Canterbury Wednesday 12 September

Canterbury played well on Wednesday, despite the rail being out 8m.

Canterbury is about to close to become the quarantine centre and I suspect they are protecting the inner part of the track for the international horses.

The general perception about Canterbury is that when the rail is out 8m, those on speed are favoured. However, to my eye, especially late in the day, it was the horses out wide that were advantaged. The track was rated a soft 6, but I believe the times more reflected a track in the soft 7 range.

I haven’t done the recent figures, but clearly, the combination of James Cummings and James McDonald is fast becoming a force. In the last race on Wednesday, I couldn’t have marked  Wagner as short as the colt started, but as is the case a lot of the time with a new-season, resuming three-year-olds, Wagner has improved his weight rating remarkably, and with the powerful combination of the two James’, Wagner started at 10-9, and rounded them up to win as he liked.

Betfair in run

We are all human, and the race caller does a sensational job. However, I did notice during race 3, that The Cartoonist was called in front while it was back in the field, whereas Cosmologist (who was leading) was called as being in the second half of the field. I thought Betfair would have been very active “in the run”. Fascinatingly, the betting action stopped. Cosmologist ended up holding on, while The Cartoonist stormed home for 2nd.

Major Wager

Sometimes when doing the form, in a particular race several winning chances announce themselves. Such was the case in race 3 where Happy Bubbles and Gentle Persuasion took the lions share of the betting, whereas the good wife’s charge Major Wager was at a fair 20-1. I thought at Scone, Major Wager went too fast and could have been forgiven for his performance. Following this, the Echuca win was full of merit.

Angland

I like Angland very much as a rider, in spite of being critical of him  last Saturday.

But his ride on Excellent Design was pure “Des Lake” at his best.

Angland kept Tommy Berry’s Deity in a pocket till the last furlong, when it was all too late. A brilliant ride

Des Lake was the most competitive, tactical rider I’ve seen.

Calcutta

I suspect the sales for the Kosciusko Calcutta are a little slower than the TAB anticipated. But to the TABs credit, on course, they offered a free $5 ticket with any bet on Wednesday, as to drive up a lot more business. Calcutta’s have been around for a very long time – of course they originated in India, but in the first quarter of the 20th century, in billiard halls around America, Calcutta’s were held on almost every race. That would have been fantastic! Chautauqua originally refers to an adult movement in America in the early 20th century that promoted culture and fun in rural areas. Many of these Chautauqua meetings took place in billiard halls and coincided with community Calcutta’s. Many years later, Calcutta’s are still an exceptional way to become involved in ownership and to grab a big return betting-wise.

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