IT’S arguably the hottest race on the card at Canterbury Park on Wednesday.
The second race, a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) contains a bunch of three-year-olds who are in winning form.
Only two of the nine runners haven’t won a race yet in their short careers, but Mark Newnham’s Gentle Persuasion isn’t one of them. The More Than Ready filly won on debut at Wyong after coming from seventh at the 400m to win by 1¼-lengths over 1100m.
“She trialled well then ran up to her trial at Wyong and was really dominant late,” Newnham said. “I was expecting a good performance. It was just a matter of where she got to in the run from a wide gate and that’s probably why she was out in the market ($11) a little bit but she got a lovely run and hit the line really well.
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
BEST BET: DUCHESS PEDRILLE (Race 5, No. 7)
She has a slightly awkward gate but ticks every other box and will find this race much easier than anything she’s faced this year.
NEXT BEST: BUBBLES’N’TROUBLES (Race 2, No. 1)
This filly is a ball of talent and toughness which should be enough to get her over the line today. She’s a Saturday-grade horse.
VALUE BET: STEPHAN (Race 3, No. 6)
He’s flying at the moment and drops in grade for this race which looks competitive on paper so that should lift his price a touch.
Race 4: 3, 7, 10
Race 5: 1, 7, 12
Race 6: 5, 6, 10
Race 7: 7, 11
TRAINER TO WATCH
KRIS LEES brings down the highly rated Miss Fabulass but Bochy could upset the favourites in their respective races.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
KERRIN MCEVOY has a host of good rides with Miss Fabulass and Sepoy Acheva looking the best along with Bull Market.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATT’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
“She’s got a very good winning chance again. She’s drawn to get a nice run behind the speed and the step up to 1200m looks ideal because the best part of her race the other day was the last part.”
Gentle Persuasion is one of the leading chances and Bubbles’n’troubles is set to start favourite for the Chris Waller yard. But all runners look to have their claims, even the two horses that haven’t won yet, Altair and Quadriga.
“That’s what you get at this time of the year. You’ve got horses that aren’t quite ready to go to Stakes races on a Saturday,” Newnham said.
“If you’ve won a race but aren’t ready to go to Stakes level you get pushed into a race like this and there will be a lot of people there similar to myself who are hoping their horse is going to go up a level.”
Josh Parr rides her out of gate five and she should get a favourable run.
“I’d expect her to be very hard to beat,” Newnham said.
Parr and Newnham will combine later in the day with Francesco in a Benchmark 74 Handicap (1550m) and he’s looking to win his fourth race at his favourite track.
He finished 11th to Kaonic last start as a $101 chance which was expected by the stable because he needed that run. He hasn’t won or placed in all seven second-up runs so punters can put a line through his last start.
“He wasn’t suited to the way the race was run the other day and his record second-up is never good but his record third-up is good and he loves Canterbury,” Newnham said.
“He loves the trip, too, so he’s got the ingredients to run well.
“He’s going to get back from that gate so, if they run on, I expect him to run well.
“He ticks a lot of boxes, absolutely, and he’s dropping back in grade.”
Meanwhile, Newnham’s stable star Lanciato will trial at Rosehill on Monday before he runs in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) second-up at Randwick on September 1 after a brilliant return in the Missile Stakes on August 4.
“He was exceptional first-up. His last 600m was amazing,” Newnham said.
Stephan on track for city success
HE was once an accident-prone, luckless young horse but Stephan has turned himself into the real deal and is primed to snare his first city win at Canterbury Park.
The Gratz Vella-trained runner lines up in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m) after just missing the placings in a stronger race at Rosehill late last month on a Saturday.
“He’s flying,” Vella said. “That last run in Sydney, when he ran fourth, was enormous after drawing wide and coming around the home turn wide. He finished off well, too.”
After a third on debut at Canberra in August, 2015, Stephan was off racetracks for 2½ years.
“He went shin sore, hurt his eye, got a stick stuck in his chest, he slipped over and broke a bone and he’s inured his fetlock,” Vella said. “I talked the owners into giving him one more go and we’re lucky we did. He always showed me something.”
The Krupt six-year-old is having his seventh start this preparation and is searching for his fifth win at his favourite distance. He will jump from barrier one and with Aaron Sweeney’s 3kg claim will only have to lug 55kg. He also won’t have to come from behind to win this time.
