Canterbury Stakes Preview…. By Luke Murrell

Kris Lees trainer of 2 time G1 winner Le Romain
Kris Lees trainer of 2 time G1 winner Le Romain

Racing returns to Randwick this week and given Randwick played a slow track when we had the record heat temperatures hopefully we don’t get a washout again tomorrow given the amount of rain Sydney was projected to get. News on twitter this afternoon is positive that the meeting will go ahead so hopefully that is the case.

Either way if we actually get underway the track will be on the heavy side and very “gluggy” and a surface that will you want to find horses that settle midfield or better and that have serious residual fitness under their belts

Sydney will have two Group 1 events this weekend and I thought the Randwick Guineas was a lottery with 6 or 7 chances so it is a very difficult race to decipher. Given the other Group 1 race on the day looks to have some better value I thought we would look at it for our free weekly preview. It’s an interesting race as a few of these will be on Doncaster paths so can’t afford to miss the race in terms of their preparation.

The 4m rail should see the track play “up and on” with the fence being no good but the horses being 4 to 6 wide getting a 1-2 length advantage and if any brave jockeys can find the outside fence it is historically 3-4 lengths quicker again but you do have to allow for the ground lost to get there.

Canterbury Stakes Preview:

Horse Settles Comment
Chautauqua Worse Than Midfield Best Price is $3.30 around the traps. Has been a dominate champion and he opened up $2.70 and I think you can expect him to drift further. Ignore the form guide that says he has been on a heavy track as that is rubbish the wettest track he has seen has been a soft 7. Whilst this is 1300m it’s a Randwick 1300m which is harder than most so I’m looking to his only open age 1400m run which was on slow 6 here and he ran 3rd to Dissendent and Wandjina where they walked and sprinted home but I felt he had the fast lane that day despite the slow speed. Sadly, it looks like he is going to be another Victim of the Hong Kong travel as the amount of horses who go to HK and then don’t return to their peak form is astonishing and is proving a real graveyard for Aussie horses with the only exception in recent time being the Kris Lees trained mare in Lucia Valentina. To my eye it looks like his best days are behind him and in a testing heavy track that he has never seen with 21 days between runs he certainly looks a big risk here. In terms of the trainers a $1 win bet on each of the Hawkes 580 runners in 12 months would see you losing 14.5% POT or losing $65. When the stable teams up with Tommy Berry they strike at 17% of the time for a loss of $22.
Le Romain On Speed/2nd pair Best Price around is $5.50. I have this horse as one of the top 5 or 6 horses in Australia but he is not the complete racehorse as he needs certain scenarios to achieve his absolute best. Is a multiple Group 1 winner but they have been on firm tracks and almost suicide like tempo’s? And that’s his key the harder they go the better he is. In terms of heavy tracks his seen it once and beaten by a better horse. Again, ignore the official form guide as they are misleading as this horses 2 runs on a Slow 6 have produced a 1st and a 2nd so the wet will be no problem. Glyn Schofield goes on. However, the issue in this race is speed and follow through wave looks very moderate at best and we know when this horse is in a sit and sprint and tactical affair he doesn’t have the TOF that some have and that’s his weakness. However, the price is too good to refuse as he has race fitness, PIR and ability on the wet surface and the $5.50 is an amazing price. Following the Kris Lees stable and backing the last 777 runners would see you only down 3.5% POT and losing only $18 which is remarkable. Another interesting pointer is Glyn Schofield’s good is exceptional and when he is bad it is very bad- but if you followed him the last 12 months for every $1 invested on his 531 mounts you would have earnt $19 in profit which is astonishing and tells you the market doesn’t rate him and as a result can give you an edge.
Hauraki Last Best Price is $10. On his day, he is in the top 4 horses in Australia and whilst he has a bad record on paper he actually beat Le Romain and Dibayani back in September when first up off 105 days when on a very heavy track here. I’m perhaps his biggest fan but the worry I have is one very soft trial only at 1050m and he profiles more like a 1600 to 2000m horse and the stable it’s fair to say have really struggled in recent weeks. The horse is a serious animal but this looks too much for him. His 6 starts on q slow 5 or 6 has seen him beaten a cumulative margin of 30 lengths. Following the Stable over the last 365 days saw you back 1231 runners and lose a respectable 10.74% POT but overall lose $110 for your $1 investment.
