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Canterbury Winners - Tips For Friday, 23rd February 2024

3 minute read

Tips and race by race preview by Nick Berney for Friday's Canterbury meeting. Selections based on a soft track. Monitor for bias/pattern.

Picture: Steve Hart


Forgive 5. Limahulis debut run in the Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield, where the jockey reported he choked down and he didn't handle the track. Further, his SP must be respected, and he can bounce back with a positive race setup here. The Godolphin galloper has trialled between runs where he was much more suited to the clockwise direction and won his heat in style. He has race experience, maps to have all favours and Kerrin McEvoy rides.

Dangers: Debutant 4. Gatsby's has improved between trials, and he went through the line full of energy to win a recent heat at Rosehill. He's a nice type, and James McDonald rides. 7. Roselyn's Star showed speed and wasn't extended when easily winning a recent trial. Nash Rawiller rides and can offset the wide gate. Expect 3. Enhance to improve with a gear change and 11. Silmarillion showed strong closing speed in her latest trial

How to play it: Limahuli WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).


4. Sunlord resumed as a gelding this prep, and he's gone to a new level. The three-year-old's first-up run had sectional merit at Kensington when running third behind Pure Alpha and then broke through for his maiden win at Newcastle 20 days ago. Further, he was well-ridden but sprinted hard, and his last few bounds were strong, indicating a rise in trip should pose no issue. He sets up well from the inside draw with Nash Rawiller riding and has the key asset of acceleration.

Dangers1. Don Pedro ran slick time at this track a fortnight ago and ran his rivals ragged. He led at a very fast pace, slipped his opposition before the turn and kept responding under pressure. Additionally, that race rated highly relative to the night, and the margins confirmed the quality. The Bjorn Baker runner must step to the 1900m for the first time, but he'll be hard to run down. 2. Malabar wasn't suited to the farcical tempo last start and was outpaced up-tempo, but he picked up well and just missed in a tight finish. 6. The Professor should've won last start at Newcastle and excels on rain-affected ground.

How to play it: Sunlord WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).


Keen on 11. Merchant Lady who won with style on debut at Gosford 22 days ago, and her visual dominance was backed up by the clock. The filly tracked a moderate tempo, accelerated hard coming off the final turn, and she found again when jockey Tom Sherry asked for a superior effort. Further, she went through the line full of energy, pricking her ears, and she ran the entire meeting's fastest final 400m/200m splits. The Snowden-trained galloper is still learning, but her base figure suggests she's smart and will only improve with time. Hard to beat.

Dangers: Lightly raced improver 5. Amoreaux is coming through time/sectional merit races, and she won with ease at this track 21 days ago. She had all favours leading at a very slow pace, but she sprinted away from her rivals with a tying action and ran slick closing splits. Moreover, James McDonald sticks, and she maps to have all favours. The blinkers go back on 8. Countyourblessings and the step back in distance is a plus. 3. Groundrush can improve and settle closer.

How to play it: Merchant Lady WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds).


4. Rhythm Of Love resumes off a 128-day break, and he looks wound up for this event after two strong trials without the winkers on. Jockey Nash Rawiller has ridden him in both heats, and he responded well under pressure to win his latest trial at Randwick. The three-year-old has a strong fresh record, barrier one is ideal, and the winkers go on for raceday.

Dangers11. Opito Ballerina's run had merit last start after she wasn't suited to the race shape and had to exert too much energy before peaking on her run late. She is ready to win and has multiple ratings that can put her in the finish. 8. Seton Hall always promised ability, and he broke through for a well-deserved maiden win last start. Further, he made a long-sustained run and clocked fast closing sectionals to score. The smaller field suits him, and he can go back-to-back. 2. Huon races well at Canterbury and forgive 3. Romeo's Choice's last start.

How to play it: Rhythm Of Love WIN ($2.25 TAB Fixed Odds).


Both of 7. Super Chilled's run this prep have had merit, and she's going better than the form guide reads. The four-year-old had multiple factors against first-up at Randwick when running third behind subsequent winner Amor Victorious and then was completely unsuited getting too far back in a farcical tempo last start. Further, she sprinted one of the meeting's fastest 400m-200m splits before peaking on his run late, indicating she could improve third-up. It's worth noting she SPed $13 in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) two campaigns ago, and she represents value. Each-way.