“We’ve got the right draw,” Vella said. “Barrier one is ideal and he can sit up on the speed.
“We’re not going to give up that gate, so we’ll be positive.”
Stephan is equal second favourite with TAB fixed odds at $6 alongside Our Royal Egyptian, while Tarabai ($4.60) is set to start favourite. Vella said the market had got it about right and he was expecting a big run from Stephan before he gave him a well-deserved spell.
Video obtained Tuesday, August 7, 2018 of jockey Hugh Bowman speaking to reporters after Winx finished third in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney. “I was very impressed with her (Winx), I asked her to do a little bit more than I did in the first trial,” he said. “She’s ready to go to the races now, she felt as good as she looked.” (AAP VIDEO/Supplied/Sky Racing)
Winx ready to go to the races: jockey Hugh Bowman
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES
RACE 1 (1.20pm)
It was lovely to see the way 1. Ranier finished off his lead-up trial over 800m and the Godolphin stable look to have him ready to perform very well on his long-awaited return to racing after nearly a year off. 4. Miss Fabulass also resumes after running second on debut to the classy Cristobal and was unlucky not to win that day. She trialled well and is more than capable of beating this field.
BETTING STRATEGY: Quinella 1, 4.
RACE 2 (1.55pm)
The Chris Waller stable wasn’t surprised 1. Bubbles’n’troubles won on debut at $6 and she was good second-up in higher grade so this looks like a nice race for her to win again. Her stablemate 7. Gentle Persuasion couldn’t have been more impressive on debut and the extra 100m only plays into her hands.
BETTING STRATEGY: BUBBLES’N’TROUBLES to win.
RACE 3 (2.30pm)
6. Stephan is still looking for his first city win but it’s not far away after he ran a top race in higher grade last start. From a better gate he won’t have to do as much chasing in the straight here and it’s hard to think he won’t be there late. The blinkers go back on 5. Our Royal Egyptian after a good run for an in-form stable last start and he’ll only improve off that. 2. Star Crossed is peaking now and he might be over the odds. 7. Tarabai is first-up and comes into this off a nice trial and she was going good enough to run in a Listed race last preparation.
BETTING STRATEGY: STEPHAN to win.
RACE 4 (3.05pm)
3. Gauguin should be the leader here and will be hard to get past. He won last start and the form around him prior was handy. The blinkers stay on which helped him win last time. 10. Sepoy Acheva just hasn’t been up to them in Saturday grade but gets her chance to win again now. It’s hard not be impressed with the way 7. Tenorino is going and the 1550m looks ideal even though he’s yet to win at the trip from five goes.
BETTING STRATEGY: Quinella 3, 10.
RACE 5 (3.40pm)
Do we give 1. Zonk another chance? She’s been well in the market at all four runs this preparation and hasn’t won. The 3kg claim really helps and it might be what she needs to break through. 12. Lady I Am has pretty good form around her and is very fit and will be in the finish. 6. Speedway wants further while 7. Duchess Pedrille drops in grade after running into a bunch of handy horses of late so this is her chance to win at a track she loves.
BETTING STRATEGY: DUCHESS PEDRILLE to win.
RACE 6 (4.15pm)
As soon as 6. White Boots won at Hawkesbury last start over 1800m trainer Kim Waugh decided to send her to this race and there’s no reason he can’t make it three-straight wins. He’s not only talented but tough. 5. Fantastic Man will get the gun run which is obviously important in these types of races, and he’s at his right trip and grade. 7. Shadal is a Chris Waller import and had excuses (lame) for his last start performance and can do better here. 10. Concessions is a sneaky each-way chance.
BETTING STRATEGY: WHITE BOOTS to win.
RACE 7 (4.50pm)
11. Star Of The Seas may be stepping up in grade and has a much tougher assignment this time but off his first-up win it’s hard to think he won’t handle the step up with a light weight and good gate. 5. Bull Market looks to have benefited from being gelded and will be a big improver second-up. 3. Crafty Tycoon just beat Bull Market last time but has a much worse draw this time while 7. Savvan doesn’t win enough considering her ability but this is a much easier assignment than she’s faced in the past.
BETTING STRATEGY: STAR OF THE SEAS to win.