Music Magnate Holds Fence lead Best Price is $3.80. Has what can only be described as crazy set up for this race in that he is 35 days between runs which indicates not all is straight forward with this horse. On his best form, he is a clear winning chance. Again, the official form guide is misleading as he has actually had 3 runs on wet tracks. 2 of those have been on “5” rated tracks and the other a “7” in which he has won 2 of 3. In his 14 starts has only once had a bad run when clearly amiss and then his next worst run was just beaten 2 lengths to a future Group 1 winner. He is no superstar but you would love to own him and he is a good chance. The gap between runs even with the trial will leave him vulnerable late but the wet track will be no issue. If you follow every runner of the stable you have lost 14.6% POT which is not too bad and lost $90 for the $1 you invested on the 816 runners in the last 12 months.
Japonisme Forward of Midfield Best Price is $20. If Music Magnate’s lead in is odd, then this is just Bizarre o world. The horse has never been past 1200m in his life and resumes on a heavy track at 1300m at Randwick !! WTF. Joao Moreria is renowned for getting horses to change legs midrace to help conserve their energy but boy o boy he is going to need to be doing that little trick a hell of a lot to help this bloke out. On his day to be fair he has recorded Group 1 type ratings so he is not the worst chance but for someone like Chris Waller who is always so calculated with the platform he gives his horses this is amazingly bizarre. The horse has had 7 goes on track between a 5 and 7 for 4 wins and a 1 third. On heavy 9 or 10 he has had 2 goes for a win and 7 length defeat so the track will be no issue. If it was 1200m I’d be in his corner but 1300m 1st up is not what Waller would normally do and unless we see heavy support on Betfair I’d let him run against me. If you had followed the Waller camp in the last 365 days and had $1 win on each one of 1942 horses he has saddled up you would be losing $200 or 16% POT.
Too Good To Refuse Last Best Price is $101. He has an amazing finish on him this bloke where he is burning the track up in QLD but this is obviously another level. Has had 5 goes on tracks rated 5 or 6 for 1 win and 1 second and has never seen a heavy. His 2 efforts in slowly run races have been wins though off seemingly impossible positions and he is not the worst with his race fitness to fill a place here if the leaders get tired. Desleigh Forster fans have had 101 bets in the last 365 days for a strike rate of 13.9% a very respectable loss on POT of just 10% and only a $6 loss on the $1 win bets so she knows her stuff. With half the field effectively fresh or first up – plus question marks on 1-2 others there is a great case that this horse can beat them home with the fitness edge and fill a hole.
Ugo Foscolo Leads Best Price is $9. First run in Australia for “Gaibott” who are doing great things in recent times. He arrives with very solid NZ form but even their Group 1 horses are generally only our Group 3 horses by and large so he needs to continue to improve. His two trials have been excellent and he seems ready to go as you would expect. He won the 1000 Guineas when 5th of 11 favourite so was hardly dominate in the public eyes yet has won 5 from 6. He leads here and Gai in her time has done some remarkable and astonishing feats as a trainer but does ask a lot of him here. I’m on the fence but leaning to no. Now for the most astonishing of all stats a $1 investment on Gai and Adrian has seen them produce 403 runners and amazingly you are in profit $33 which is remarkable and a credit to both of them for a stable that size and with their reputation.
Impending Midfield or worse Best Price is $13.The second O’Shea runner and for mine will be amazed if they don’t scratch him. He is not up to this class and has had just the 2 goes on wet tracks in which they were a 6 and a 7 and he ran 3rd in both but easily beaten by 3.7 and 2.5. Is outclassed here. Zac Purton in the last 365 days has had 39 rides for just 4 wins although you are making a $1 profit by supporting him in the 39 races.

Last week on the free Preview Tactical Advantage did the right thing for us and we are back to minus 5 units profit on the one-off preview approach.

For this week with fitness query’s and what not I think the race is there for Le Romain to win. I’d suggest 2 units on him at the $5.50 and 1 unit the PLACE too good to refuse at $15. The other 2 units I think you should back Music Magnate closer to the race as I think you will get closer to $4.50 on Betfair.

Preview brought to you by Luke Murrell: Luke is successful Professional Punter for the past 19 years and runs the highly successful  as well as providing tactical advice and analysis for jockeys, trainers and owners.

Good luck and happy punting!!

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