Form analyst Mitch Cohen gives his best bets and runs the rule over every race for Canterbury.
The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!
Race 2, No.5: SEQUESTERED
Promising Godolphin filly lining up for start two after a debut that showed promise.
Race 4, No.7: MINOUCHE
Fresh performer returning off a couple of quiet trials. Looks drawn ideally.
Race 5, No.4: BACIO DEL MIST
Drops back from Saturday grade. Drawn well and gets Dylan Gibbons’ 2kg claim.
Race 4: 1, 6, 7
Race 5: 3, 4, 5
Race 6: 5, 6, 8
Race 7: 1, 4, 8, 10
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
James McDonald rode a double at his last visit to Canterbury and would be surprised if he didn’t come away with more this time.
Race 5, No.2: CLIFTON SPRINGS
Second in a Highway race two back. If he brings that form, he will be winning this.
Race 3, No.4: ROYAL KEW
Placed at two of his past three, he is ready to break his maiden.
Race 7, No.2: OBVIOUS STEP
Capable galloper on his day. Proven in provincial grade and over the odds.
THE INSIDE MAIL FOR CANTERBURY
Step Aside has been a beaten favourite at his first two starts but gets another great chance to breakthrough. The Chris Waller-trained galloper has finished runner up in both races at Warwick Farm. A win isn’t far away. The much-anticipated debut of $900,000 purchase Citzenship had to be delayed because of a heavy track. A second trial since then should have him ready for his debut where he gets a favourable draw. Emancipist has been backed from $7 into $3.10. You can expect a forward showing first-up from a break. Himalaism has placed in half his eight starts and can finish around the money again.
Bet: Step Aside to win.
Sequestered is a daughter of Pierro that will be suited by the step up to 1250m second-up. The Godolphin filly had to sustain a wide run on a heavy Canterbury track on debut to finish third. A likely improver at start two. Outlawed was runner up at Hawkesbury in her only start last prep. She’s trialled well in the lead up but the Foxwedge filly’s fitness is likely to be tested over the final 100m. Canada Bay looks the likely leader and should be able to find the front from the inside gate. She will be the one to catch when they hit the straight.
Bet: Sequestered to win.
Lucky Variety has won two of three starts this preparation with a last start success at Gosford. She’s a filly on the up and is more than capable of going through her grades quickly. Apprentice Dylan Gibbons claim gets her in with 54.5kg. Rocketeer Girl gave her rivals a galloping lesson last start at this track and the horse she beat by three and a quarter lengths won its next start. The outside draw here will make it tougher for her to do it but she’s capable. De An Andretti, the full sister to former star sprinter Libertini, will undoubtedly be hard in the market again. She’s got talent but we need to see her show it to dive in. The big weight makes life tough for the talented Flower Moon.
Bet: Lucky Variety to win.
Minouche was one of the rare Godolphin buys as a yearling and returns to Sydney after campaigning in Victoria last prep. She’s been a noted fresh performer in the past and has been given two quiet trials in preparation for her return. With a couple of scratchings, her draw now looks ideal. True Crime is a two-time winner and placegetter in five starts. He’s entitled to improve off a first-up second at Wyong. French Marine is racing well and only needs to replicate second at this track to be around the money while Russley Crown is the best at odds.
Bet: Minouche to win.
Bacio Del Mist has been racing consistently in Saturday grade so should enjoy the step back in class here. While her last run says 10th, she was found to have a laceration to off-hind fetlock. The Lee and Cherie Curtis-trained mare was competitive in tougher races before that and can bounce back. It’s hard to dismiss Whangaehu’s recent form. He looks the best of Waller’s five acceptors on the strength of his win at the track and trip last time. Taraashoq was a game runner up to Whangaehu in that victory and can run well again while Villaden can mix his form but a forward showing wouldn’t surprise.
Bet: Bacio Del Mist to win.
Latenighttoughguy returned from a stint in Hong Kong with a bang first-up and still looks to have plenty to offer. The Chris Waller-trained galloper benefited from a peach of a ride from Nash Rawiller to score at Gosford. Gets J-Mac and the gun draw for his second-up assignment. Distillate does some of her best racing fresh. She won her only visit to this track and trip last July, albeit on a heavy circuit. Land Of Valens is over the odds given his first-up record. He’s missed the placings just once in four fresh starts and has trialled well in the lead up. Smuggler’s Bay has been doing it well on the country circuit but the 1100m trip has to be the question mark.
Bet: Latenighttoughguy to win.
It’s been a while between drinks for Buff ‘N’ Bluster but his recent form suggests a win isn’t far away. He was placed behind the classy Kanazawa two back before finishing fourth in a Midway event. Just needs luck from the inside draw when he’s flashing home. A beaten favourite his past two, Rockribbed is still racing well. The Night Of Thunder gelding showed appreciate the step up to 1550m and be ready to peak third-up. Yoshino’s chances hinge on where he lands in the run from a tricky outside gate. Same goes for the classy Elettrica.
Bet: Buff ‘N’ Bluster each way.
Originally published as Race day focus: Best bets, inside mail for Canterbury, Port Macquarie