that she 2nd to Noire be­fore and Sa­va­tiano prior again. I think the freshen and back to 1200m are keys. She tri­alled re­ally nicely in a deep heat too in be­tween. Noth­ing wrong with the blokes who have been rid­ing her but James McDon­ald goes on to­mor­row and you can bet trainer John O’Shea is happy about that. Oth­ers chances go to 3. GHOSTLY (76) but he’s drawn right out, 5. FANNING (74) who has tri­alled well since he fin­ished down the order in the Samadoubt race from last start. Re­spect­ing

6. SMARTEDGE (74) and 10. MEGA MALL (72).

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