Daily racing preview: Canterbury
This son of Zabeel couldn’t have been more impressive when he came from last to record a soft win in a 1300m maiden at Hawkesbury last start.
A competitive seven-race card awaits the punters today with the Canterbury track rated dead for the start of the program.
Last Wednesday's meeting at Canterbury definitely favoured on-pace horses and that pattern could emerge again today.
Canterbury always races well but shrewd form analysts can often pick-up a perceived bias early and use that to their advantage.
Best bet: R3 #6 Many Stars
This son of Zabeel couldn't have been more impressive when he came from last to record a soft win in a 1300m maiden at Hawkesbury last start. That might have been a week on paper, but this four-year-old showed an explosive turn of foot and the extra 300 metres is a significant advantage.
Jockey Glyn Schofield will most likely sit around mid-field from barrier three and aim to push into the clear on the turn. Provided he gets clear running, the free striding Many Stars should be far too strong late.
Expect around the $3 on Betfair which is a nice price for a horse on the rise.
Next best: R4 #7 Brian's Honour
This Anabaa has won just two races from 13 starts but he's managed to finish second on five other occasions.
The six-year-old was freshened-up before finishing a length off the promising Detours over 1200 metres at Canterbury three weeks ago. He also ran Scarf to two-lengths three starts back in one of the better form races of the Sydney winter.
Brian's Honour will be well-found by punters who adhere to the theory of an 'SP' profile. In his last five starts, the Team Hawkes-prepared galloper has started at an average price of $5.40 and only once did he go to the gates at double figure odds.
Expect layers to offer around $3.20 on Betfair.
Lay: R3 #3 Shadowofexcellence
The half-brother of turf legend Makybe Diva has shown some promise, but is unlikely to come close to the heights scaled by his older sibling.
From a punting viewpoint, this regally-bred stayer generally comes up under the odds due to his high profile and again the bagmen are offering up single figure odds for his first-up mission.
Resuming from a staying preparation in the autumn, which took in races such as the Alistair Clark, Tulloch Stakes and AJC Derby, Shadowofexcellence should find today's 1500m trip around Canterbury too slick. He has also drawn barrier 11 which means jockey Corey Brown will be forced to go back to last and make a searching run around the field before the turn.
The son of Redoute's Choice could mature into a handy stakes grade stayer, but one must oppose him at around $6 today.