The quality winter cards continue at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and the Civic Stakes headlines a program of nine.
The rail will be set out six metres around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Heavy (8) range.
Race 1 - 11:35pm
Peter Kafataris Handicap (1300m)
Seleque hasn’t been seen at the races since April, but she flies fresh and can make a winning return in the first on Civic Stakes Day.
The Deep Field filly has recorded a win and a second placing from her two previous fresh attempts, and she was a model of consistency at a similar grade last time.
She’s had the benefit of a trial and I am happy to have something on this week.
2 Units Seleque
Race 2 - 12:10pm
Highway Class 2 Handicap (1400m)
A typically open field of country horses will contest this week’s Highway race, and I’m confident that Albury trainer Mitch Beer will saddle another one into the finish with Packer’s Bond.
Packer’s Bond has recorded two wins and as many second placings from his eight trips to the races so far, and he returned from a break to finish second, beaten half a length in Class 2 company at Wagga.
He’ll take plenty of benefit from that hit-out, has won at this point of his preparation previously, and he is drawn to receive a lovely run.
2 Units Packer’s Bond
Race 3 - 12:45pm
Bookmakers Recognition Day Stayers Cup (3200m)
This is a small field of stayers and there is a case to be made for most of them, but I think that it will suit Terwilliker ideally.
Terwilliker has been a good horse for Anthony Cummings throughout his career, and he generally pops up more than once in a Saturday race in each preparation.
He has improved for each of his four starts back this time, including a credible third over a mile and a half at Warwick Farm last time, and I am eager to see him out to two miles this weekend.
2 Units Terwilliker
Race 4 - 1:20pm
Barry Cook Handicap (1800m)
Zing is ready to win on Civic Stakes Day.
The Chris Waller-trained mare hasn’t missed placing in three starts back this time, and she has run into some above average gallopers on each occasion.
She is ready to peak in condition fourth-up and after drawing an inside barrier, she is my best bet on the program.
6 Units Zing
Race 5 - 1:55pm
Garry Burgess Handicap (1600m)
This field is largely made of up horses that typically go around on a Wednesday in town, and I think that Cadenabbia can make the successful transition this week.
Cadenabbia was a smart winner in BM68 company at Warwick Farm when resuming and he has finished fourth in tougher races at his last two.
Annabel Neasham’s stable is flying, and this bloke can return the team another Saturday winner.
2 Units Cadenabbia
Race 6 - 2:30pm
Listed Civic Stakes (1400m)
He has been charged with carrying topweight, but I also think that he might just be the best horse in the field, and I am going to stick with Ranier in this year’s Civic Stakes.
The multiple black type winner finished second in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes when resuming, and while he was a little flat second-up in the BRC Sprint, he returned to winning form in the Wayne Wilson on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
1400m looks to be his pet trip, so I’m not anticipating much of an issue with the small drop from a mile, and he is drawn to receive a beautiful run.
3 Units Ranier
Race 7 - 3:10pm
Keith Free OAM Handicap (1800m)
Great House was impressive on his way to a return to the winner’s stall last time, and he looks well placed to make it two in a row at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Galileo gelding has been good since arriving in Australia, but he didn’t seem to quite be putting it all together earlier in the year (while still racing competitively), so the decision was made to tip him out.
That immediately paid dividends when he held on to win in BM78 company here at Rosehill earlier this month, and I’m confident he’ll only improve into this race.
5 Units Great House
Race 8 - 3:50pm
ACY Securities Handicap (1400m)
I’m going to give Exotic Ruby another chance in the penultimate race on Civic Stakes Day.
The Snitzel mare has been consistent without returning to winning form this time in, and she enters this race off the back of a credible fourth, beaten only half a length in a BM72 race at Warwick Farm.
Without any real stars engaged, this race looks to be there for the taking, and we can have an each-way play at the price.
1 Unit E/W Exotic Ruby
Race 9 - 4:30pm
Warren Woodcock Handicap (1100m)
He hasn’t been seen at the races since January, but he also doesn’t know how to run a bad one, and Triple Ace can make a winning return in the last on Civic Stakes Day.
The Helmet gelding has recorded four wins and three minors from his seven career starts so far, and he won all four in succession last time before ending his prep second behind Malkovich at Randwick.
His two recent trials suggested that he is primed to strike fresh and Sam Clipperton has options from the rails draw.
3 Units Triple Ace