Saturday racing makes a rare shift to Canterbury this weekend, where the feature race is the $100,000 Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m), where we will see the return clash of Ball Of Muscles and MIniature, who will face stiff opposition from the likes of Driefontein and Dothraki. The meeting also sees the Australian return of Christian Reith, who is back down under after a stint in Hong Kong.
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Race One (1:10pm) : TAB Rewards Plate 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Godolphin I think will win the Sydney two year old race again, this time thanks to Otter (Best Odds: $6.50), who looked very sharp in a recent barrier trial win at Warwick Farm when ridden by Blake Shinn to win and win well under no real pressure. Christian Reith takes the ride and he’d love to come back to Sydney and make an immediate impact. Good gate and is drawn next to a speedy horse, so she should get the nice cart over and prove hard to beat.
Big Danger: Perignon (Best Odds: $4.40) made up a stack of ground after getting badly checked early when making her debut in the Wyong Magic Millions, finishing fourth to Zoutenant, beaten two lengths. The trial behind Ottoman prior was excellent, and that filly is now the Slipper favourite, so she looks the one with the best form line. Horror gate doesn’t help, but Avdulla is riding well.
Roughie: Dane Slugger (Best Odds: $5.00) was one of the best runs of the beaten brigade in the Inglis Classic on Villiers Day at Randwick, making up many lengths after going back from the wide gate and sitting wide. Will have to endure a similar trip here, but he has the race day experience and Bowman sticks, which is a good lead.
Race Two (1:45pm) : Hyland Race Colours Handicap (72) 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: I Am Zelady (Best Odds: $4.60) is a high class filly in the making. She absolutely toyed with them on debut under the lights here before going to Rosehill and being her own worst enemy when second, then relegated to third, behind Snow White. She has lengths on these in terms of ability. Just hoping she brings her best racing manners. If she does, she wins.
Big Danger: Music Magnate (Best Odds: $3.90) has shown good ability both at the trials and on raceday. He ran a half length second to Gold Seventy Seven at Newcastle, and we saw what that horse did last week here. Music Magnate then went to Warwick Farm, sat on the speed again and drew clear to win impressively despite ducking in late. Looks to have plenty of upside, Bowman rides, draws well…hard to beat.
Roughie: Ainzali (Best Odds: $11.00) has been impressive on her home track at Canberra, winning her past two in dashing fashion, sprinting hard from off the speed at each outing, in particular last time out over this distance when beating the older horses. Gets in so well at the weights here thanks to the claim for James Innes, draws the paint and she’ll be very strong at the end of 1200m.
Race Three (2:20pm) : TAB Place Multi Handicap (79) 1250m: Form Guide
Back Me: Snippets Land (Best Odds: $3.00) for me here. The Team Snowden galloper kicked off his career for the new stable with a gritty all the way win over this track/distance in late September, freshened, trialled well and ran third at Warwick Farm, where he just looked to pull too hard in the run. Freshened again, and although his trial behind Champagne Cath wasn’t that flash, he does run very well when produced fresh, has gate one and Christian Reith in the saddle.
Big Danger: Darciwood (Best Odds: $3.50) is the close relation to 2010 Melbourne Cup runner up Maluckyday who had a big boom on him earlier in his career, but in recent times hasn’t lived up to the boom. He resumes here after over five months away from track, but has been brought up to fitness with a solid trial recently behind Champagne Cath at Warwick Farm. Tricky gate to overcome, but both stable and rider are in good form and on his best form, he’d give this a serious shake.
Roughie: Mr Jackman (Best Odds: $6.50) has been quite good in two runs back from a break. First up he third to Senta De Noche and Mohave at Kensington, then bumped onto a bog track when fourth to Burbero at Rosehill, beaten five lengths. Firmer surface is a big tick, maps very well on the speed, and being third up after nine months off, he should be ready to peak.
Race Four (2:55pm) : Irresistible Pools & Spas Handicap (80) 1550m: Form Guide
Back Me: I made Proper Madam (Best Odds: $7.00) the best bet on the program at Warwick Farm last time out, and despite racing deep throughout, she surged to the front late and held off the fast finishing Rahy Storm. That was her second run for Joe Pride, and over an unsuitable distance, so I am only expecting more improvement from her, whereas her rivals have already reached their peak or at their end of their campaign. Really keen on her again.
Big Danger: Peace Force (Best Odds: $2.80) has been given absolute peach front running steers by Brenton Avdulla to win her past two starts at Kensington and Randwick respectively. She continually steps up to the plate when asked by Gerald Ryan, which you have to admire. Wide barrier, weight rise and more speed engaged here will make things hard for her to make it three on the bounce, but she is a mare in winning form.
Roughie: Mamwaazel (Best Odds: $5.00) ran second to Peace Force at Randwick, sitting outside the leader and eventual winner. She had her chance, but she just didn’t have the turn of foot to go with the winner. More speed here and a colder ride should see her be right in the finish, but as punters know, she is hard to follow and trust.
