GOULBURN trainer John Bateman has rich plans for Common Purpose this preparation and it all starts at Canterbury Park on Wednesday.
The I Am Invincible five-year-old tackles a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1100m) and he’s a proven fresh horse, having won once and ran second on two occasions from three attempts.
He teams up again with Hugh Bowman and will jump from barrier eight.
Bateman wants to see him coming over the top of his rivals late. “He goes well fresh and he’ll need some luck from barrier eight but we’ve got the services of Hughie and he’s ridden him once before from a wide gate and they won a Highway race,” Bateman said.
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
ZIP A DEE DOO DAH (Race 6, No.2)
This horse ran close behind Live And Free last start and Live And Free would be beating up this field with ease on current form, so he’s going to be very hard to hold out late.
LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS
APERITIF (Race 7, No.1)
It was hard not to like her strong win last start and there looks to be plenty of improvement in her. She also beat a horse that has since come out and smashed them at the midweeks.
MATOWI (Race 3, No.7)
This horse is on a very quick back-up but that’s always a good sign and this race is easier than the one she ran in last start and was competitive in.
Race 4: 2, 3, 6
Race 5: 1, 2, 4, 7
Race 6: 2
Race 7: 1, 6, 8
TRAINER TO WATCH
TEAM HAWKES only have one runner at Canterbury, Desert Lord, but he’s a nice hope and should be flashing home.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
HUGH BOWMAN could have a very good day if things go right for his mounts. All of his five rides are winning chances.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATT’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
Common Purpose has won four times so a win on Wednesday would slightly alter Bateman’s plans this preparation because Country Championships horses aren’t eligible for the lucrative series if they have won more than five races.
“We’re aiming for the heat of the Country Championships at Goulburn third-up but if he wins this race he’ll have to go to it second-up,” Bateman said.
“The horse is going well and I wouldn’t be taking him to the races if he wasn’t ready. I’ve been very happy with him. He had a nice jumpout and has done everything right since.”
If he wins at Canterbury he will just be given some good hitouts on the track then head to Goulburn second-up for their Country Championships qualifier on March 2.
“We’ve got plenty of jumpouts down here to get him ready,” Bateman said.
Common Purpose started his career with four-straight second placings, including one behind She Knows, who has gone on to be a smart mare.
He’s five now and starting to get the hang of things, particularly on race day.
Bateman said his fifth placing to Wagner at Canterbury in September was a forgive run.
“He lost the plot a bit before the race the last time he ran at Canterbury,” he said. “He got a bit stirred up, which he can occasionally do, but I thought I’d take him back there and give him another go.
“He just didn’t know what to do when he started out. Everything overawed him but we’ve been very kind to the horse as we let him know what it’s all about.
“Now he’s right. He didn’t know how to put them away before, even when he was winning.
“He just doesn’t go well on rain-affected tracks. He likes the tracks firm so I expect him to run a big race.”
Bateman thinks his best trip is slightly longer than Wednesday’s 1100m but he knows his horse will be finishing strongly with one of the world’s best jockey’s on board.
“He ran a class record the day he won his maiden over 1500m but I’ve always thought he was a 1400m horse,” he said. “He’s learnt to settle in his races. There’s a couple of faster ones in it that might run him off his feet early and he’ll be running home.
“He’ll more than likely sit off them and get in with a bit of cover and then he might just want to let down and take off.”
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Buchanan eyeing another upset
KRISTEN Buchanan came to town last week saying outsider Laszlo could win and the $31 chance did and now she’s hoping Cisco Bay can cause another upset at Canterbury Park.
The new stable edition, formally with George Woodward at Walcha, debuts for Buchanan in a Benchmark 74 Handicap (1200m).
He’s had one lead-up trial behind the smart White Boots over 1000m at Wyong and despite looking for 1600m or more, he’s impressed Buchanan enough at home to start him over the sprint trip first-up. He’s won fresh before over 1400m and he only has to carry 54kg with Jenny Duggan on board from barrier five.
