Horse racing tips: Best bets for Canterbury with Ray Thomas

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After a solid second last outing, Ita, trained by Bjorn Baker, relishes the wet conditions and is ready to reach third. BEST BETS, INSIDE MAIL

Daily Telegraph Racing editor Ray Thomas gives his best bets and enforces the rule on every race for Canterbury.

The Form: Complete the NSW Racing Thoroughbred Form, including video replays and everything you need to know about each horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!

CANTERBURY

BEST BET

Race 5, n°1: ITA

Ita is a true fitter mare for two races of a spell, including a good last second start on the 1250m Canterbury course. She stays at the sprint trip and although her best form is further away, the tough track conditions are in her favour.

NEXT BEST

Race 3, n°5: SPITFIRE

Spitfire tried to lead throughout and did well to beat all but Ocean Shores on the same course and distance on the final start. Spitfire recorded a minor placement hat-trick, it handles heavy runs and is poised to win.

VALUE BET

Race 8, #8: RUBY KISSES

Ruby Kisses is in a stronger race than she won at this track in the last start, but she is so efficient on the heavy tracks and gets well at the weights after the claim. It is good value for money around $6.

QUADDY

Race 5: 1,3,7

Race 6: 5,1,10,3

Race 7: 7,3,10

Race 8: 8,3,5,10

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman, who rode his 100th Group 1 on Forbidden Love in the Canterbury Stakes last Saturday, has a good book of rides including Willinga Beast, Spacewalk and Gracilistyla.

TRAINER TO FOLLOW

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have good odds, including Sweet Baby Boom, Surf On Turf and former England resident Military Mission.

THE DOMESTIC MAIL FOR CANTERBURY

RACE 1

Willinga Beast, a superbly bred Snitzel filly closely related to her dam sire to Astern and Alizee and a direct descendant of champion filly Triscay, cost $625,000 as a yearling and seemed to have plenty of natural ability in her trials. Won its last round with ease at Wyong but is obviously unknown on a heavy track. Asteria is a full sister to the Flying Profiteer and she was very impressive winning a trial in December. It hasn’t tested in recent weeks, which is a primary concern on a heavy track, but it’s a promising guy. Belriah has been working well at home during his Newcastle 900m recovery and has racing fitness on his side. Sweet Baby Boom is another early starter who impressed in tryouts.

Bet: Victory of Willinga Beast, savior on Belriah

RACE 2

Spacewalk was placed stakes in the Lonhro Plate on the replay, then struggled in the Silver Slipper when not placed behind Best Of Bordeaux. Coming back mid week, has some wet track form and has some fitness and racing experience. Alpha One was sent off favorite on its debut and had every chance before fading for sixth place behind Conqueror and Seven Veils in an in-form run at Kensington last month. Give this colt another chance as he brilliantly tried on a soft 7 track ahead of his debut. First starter Matcha Latte beat both rivals by five lengths on a recent Randwick try. He has never been extended in the heat and if he can make that effort in tough conditions he will be tough to beat. Chipper was very late in his trials.

Bet: Spacewalk to win, but saver on Alpha One disagree.

RACE 3

Spitfire led at home and looked likely to score until Ocean Shores peeled off their back and finished powerfully. The third placegetter, Aton Of Delight, has since won to free form. Spitfire has three successive minor placings to its name this campaign, it bursts out to win a race and likes heavy tracks. Nano Star made up a lot of ground late to finish third on her Kilmore debut and is a progressive filly. The aviator ran very well on the restart and can only improve. Scat’s Surfer Girl has had a few chances lately, but she’s in great shape and winning the race from the inside barrier.

Bet: Trifecta box 1,5,7,9

RACE 4

Selhurst Park ran well on the restart, chasing home the transformation into running form at Hawkesbury. He was placed in four successive starts on tracks rated in the soft-heavy range. Fitter, well drawn and ready to win. The headliner is winless after six attempts but was tested at the stakes and finished second to Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside on her debut last season. Repeated here but very high rating from a strong recent try. The minister is improving with the run and Yagoona showed potential in his last job.

Bet: Selhurst Park victory

RACE 5

Ita was second when she met promising mare Samoot when she beat more than three lengths to take second place at Canterbury two weeks ago. She handled the difficult track conditions well on the last start, but had the misfortune to run into a talented sprinter. With racing fitness on her side, Ita looks well placed. Finepoint is the danger. A promising filly who is picking up after successive victories in town to end her first campaign last December. She handled a heavy track well on her debut when she was fourth at Kembla and will be strong late in this race. Ringarosa is very efficient on rain affected tracks and runs in good shape. Brooks Battle started favorite when he was not placed at Warwick Farm a month ago. It has tried hard since but the heavy track is a concern.

Bet: It’s to win

RACE 6

Sword Point is an emerging three-year-old taking a short hiatus. He won on this course and this distance by a large margin in the resumption in December and also won with authority at Rosehill over 2000m in his last start. Unprecedented on a heavy track but if he manages the conditions, he is the one to beat. Easy Campese struggled in the last Saturday class start and is a better fit for this grade. Both Azarmin and Silent Agenda are proven wet trackers.

Bet: Sword point to win

RACE 7

Gracilistyla rode a more blind opener, finishing strong for second place against older horses at an overnight meeting in Canterbury. Fitter now and his only win was a dominating effort on a soft 7 track at Warwick Farm. His mother, the talented Catkins was undefeated on the heavy tracks. Jailbreak has a soft track shape, runs steadily, and is a winner at this course and distance. Publicist is another light running three-year-old who broke his young daughter on a soft track 7 two months ago. He has tried hard since and is one of the main chances. Vreneli was knocked out on the restart, but he won on a heavy track and is able to run a competitive race.

Bet: Victory of Gracilistyla, Quinella 3.7

RACE 8

Ruby Kisses handled the very difficult conditions to score on the final start of the Canterbury 1200m and she fitted in well at the weights. Zarastro won successive street races in the spring and picked up two brilliant victories at the Rosehill Trials. He’s a promising colt but he’s found well in betting given he’s never been exposed to a heavy track. Turnstyle has a wet track shape and can improve in this category. Tonneofgrit was stakes placed on a heavy track last season and although he does pick up, he is at very generous odds.

Bet: Ruby Kisses Every Way, Watch Betting Moves for Turnstyle and Tonneofgrit

Originally published as Raceday focus: Best bets, inside mail for Canterbury

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