Chris Waller will likely scratch Osamu from Friday night’s meeting at Canterbury Park, which will leave the door open for Blondeau to take out the first race on the card.
Osamu ran well but never threatened last start in the Inglis Millennium on a heavy 9 track and the wet weather in Sydney this week isn’t what the colt needs.
“Osamu won’t run unless the track improves,’’ Waller said. “He didn’t handle it the other day.”
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Trainer Chris Waller has a healthy opinion of Blondeau. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Blondeau has had a promising start to his career with a second placing at Rosehill on debut followed by a fourth placing last start behind King’s Legacy in a Group 3 race at Eagle Farm.
He was given a seven-week freshen-up and a quiet trial over 1050m to get ready for Friday night.
“I was going to run him in a Listed race up the straight (over 1000m at Flemington) a week later but I want him to get some confidence,” Waller said.
“If he doesn’t, then he’s not ready to go.
“From that draw (one) he will settle third or fourth. He just had a quiet trial the other day and he’s only been ridden back in the past because of his draws.”
MATT JONES’S TOP PICKS
BEST BET: ACUMEN (Race 7, No.4)
This is a step up in grade for him but he will get favours from the draw and a jockey who is building up a good partnership with him. He can lead and hold on.
NEXT BEST: CONDOR (Race 6, No.2)
Is in form and we are expecting him to hold it for trainer Paul Perry, who has him firing. The gate is a big plus and he’s won three from four here.
VALUE BET: ON THE LEAD (Race 1, No.6)
A two-year-old on debut but looks well educated after a series of good trials. It’s a good race but he may pop up at decent odds and upset a few.
LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS
Race 4: 2, 3, 5, 9
Race 5: 1, 2, 5, 9
Race 6: 1, 2, 6, 8
Race 7: 4, 10, 11
TRAINER TO WATCH
It’s been a good week for JAMES CUMMINGS and it can continue on Friday night with Deference, Acumen, Cathars and Gravina.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
TOMMY BERRY has a series of good hopes. Expensive colt Setanta, Astralis, Tochi, Zeppelin and Mirra Vision could all win.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATT’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
Tommy Berry has some excellent rides at Canterbury Park. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
The fact Blondeau will settle closer is an important factor on a Canterbury track that has been favouring on-pace runners this summer. “It has been frustrating but as long as you can see it you don’t get disappointed by it,” Waller said.
Austria will run in the Evening Star race on Friday night after a series of recent placings when well backed. The latest was a second behind Pumpkin Pie over 1800m on the Kensington track in a midweek meeting.
She drops 1.5kg in weight off that run but Waller said she would need to run at peak performance to score an overdue win.
“I don’t think she stays so I’m bringing her back to 1550m and we’ll ride her quiet and see if she can finish it off,” he said. “It’s a pretty strong race. We probably could have found an easier race for her.”
Waller will have a stronger team heading to Rosehill on Saturday. Global Quest will headline the day in the Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) after running second behind Prague in the Canonbury Stakes.
“His first-up run was pretty good but he was a bit soft and he’ll improve off that,” Waller said. “His work had been very good and he’s ready to win. We’ll keep the blinkers up our sleeve for his next start. At some stage they will go on when we get really serious.
Global Quest will be out to topple hot favourite Cellsabeel in the Silver Slipper on Saturday. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
“He’ll be very hard to beat and is better suited by the set-weight conditions. I don’t think a wet track will worry him, either.”
Waller could send Subpoenaed to a better race than the last on the card at Rosehill but he’s happy to keep finding more winnable races at the moment.
“I’ve decided to keep Subpoenaed away from the other good fillies for another start and it spreads the gap between races because her third-up race will be in the Phar Lap or Keith Nolan,” he said.
“Her first-up run was good. I’m keen to give her another run over the 1400m because it will help her switch off and turn her into a middle-distance horse. The Surround Stakes is going to be very good next week, so it’s best to keep her away from it.”
MATT JONES’S INSIDE MAIL
RACE 1 (6.15pm)
Blondeau last ran in a Group 3 race and Chris Waller was going to send him to a Listed race if he didn’t run here. He’s obviously all class and is by a leading sire. On The Lead is by the same sire and is on debut after two very nice trials this time in. A winning debut wouldn’t surprise despite the toughness of the race. Setanta cost $2.3 million and ran a half-a-length third at Canterbury on debut. It’s hard to see him not improving greatly and he is a real threat now. Osamu is expected to be scratched.
BET: ON THE LEAD each way.
