After all the big racing action on Saturday in Sydney and Melbourne punters can now turn their attention to Canberra’s Thoroughbred Park on Sunday where an excellent race card boasting three black type features will play out for 2013 Canberra Cup Day.
Racing is set to kick off at 1:10pm (local) with a maiden plate but things quickly heat up with the opening stakes race running as Race 5 at 3:32pm (local) with the $100,000 Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m).
2013 Canberra Guineas
This year’s Canberra Guineas has drawn a final field of 13 hopefuls with Sydney and Melbourne raiders saturating the three-year-olds feature.
It is a tight Canberra Guineas betting market this year too with the current favourite being the Peter Snowden-trained Commands gelding Complicate ($4.40) coming off a first-up win at Canterbury by 2.5 lengths over the 1200m.
They are followed very closely however by Joe Pride’s more Than Ready filly Brave Soul in gate five with just 54kg paying $4.60 to improve on their first-up seven tint he Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) where the extreme outside barrier proved too much for her.
Other notable hopes in the mix include Zin Zan Eddie ($6) with gate 11 to overcome but the best Win & Place rate of the field and a win at the distance behind them, Taxmeifyoucan ($7) also wide in barrier 12 and the well-tried 58kg topweight Ashokan ($7.50).
But don’t discount the roughies either with the likes of Adaboy Ross to relish the drop back in class after a sixth in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes and even the local $101 outsider Rochere who is the only horse with a win at Canberra.
Canberra Guineas Tip: #2 Zin Zan Eddie from #4 Complicate and #9 Adaboy Ross
Following the Canberra Guineas is then one of the most important races at the meeting, the $250,000 Listed Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at 4:08pm (AEST).
2013 Black Opal Stakes
A traditional lead-up to some of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s rich juvenile features including of course the iconic $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 6, the Black Opal Stakes 2013 is shaping up as another cracker with a capacity field engaged.
With little form to go on with the lightly-raced two-year-olds the Black Opal Stakes odds are without a standout favourite however top spot currently belongs to the Tim Martin-trained Exceed And Excel colt Quartzite ($4.50) set to get a gun run from gate three as they race for just the second time.
They are followed by a Peter Snowden-trained visitor in Sidestep ($5.50) who has class but gate 12 to overcome, the colt having debuted with a third in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) at Sandown last November.
Other shorties in the markets include Sebring colt Criterion ($6.50) who looks very short considering their gate 18 draw but who was an eye-catching first-up third in the Listed Canonbury Stakes last month, Mr Jackman ($9.50) in with a chance with James McDonald to ride them from barrier four and Marc Conners’ progressive gelding Raise No Doubt ($8) coming off a second on debut at this track.
Black Opal Stakes 2013 Tip: #4 Sidestep from #11 Shadowofyoursmile and #1 Criterion
The last of the day’s black types and the meeting’s namesake race is then the $200,000 Listed Canberra Centenary Cup (2000m) jumping at 4:46pm (local) as Canberra Race 7.
2013 Canberra Cup
The Canberra Cup 2013 has attracted one of its strongest fields in many years, the 13-horse contingent led by the Hawkes-trained Sydney Cup winner Niwot who is preparing for a title defense in the Group 1 two mile feature next month.
With the Canberra Cup run over only 2000m however and Niwot to lug the 60kg topweight they are only the $6 third favourite trailing former SA Derby winner Shadows In The Sun ($4.50) and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fast Clip ($4.80).
Other staying types in with a chance for an upset Canberra Cup result then include Court Connection ($8) coming off a close fourth in the Parramatta Cup at Rosehill, Peter Snowden’s smart Redoute’s Choice mare Sindarin ($9) and local hope Coliseo ($9) who was fourth in the Cup Preview in the wet a fortnight ago.
And then there’s the double figure chances include the rails-drawn Jimmy Fortunes ($13) coming off a win in the Bathurst Cup over this distance, Cup Preview winner Asclepius ($13) with a favourable barrier four draw and even Natch Catch ($17) who was third in the preview.
Canberra Cup Tip: #4 Coliseo from #9 Asclepius and #1 Niwot
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