SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP Tips (Race 1)
Canterbury Best Bet - Race 1 No. 1 Yangtze Rapids
While he didn't reel in the handy Jojo Was A Man fresh on March 10, that 1400m Maiden stacked up very well on the clock versus the two Benchmark races and at 33.83, the son of Frankel has clearly rattled off the fastest last 600m out of all three of those seven-furlong events.
A galloper who was only a stride off beating a subsequent Group winner in Miravalle first-up in the spring but was then spelled following a pair of disappointing efforts and gelded ahead of his return, Yangtze Rapids was scratched a few times prior to his second-up attempt here on April 7.
Despite visually being a little disappointing into third as a drifting favourite, it did appear that Chris Waller was looking to dodge the wet tracks with this three-year-old but had to eventually run on a Soft 6 while now on top of the ground along with stripping fitter, he gets another chance.
ROBRICK LODGE HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Canterbury Next Best Bet - Race 6 No. 8 Shibli
Having just the two starts in Europe with the last of those being a Maiden victory over 2150m in February last year, it did appear that the 1200m assignment for his Australian debut would be much too sharp for this gelding considering the distances he was contesting.
Off just one fair trial, a big betting move did come prior to that April 7 event ($9.00-$4.00) and despite having to settle for a fifth-place finish, the four-year-old did suffer some inconvenience when angling for a passage clear in the home straight, and wasn't beaten far on the line (0.8 lengths).
James McDonald sticks for this Wednesday's event over 1550m, which although may still be a little on the short side, it should be much more suitable, especially give the money was there for him to win on Australian debut over a six-furlong sprint.
XXXX HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)
Canterbury Value Bet - Race 8 No. 6 Kobe Rocks
Although he did enjoy a good run in transit via a weaker race, it was decent effort for this gelding to produce at the back-end of his first racing preparation, winning at start four in a Kembla Grange Class 1 following three performances in New Zealand.
Now under the care of Bjorn Baker, who has prepared 29 winners this autumn at a strike rate of 22.65%, Kobe Rocks broke his Maiden over 1200m before a pair of attempts at Stakes level, and was competitive in both (finished midfield behind Aegon before coming to Australia).
After boxing on well in a fast run heat behind The Face on March 29 where he did pass the handy Rocketing By, the three-year-old was able to dictate when winning an April 7 trial, so does look forward enough to figure first-up in what's a competitive event to finish the Canterbury card.