RACE 2 (6.45pm)
Astralis was beaten when odds-on last start but gets into this well at the weights and can bounce back for a stable which always improves its horses as a preparation goes on. Cathars has Yes Yes Yes form if you go back far enough and he’s ticking along well enough to win this. If he settles a little closer it will help his chances. Stablemate Seraglio wasn’t far off them when seventh on debut after copping a couple of bumps in the straight. She can threaten late.
BET: ASTRALIS to win.
RACE 3 (7.15pm)
Tochi will welcome any rain after she revelled in it last start at Canterbury over the 1900m. Her on-pace style is the right formula for this track and it’s no surprise to see that Tommy Berry is staying on. Hostage Of War will challenge her for the lead and they ran virtually similar time home over the same track and distance on the same night last time. Mountain Breath is an each-way hope off his past two runs and the trip looks perfect. Penshurst can do something here fresh.
BET: TOCHI to win.
Sky Racing news update 20.02.2020
Sky Racing news update 20.02.2020.
RACE 4 (7.45pm)
Buckin’ Beauty almost hung on last time at Canterbury and he will have to do it from a wide gate this time. He can get across and lead again in what is a fairly weak race on paper. Dame Kiri was good fresh at Tamworth and has run well enough in Saturday grade in town to suggest she’s up for this from the right gate. Lagarde is an each-way hope, while Magnolia Power loves this trip and will be coming at them late. She doesn’t go long without winning one.
BET: DAME KIRI to win.
RACE 5 (8.15pm)
Deference has a win at the track and distance but led all the way to be successful in that race. He was good enough fresh but did go down as a $2.05 favourite. He caught the eye late, though, and the extra 100m is in his favour. Super Oasis is a good chance if she runs but she may start at Rosehill on Saturday. Oakfield Twilight is a very honest customer who has reasonable fresh form. He was flying before his 11-week let-up. He’s a knockout hope. Oxford Tycoon had excuses first-up so expect a much better result tonight.
BET: Quinella 1, 5.
RACE 6 (8.45pm)
Nicochet doesn’t always have the best luck but if he gets clear room he can explode late and come over the top of them. They are going to ride Austria quietly and see if she can finish it off, thinking she’s better over this trip than 1800m. But many would have given up on her by now. Condor might just do it again tonight after winning the same race last time and he has the gate to triumph. Zeppelin loves this trip and has run top two in half her Canterbury starts. Dalmatia Prince is in top form, while Salsonic is a big improver.
BET: CONDOR to win.
RACE 7 (9.15pm)
He’s coming to town for the first time but this sets up very well for Acumen. The gelding will race on the speed and Jason Collett has been on him for a while now, so he knows him really well. Mirra Vision will be very hard to hold out if she gets the luck from a wide gate as she attempts to remain undefeated. Fritz’s Factor is shooting for four straight after winning country races but has been doing it well. The lead-up trial off a freshen-up was quite good.
BET: ACUMEN to win.
It’s not every day you pick up a horse who has won nine races from 29 starts, so naturally Rodney Robb was happy when the owners of A Magic Zariz recently transferred the seven-year-old to his stable.
A Magic Zariz lines up in the Quirindi Cup (1600m) at Scone after the meeting was moved to the track during the week.
And the Nyngan trainer is rightfully going into the $50,000 race confident after A Magic Zariz ran second in the Gilgandra Cup (1550m) last start on a heavy 8 surface.
It looked like half the field was about to go past him at the home turn and many headed him, but he fought back in the straight to only miss out on winning by half a length.
“He’s done everything right and he’s a good old horse who is coming off a good race the other day and his two runs before that were good,” Robb said. “It was very wet last start and he showed he can handle it.”
This time A Magic Zariz will jump out of barrier 11 with Clayton Gallagher again on board and he may find the best part of the track late on the card.
“We will try to be more positive from the gate,” Robb said. “A few times he’s got too far out of his ground but Gallagher knows him well now and has ridden him in work.”
Arkam Asylum will also line up for Robb in a Maiden Plate (1450m). He’s been a frustrating horse because he has shown he is good enough to win races but hasn’t got the job done yet.
“He’s a downhearted horse but has down well for this race after getting carted too far back in the field last time behind ones that weren’t going forward,” Robb said.
“The 1400m is not going to worry him and he can be more forward now. He’ll handle a rain-affected track. The track the other day at Dubbo was pretty soft.”
Originally published asCanterbury tips: Blondeau’s time to shine
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