A good weekend for followers of the Trial Files, with the boys having very good days across the country on both Saturday and Sunday.
Today we bring you selections from all around Australia.
Canterbury Race 1 — ATC Handicap 2yo Maiden (1100m)
The rail is out 6m at Canterbury which tightens up an already small track. You would think that would advantage leaders. You would, however, expect a lot of irrigation would be required to keep the track suitable, and that often leads to tracks playing better a little away from the fence. With this in mind, we’re not willing to write off those that get back in races, but it may pay to monitor conditions closely.
A 2yo maiden kicks off the day, and what an interesting affair it is, with six colts and four fillies, but only the two with race experience. Two blackbookers are engaged and we’re expecting both of them to be extremely competitive on debut.
8 ANYAAS has caught the eye in all three trials in 2014 and we have been eagerly waiting for her to step out. She has drawn well in barrier six and the daughter of Commands is sure to be ready to go on debut.
The Chris Waller-trained 1 BRAZEN BEAU has been very good in two trials leading into his debut, the latest a strong second behind the smart Delectation. The form has held up from that trial, with Delectation running a very good race on Saturday. Interestingly, 1 BRAZEN BEAU accepted but was scratched in that same race, as well as in another Saturday race at Kembla. Barrier one looks ideal and Nash Rawiller stays on board from the trials. We’re expecting this 2yo colt to be well found in the market and put in a very good performance.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained 4 HAMPTON COURT ran reasonable time and beat a smart field in a trial back on January 16. He was punched right out to the line on that occasion but should take benefit from that run over 1044m. Blinkers go on from that trial and no surprise to see him run well here. We’re expecting him to well found in the market, as many Waterhouse trial winners are.
2 COUNTRY WARRIOR and 7 TESTASHADOW both got back in their trials but made up nice ground. If the pace is on up front, it will be no surprise to see them charging late.
Obviously, it’s a tricky race and the market is the key to playing. We’re expecting both our blackbookers, 1 BRAZEN BEAU and 8 ANYAAS, to run well and be extremely competitive. We’re also wary of 4 HAMPTON COURT with the blinkers on.
Caulfield Race 5 — Benchmark 70 (1400m)
5 PURE COURAGE looks the leader here. 2 OFFSHORE ECHO generally doesn’t put himself in races during the early stages but from the good draw should be able to settle a little closer than usual.
This is the first time since September, 2011 that 2 OFFSHORE ECHO has ventured to town … but having said that, he has been performing up to Benchmark 78 grade in the country and this race essentially represents a drop in class on that being a BM70 rated race. The claim for Josh Cartwright brings him right into calculation here and as mentioned he should enjoy a reasonably soft run in transit. There are no odds available as yet but we’re expecting a double figure price and given his trial that would represent solid each-way value.
Both 4 FINAL JEST and 9 TADDEI TONDO will concede the leaders a big start but both have a powerful finishing burst and can rattle to the line late.
We’re keen to see a fixed odds market for this race but we’re expecting close to double figure odds for 2 OFFSHORE ECHO … and if that eventuates, then we can get on board.
Ascot Race 3 — 3yo Colts & Geldings Handicap (1100m)
We are keen to follow 7 HENNESSY RAIDER here as he ran a sensational trial a fortnight ago and looks perfectly placed by the Jim Taylor stable. He is an on-speed runner who from barrier three won’t be too far away from the pace, and from there Brown should be able to let him go on straightening and he will be very hard to catch.
His main danger looks to be 4 LUWAIN who was a bit unlucky first up when blocked for a run for a portion of the straight. He is down in grade here, however a concern is the inside barrier as he is a horse who like to drift back in his races. The small field should suit, however, and if he gets luck in the straight he will be a key player.
An interesting runner is 6 ROUGHEAU who is first up without trialling so be sure to pay close attention to the market which will be the best guide to his chances. He ran a sensational race on debut last campaign and after that was unlucky in his next few starts. To see him finishing strongly today would be no surprise.
7 HENNESSY RAIDER does look mighty hard to beat here. From the barrier he should be able to go to the front or sit outside 3 YOUR BUY. From there with the rail out 12m he will be tough to run down. 4 LUWAIN is the toughest to beat at his best.
THE TRIAL FILES’ SELECTIONS
FOR WEDNESDAY RACING
• Canterbury Race 1 – 1 BRAZEN BEAU (win), 8 ANYAAS (each way)
• Canterbury Race 3 – 8 BALMORAL BABY (each way)
• Caulfield Race 5 – 2 OFFSHORE ECHO (each way)
• Ascot Race 3 – 7 HENNESSY RAIDER (win)
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