Dangers: Improving import 3. Morning Sun is ready to peak third-up and finds a winnable race here. The gelding ran fast, closing splits first-up and then SPed favourite last start at Rosehill when running an honest third behind Kettle Hill. He brings the best last start figure, and all key indicators suggest he can step again from a rating's perspective from the soft draw. 11. Fleet Commander went to a new level last start with the blinkers being applied for the first time, and he bolted in. Further, he was strong through the line and can go on with it now. 2. Roma Avenue led at a very fast pace last start and kept responding under pressure to score at Kensington. 6. Principessa is suited to the rain-affected ground and drops sharply in grade. 5. Invincible Legend was a solid winner last start in Midway grade and overcame the race shape.

How to play it: Super Chilled E/W ($13 TAB Fixed Odds).


4. Smart Little Miss returns and has had two trials leading into this assignment, giving her a strong platform. The mare hit the line hard in a recent heat at Randwick behind subsequent Midway winner Martial Music, and she looks wound up for this. First-up last prep her run was full of merit after having too much to do. In addition, the claim suits which will enhance her key asset in acceleration. Each-way.

Dangers: Expecting 7. Tycoon Jenny to improve sharply, and the market indicated she would need the run first-up at Warwick Farm 16 days ago. Further, she led at a moderate tempo but tried hard in defeat, battling on for fourth. The Waterhouse & Bott runner receives a senior rider in Regan Bayliss and expect an aggressive ride early. 9. Llanddwyn can bounce back after overracing throughout last start at Warwick Farm in a farcical tempo. James McDonald rides, and she'll appreciate a much more genuine tempo with the step back to 1200m suiting. Add the two Ciaron Maher-trained mares 2. Southern Chilli and 6. Movader.

How to play it: Smart Little Miss E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds).


5. Dipsy Doodle profiles well for this event and is suited back in grade. The Godolphin galloper was brave in defeat first-up at Rosehill when SPing $4, but she raced fresh and went too hard, leading at a very fast pace. She stuck on well to her credit, and the eventual winner, Our Kobison, broke the track record. Further, even after adjusting for the slick track that day, the race rated highly with strong margins to confirm the quality. Expect her to take a positive position, with the step back to 1100m ideal, and James McDonald goes back on.

Dangers9. Taormina, who is an interesting runner, showed ability in her first prep but forget her one start last campaign, where she was found to have issues in a post-race vet report. The Waterhouse & Bott runner is wound up for this, having had three trials, and she produced a fast overall time rating in her latest heat at Warwick Farm. The blinkers go on for the first time, and Tim Clark rides. Expect her to take some catching. 7. Lovero was heavily backed first-up at this track/distance, and she bolted in, producing a career peak figure. She has a different setup here but is adaptable and, with even luck, can be in the finish. 2. Shalailed was aided by the bias when winning last start, but he is now in form and rock-hard fit. 8. O'Tycoon will be savaging the line late.

How to play it: Dipsy Doodle WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).

Race 8 - 9:30PM TAB HANDICAP (1550 METRES)

Like 6. Infinitive who profiles well for this and is ready to peak third-up with a positive race setup. The Chris Waller-trained runner hit the line hard first-up at Warwick Farm and then had no luck last start at Rosehill. She wasn't suited to the race shape, was blocked for a run for most of the straight, and could not build momentum. Further, once clear, she reeled off one of the fastest final 200m splits of the meeting, and she should've won. The mare's last win came at this track on rain-affected ground, and she has multiple winning ratings for this event, with James McDonald riding from the soft draw.

Dangers13. Smart Legend is ready to win, coming through time/sectional merit races, and is on a nine-day backup. 7. The Years was rock-solid in the betting when resuming at this track a fortnight ago, and he was honest running second to improving type Les Vampires. He has strong form lines, and a rise in trip is ideal with the claim suiting. 12. Celestial Spirit brings a fitness edge over some key runners, and her last win came at this track/distance. 5. Amati comes through the same race as Infinitive, and she beat that runner home, albeit having her chance. Add 9. For Victory and 1. Glounthaune to trifectas and first fours.

How to play it: Infinitive WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds).

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