Racing Preview - Canberra : Sunday, 8th March 2020

The track has improved and will start as a soft 6 and the sun is out. Cellsabeel has been cleared to start in the Black Opal Stakes and the performance of the once Golden Slipper favourite will create massive interest. A terrific card.

Race 1

Concrete, Milamoo and Polyxena will be prominent early. Concrete, Milamoo and Polyxena will be prominent early. CONCRETE (2) will handle the soft better than most and is ready to strike off the two near-misses. Gets the weight drop and returning to 1200m won't bother. Draws low and Rawiller's booking is a good push. POLYXENA (3) peaks back in grade and was too keen the latest at Canterbury running favourite. Draws out but that might not matter and Bowman is a key engagement. ELENARA (6) brings very competitive figures from Scone and Dubbo. He's won on the slow with today's jockey aboard (Lever). Has to be seriously considered. TERRA REIGN (7) has her second outing for the Matt Dale yard and would be right in the finish at best. Keep very safe. BET: Leaning to Concrete.

Race 2

Sacramento will run them along from Dip Me Lid. SCICONIC (5) comes to peak for a Sydney yard on a 5 day return. Thought good enough to be tried in a Group 1 at the back of the last campaign and up to the middle distance should suit. He will race handy from the rail ands the heavily-backed soft track placing at Newcastle two runs back was good. SACRAMENTO (4) led and won the Queanbeyan Maiden by 6L resuming heavily-backed at the mile. Needs the middle distance now and has a near miss in the Flemington Open 3 at 1800m under the belt. Is right up to this and just has to manage the soft ground. DIP ME LID (1) deserved the Maiden win at the mile and then he led missing a lip here at this trip. That was a very tough effort and he's a chance drawn to advantage. OUR VOLANTIS (7) is ex Team Hayes beaten a lip at Sale 16 days ago at a mile on the slow. That figure stacks up and his record this (in NZ) is good. May be the one to surprise. BET:  A good race with Sciconic the bet.

Race 3

Echo Lad will likely lead for Gai and Adrian and is a big market watch resuming. MOOKAREENA (9) has just missed the last two in better grade with the latest in town. Runs along and relishes wet conditions. Gets Sherry's claim and peaking is well set-up after the scratchings for the popular local yard. FUSCA (8) is third-up and presents off a solid effort here in Open grade. This is much easier and Bowman's booking is a decent push. ECHO LAD resumes for a Sydney barn off two trials and with the blinkers back on. May need one but his best is more than good enough and elevate if the market moves his way. ELKANO (3) resumed in much stronger and didn't have the best of it. Will improve, but needs to find a new peak. BET: Another good contest. Leaning to Mookareena.

Race 4

Speculative how the large field of Maidens settle. This $40,000 Maiden is a dead-set lottery on paper. GAMBLER'S QUEST (7) resumes for the Dryden yard off a lip defeat here running as favourite. That was a peak and the in-form McDougall rides first time. Expect the barn to have him fully wound up this time around. Stablemate SCARLEO (2) placed here on debut in a strong form race and then ran on well in the Open 3. Like most in this race the jury is out regarding a wet-track, but he also has race experience and Rawiller is a key jockey booking. MARK'S KINGDOM (4) debuts for the sharp Matt Dale yard and has trialled well. Expect him to have good ability and be ready to go. ZELAGO (16) gets a start and has genuine claims. Rates very well at best and expect a bold return. BOOM AND ZOOM (6) was very impressive here second-up and a win wouldn't totally surprise. BET: Going with Gamblers Quest each way.

Race 5

Early speed right across the barriers with a number capable of leading. Handle The Truth is a clear early favourite, but doubt there's much between the better ones. BLACK MAGNUM (6) won as expected resuming on the Kensington and then finished it off okay as favourite in the BM94 at Rosehill. He has plenty up the sleeve and recorded his career peak on a heavy city track. He's promising and looks up to winning this.  HANDLE THE TRUTH (1) flies first-up and was just knocked off as favourite the latest in Listed grade as favourite. He's won twice on heavy tracks and Rawiller's booking is a strong push. He's the saver. WAGNER (2) represents a leading yard and has been kept up to the mark following two heavily-backed efforts in Melbourne when not far away. Bowman is a key booking. ROYAL WITNESS (5) peaks off a lip defeat at Randwick and that reads well. He's a genuine hope. MOSSMAN GORGE (12) is very capable and will run along for a top Canberra yard. Could prove the smokey. BET: Black Magnum each way.

Race 6

Early pace from Cuba, and Mercurial Lad and expect speed to from some of the wider drawn. A terrific contest. There's a sense of timing about CUBA (6) third-up off two solid on-pace efforts at Randwick. He makes his own luck at jockey Tim Clark knows how to win at carnival-time in Canberra. This fellow relishes wet tracks and expect him to be tough to roll. SAUSEDGE (12) isn't greatly advantaged by the weight conditions but couldn't have been more impressive beaten a lip resuming in the lead-up race 16 days ago. She stormed home from the back in that and Berry takes over today. Had posted a strong career peak in town prior and has won and placed her only soft ground runs. Looks primed to take the next step. KEN'S DREAM (2) represents a leading yard and will relish a wet track. Runs along and rates well on the Caulfield near-miss two back. Hasn't won for a long time but is still in the yard. DIO D'ORO (14) and TRAVANCORE (11) also deserve consideration. BET: Cuba each way.

Race 7

They will run along but not clear-cut the lead. CELLSABEEL (13) is clearly the one to beat. Demolished the field resuming on the heavy at even money and then ran favourite in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes and pulled up with an issue. Wins this if all is well and then goes on to the Golden Slipper where she will have plenty of admirers. RETURN WITH HONOUR (1) placed third-up in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes and has won a Rosehill trial since. Gets a key jockey switch to Bowman and he should be right in it. BARTLEY (2) and BARBARIC (3) both resume for the slick Snowden yard and are sure to come back further improved. The market will sort them, but Bartley appeals most on what we've seen. TAMERLANE (10) debuts for Godolphin and has trialled well with McDonald on. He rides the above and Rawiller is booked today. No surprise if the colt is sharp and races accordingly. BET: Very keen on Cellsabeel.

Race 8

Eltham Place can lead and there will be a few to trail. EXOTIC DEEL (8) brought strong form to resumption at Albury winning the Maiden easily. She is a very promising galloper and can win again for the premiership yard. ELTHAM PALACE (4) will run along and has been knocking on the door. Draws to advantage and Berry takes over from the apprentice. Will be fancied and go close. ALWAYS ROSES (7) won the Maiden easily resuming at Orange as favourite and won't be far away. PISA MY HEART (3) has had three runs back and should be ready to show her best. Had no luck at Randwick the latest and will get every chance with Lever riding from a handy gate. SHORES OF AVALON (11) is in good local hands and goes into the multiples at least. BET: Expecting Exotic Deel to progress to better races and supporting her to win. Eltham Palace the danger.  

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