“The 1200m will be the shortest trip he’s ever tackled but it’s a good starting point for him and he’s showing enough speed in his work,” Buchanan said.
“He’s a kind travelling horse who isn’t fierce going so it will be interesting to see how he goes. He could figure in the finish from back off the speed. He’ll be rattling home.
“He’s very consistent. He has been his whole career. He gives me the feel of being at his best over 1400m and further.”
The four-year-old is by So You Think so he’ll be more affective over a longer trip but middle-distance horses can often sprint well fresh. “He’s feeling very well and is bouncing out of his skin so I think he’ll run a good race,” she said.
“I’m not discounting a win. I’d love to cause another upset. It would be great.
“The horse has come to me in terrific order and he’s an absolute gem and that’s not always the case when you get second-hand horses.”
He didn’t arrive in Buchanan’s stables early enough to be eligible for the Provincial Championships, which would have been ideal, so now he has to make it as a city-class horse.
“We’ll take him through his grades in town,” she said. “He gives every indication that he should race well in town.”
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES
RACE 1 (1.35pm)
Emergent was doing his best work late on debut over 1100m and, with natural improvement, he’ll be even better over 1200m. Kolding resumes off a neat trial and ran into a Group 1-standard horse last preparation. Final Award is a first starter to keep an eye on as is Front Sight, who looked the part at the trials.
BET: KOLDING to win.
RACE 2 (2.15pm)
Milunka and Oxidization meet again after running second and third on debut respectively and the former is in this better at the weights and looked to be holding Oxidization late in that race. Call Me Royal was unlucky not to win her two runs last preparation and she’s going to be hard to catch from out in front. Zelrosa looked comfortable in winning her lead-up trial, while My Demetra should sit off the speed and, with luck, can figure in the finish.
BET: Exacta 1, 7.
RACE 3 (2.50pm)
If Matowi backs up she’ll be a hope after running a strong race against some nice types in a higher grade last Saturday. Cossetot is the opposite. He’s working his way up the grades and will run out the trip strongly, while Navigator is an improver and Lucky Prospector is the horse with confidence after winning its past two in lesser grade.
BET: MATOWI to win.
RACE 4 (3.25pm)
You Make Me Smile can keep winning even though he’s got some weight to carry. He is dropping back 50m but that shouldn’t matter too much. Watch for Desert Lord to be hitting the line late but he’s bred to get further and a mile is when he’ll be at his best. Sedition just can’t buy a win but he’s impossible to rule out either because he rarely runs a poor race. Cisco Bay is another that wants further but is capable fresh. Juventus is an improver second-up.
BET: YOU MAKE ME SMILE to win.
RACE 5 (4.05pm)
Nictock has a sensational record over 1100m and while he might not quite be a Saturday horse, he can win at the midweeks. He’s proven at Canterbury, too. Common Purpose puts in good runs fresh and he’ll be coming at them late. If he doesn’t win, he’s one to watch second-up. Legislation showed a glimpse of what he’s capable of last start but he’s really struggling to find a win. Ottamae has runs seventh at her past two but hasn’t been far off the winner so she’s the value runner.
BET: NICTOCK to win.
RACE 6 (4.45pm)
Zip A Dee Doo Dah ran 1½ lengths behind Live And Free last start and that’s good enough form to win this race. On that alone, he’s the horse I want to be on. Ivy’s Court and Saint Katarina should again produce impressive runs.
BET: ZIP A DEE DOO DAH to win.
RACE 7 (5.20pm)
Transmitter will take a lot out of her last-start third in a good race at Canterbury, off a four-week break, and Hugh Bowman sticks with her. Aperitif is another who will be even better here. She’s coming off a strong win last start at Canterbury when she beat Luskintyre Lass, who bolted in last week at Warwick Farm. Sophiella comes into this off a poor last-start run but she had plenty of excuses and can bounce back.
BET: APERITIF to win.