Race Five (3:35pm) : December Handicap 1550m: Form Guide
Back Me: Amovatio (Best Odds: $4.60) on top for me. He really caught the eye two back with a fast finishing second to Commanding Wit at Rosehill, then raced there again and looked the winner, but was nosed out by Beauty’s Beast in a deceptive photo finish. Four wins and eleven placings from 21 starts probably tells you the story with him, but he should be a touch closer from the good draw, only 0.5kg over the minimum and is unbeaten at the track.
Big Danger: You’ll Never (Best Odds: $4.60) was a well supported favourite in this grade a three weeks back when fourth to Beauty’s Beast. Punters were let down there, but I think he can be forgiven because he was ridden alot closer to the speed, where normally he is ridden out the back and saved for the straight. Those tactics were used last Saturday at Rosehill, and he was much better, powering home late to run third to Red Excitement. There looks to be good speed here, so he should get his chance.
Roughie: Biloxi (Best Odds: $17.00) was a very impressive trial winner in between a little break before running over 1350m at Rosehill several weeks back when third to Commanding Wit. Biloxi was looking to travel really well off the speed and looked as if he was a serious chance 300m out, but didn’t really get clear and when eventually clear, he stormed to the line. He was very strong through the line there, because he was held up. I think in order to run 1550m, he needs to be ridden cold and saved for the final 250m, because that’s my query. If that eventuates, he’ll prove hard to beat.
Race Six (4:15pm) : Canterbury Classic 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going to stick with Dothraki (Best Odds: $4.60), because I think he represents the value out of the favoured runners here. He has been very good in defeat at his past two outings, both occasions running second to star sprinter Our Boy Malachi. On both occasions also, he was ridden a touch closer than normal, which takes away his booming finish, which he used to win three back. He looks so well in at the weights given he has 14 more rating points than the favourite yet only gives him 4kg in weight. Extremely hard to beat IMO.
Big Danger: It was this corresponding meeting a couple of years ago that Tiger Tees stamped himself as a serious horse, and now his younger brother Ball Of Muscle (Best Odds: $3.25) is trying to do the same thing. He has had two runs back from a break, winning both times, including a strong win over Miniature at Randwick a couple of weeks back. Meets her 2kg off better for beating her. Biggest test to date for him, but he is just a winner.
Roughie: Barbed (Best Odds: $13.00) had two runs towards the end of the Spring, a third to That’s A Good Idea and a fourth to Deep Field. Freshened since, and looked very sharp when winning a Randwick trial by over four lengths last week. Draws well, Cassidy rides and is a very good fresh horse. $13 looks to be a touch of overs.
Race Seven (4:55pm) : TAB.com.au Handicap (80) 1100m: Form Guide
Back Me: Best bet on the program here in the shape of Religify (Best Odds: $1.95), who burnt the candle at both ends last time out at Rosehill, pinging out to lead from a wide gate, controlling the race and then sprinting again to win and win impressively. Form around him is outstanding, looks the leader here…and pretty much just looks the winner.
Big Danger: Terra Amata (Best Odds: $7.50) has won her past two in good style, firstly winning over this track/distance thanks to a gun ride from Samantha Clenton, then she went to Warwick Farm and took care of an average lot with Hugh Bowman riding. Clenton takes the ride now, draws okay and gets nice weight relief. Doubt she can win, but a must for exotics.
Roughie: The old boy Earnest Ernest (Best Odds: $12.00) resumes here after a four month break. He ran really well last time in behind good horses such as Target In Sight and Territory, both of which went on to perform very well at stakes level. His two trials leading up to his return to racing have been excellent, and had Religify not been here, I’d put him on top.
Race Eight (5:35pm) : More Than Ready Handicap (75) 1900m: Form Guide
Back Me: Waddleyour fingers and hope for the best. The horse that should get the good run from an ideal barrier is the Team Cummings runner Cast In Stone (Best Odds: $13.00) , who was given a gun ride by Tim Clark to win in the mud at Rosehill last time out, beating an ordinary bunch. His best form is on wet ground, which is the concern, but barrier three, limit weight, Reith rides…I had to pick one.
Big Danger: Magical Stance (Best Odds: $4.80) just failed to pick up Off The Rails two back, then ran last Saturday and had absolutely no luck behind Phrases, running third, beaten a length. In terms of form and ability, he probably has a few lengths on these, but the horrible barrier just levels him out I feel and it will make things tough. Then again, J A Cassidy is riding.
Roughie: Diamondsinthenight (Best Odds: $9.50) ran over this track/distance a couple of weeks back when completely luckless, running third to Olympic Academy. He was travelling well, but when it came to getting clear, he never really got fully clear until the race was well and truly over. Draws the paint now, only carries 52kg and strikes a very winnable race.
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BEST BET: Race Seven Number 9 Religify
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 6 Proper Madam
VALUE: Race Eight Number 12 Cast In Stone
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10
Leg Two: 2, 7, 8, 9
Leg Three: 9
Leg Four: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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