Raceday focus: Best bets, inside mail for Canterbury

The Daily Telegraph’s Ray Thomas is confident a progressive filly from the James Cummings team can kick off her campaign on a winning note.

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Mollycoddle is a promising Godolphin filly with a powerful finishing burst. She was in great form over summer and resumes off one easy trial. Hugh Bowman rides and the small field suits.



Yangtze Rapids has had his share of chances but surely this is his race. Fitter for two runs back from a spell, firmer track is in his favour and James McDonald retains the ride. He’s ready to win.


Race 4, No.8: WILD IRISH

Wild Irish sprinted very well fresh to run a close fifth over 1200m. She will appreciate getting out to 1550m and the good track rating. In a race where rival Fifteen Aria dominates betting, Wild Irish appeals as the value runner.


Race 5: 2,5,6

Race 6: 5,6

Race 7: 2,6,7,8

Race 8: 4,10,11,14

Chris Waller has strong representation across the Canterbury card. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Champion jockey Hugh Bowman has seven rides at the Canterbury meeting including Astrologer (race 3), Mollycoddle (race 5) and Tectonicus (race 6).


Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has a powerful entry across seven races including Yangtze Rapids (race 1), Morioka (race 2), Giannis (race 3), Fifteen Aria (race 4) and Solar Apex (race 7).



Yangtze Rapids is racing well without winning, frustrating punters in the process. He was a beaten favourite again when third over this course and distance last start. Fitter for two runs from a spell and this is a winnable race. Peekay’s Legacy ran well first-up when coming from last for second at Newcastle. Peekay’s Legacy – and Yangtze Rapids – are probably better suited on a bigger track but the small field suits them. Rapids has disappointed at his two most recent runs but he can improve back on top of the ground. Kahuka is an improver.

Bet: Yangtze Rapids to win


Xtremetime shaped well enough on debut when fifth to Rocket Tiger back in December and resumes on Wednesday after two good barrier trials wins. She raced very wide in her Randwick heat win then went to Kembla Grange where she settled back at the rear of the field and impressed working her way through the field before reeling in the leaders. Xtremetime has been ridden out in both trials but has attacked the line strongly. Drawn the inside barrier and should be close enough to launch from the turn. Morioka ran well on debut for third to top filly Four Moves Ahead earlier in the season and has also had two trials to prepare for her return. First starters Stavanger and Graphite Mist should be competitive.

Bet: Xtremetime to win, box trifecta 1,3,7,8

John Thompson has Xtremetime ready to fire after two good barrier trials. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Astrologer, a Breeders Plate placegetter on debut, has raced in stakes company in each of his three starts but drops back to a midweek race on Wednesday. He has had two trials to prepare for his return and won his Gosford heat, edging out Media Boss as they put nearly eight lengths on the chasing pack. Drawn well and looks hard to beat. Giannis hasn’t raced since his very good third to Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside in the Pierro Plate more than two months ago but his Randwick trial win recently was very impressive. Overmann is a promising type resuming and has blinkers on Wednesday. Otelo hasn’t been far away in his four starts and the firmer track suits. Leen Fox raced well on debut.

Bet: Box trifecta 1,2,3,10,12


Wild Irish resumed with a game fifth, beaten only a half-length, over 1200m here two weeks ago. She will strip fitter for that run and getting out to 1550m is ideal. Fifteen Aria has won two of her three starts including her first-up effort at Hawkesbury when she got through near the inside to score narrowly over 1500m. Deserved favourite and the one to beat. Blazing Mac is worth another chance as she gets in well after the claim and Azarmin is well placed this grade and trip.

Bet: Wild Irish to win

Jean Van Overmeire will partner Wild Irish for trainer David Payne at Canterbury on Wednesday. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Mollycoddle struck a rich vein of form last summer, winning three of her four starts before a spell, all at Wyong. Her only loss in this sequence was a second to the very talented Private Eye on the Kensington track. Mollycoddle does get back in her races but she has a brilliant finishing burst. Ocean Emperor and Van Giz, both trained by Bjorn Baker, look hard to beat. Ocean Emperor is likely to settle on speed and will be tough to run down while Van Giz will be running on late. Tudor Music will be ridden more aggressively early and should run well in this easier grade. Lennon is likely to find this too short but will be one to follow as he gets out over further.

Bet: Mollycoddle to win, box trifecta 2,5,6,7


Tectonicus scored with ridiculous ease at Wyong, revelling in the very heavy conditions and leading throughout to win by nearly six lengths. His three chasing rivals were in a different race. The opposition was questionable but Tectonicus followed successive provincial placings to begin his campaign with his runaway last start win. Drawn to advantage, races well this track and is the one to beat. Blesk is another racing in top form. He gets back in his races and will be giving Tectonicus a start but with any luck in running he will be in the finish again. Shibli ran well first-up and is an improver while Media Starguest is an each-way chance.

Bet: Tectonicus to win, Quinella 5,6

The Gerald Ryan (right) and Sterling Alexiou-trained Tectonicus can make it two in-a-row. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Solar Apex looks ready to win. He has produced two solid efforts since resuming including his second to the handy Ladylovestogambler over 1850m at Newcastle. Solar Apex makes his own luck racing on speed and is placed to advantage here. War Baron probably didn’t quite stay the 2200m last start when he just missed a place but his two previous efforts were good enough to make him very competitive over this more suitable trip. Avion Fury ran a blinder when fifth at Group 3 level last start and drops considerably in class. He’s a winner over this course and distance, too. Mars is another who has races well this track.

Bet: Solar Apex to win, saver on Avion Fury


Born A Warrior was held up for a few strides which cost him valuable momentum when a close second at the Warwick Farm midweeks last start. Racing well without winning but gets his chance here. Virgilio ran a blinder first-up, leading for a long way before finishing the closest of fourths over this trip when resuming. Gravina ran well when resuming after a long spell and he did win second-up over this course and distance when last in work. Rammstein is resuming without a trial but he does go well fresh.,

Bet: Born A Warrior each way

Originally published asCanterbury tips: No need to Mollycoddle this filly

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