ANZ BLOODSTOCK NEWS HANDICAP Tips (Race 1)
Canterbury Best Bet - Race 1 No. 1 Mightybeel
While he's still work in progress, this son of Savabeel has shown above average ability in two career starts and despite going down as a short favourite first-up at Newcastle, he had excuses and can breakthrough in the opener from Canterbury this Friday.
Nothing went right for Mightybeel in that 1500m contest on January 30, where he was a little tardy away, then inconvenienced and forced back off a modest tempo, was off the bit a long way out and still spotting them a big margin, but did pick up strongly in the run home whereas the winner had the perfect run outside the leader.
The debut effort prior to that in September was excellent when rattling home over 1200m behind a subsequent city winner in Count De Rupee and with James McDonald now taking the reins, this three-year-old only needs even luck to be hard to hold out in a pretty weak Maiden.
TAB HANDICAP Tips (Race 3)
Canterbury Value Bet - Race 3 No. 4 Glamour Fox
Off a long campaign that ended in December, this mare will have residual fitness and given she generally resumes over sprint trips, she can put in a more forward showing fresh over the 1550m, especially off the intent shown to finish off in a recent trial behind a good sprinter in Greyworm.
After a competitive start to her last preparation where she was racing well without winning, the daughter of Foxwedge recorded back-to-back Provincial victories before coming back to town and was the pick of the closers behind Gone Bye, who won a Benchmark 88 two starts later.
We only need to go back to early 2020 to see Glamour Fox placing behind two subsequent Group winners in Positive Peace and All Saints's Eve at 1400m, so the seven/eight-furlong range might be where she's better placed and can certainly measure up in what's only a modest mares' event here.
KARI FOUNDATION EVENING STAR Tips (Race 7)
Canterbury Next Best Bet - Race 7 No. 2 Starspangled Rodeo
At 32.82, Starspangled Rodeo rattled off the fastest last 600m of the January 16 Rosehill program which did follow two strong trials and given he was a little tardy away, which isn't common for him, the lightly raced six-year-old couldn't have performed any better fresh.
The main query is the gap between runs now, but banking that the Bjorn Baker stable have been avoiding some wet tracks with the son of Teofilo who is no stranger to having his runs spaced anyway (last two victories; 24-day break, latest a first-up win with 62.5kg over this track and trip).
From a better draw now second-up, James McDonald can take a closer sit and get cover just off the likes of Nictock, He's A Hotshot and Isorich, then be produced as he was in that last victory, where he was carrying 2kg more and this isn't a dissimilar field.