Appoint Percy A1 for Randwick — Trainer Luke Pepper

Former Kiwi Appoint Percy looks well-placed to rack up his second Australian win in tomorrow’s TAB Highway Plate (1600) at Randwick.

The Canberra-trained gelding won an Albury BM65 (1400m) at just his second outing for the Luke Pepper stable — and just missed two weeks ago in a TAB Rewards BM71 (1550m) at Canterbury.

Pepper says everything has gone to plan since Appoint Percy arrived from New Zealand.

“He’s improved every start,” Pepper says.

Canberra’s Biggest Race Day Looms

 Canberra’s premier racing event – Black Opal Stakes day - is just over a week away.

The Canberra Racing Club is confident that the festival like atmosphere and quality racing will achieve record breaking crowds to celebrate the region’s biggest race day.

The Club is hopeful of cashing in on another strong two-year-old season by attracting a crack field to the $275,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) on 6 March 2016.

Black Opal Hopes Present In Sunday’s Lightning Ridge Stakes

 It is the Lightning Ridge Stakes at Canberra on Sunday and that means Black Opal Stakes Day is just around the corner.

The Black Opal meeting on Sunday 6 March is jammed full of features including the $275,000 Group 3 Mercedes Benz Black Opal Stakes run over 1200m for 2 year olds.

The support events include the $200,000 Listed Canberra Cup (2000m); the $125,000 Canberra Guineas (1400m) for 3 year olds; and the Listed National Sprint Quality Handicap (1400m).

Nominations for the meeting close on 1 March.

Bring A Secret On Track For Goulburn — Nick Olive

 The first of the Sera Country Championships Qualifiers kicks off at Goulburn on Saturday with strong Canberra participation as expected.

The well-performed Nick Olive-trained Bring A Secret is sure to be well-fancied.

Olive says the Sebring 3yo looks back to his best.

“He disappointed early in the campaign and just was not himself,” Olive says

“It was a mental thing more than anything and that’s why we dropped him back in class and gave him a couple of easy kills.

Atom Eve Back In The Winter

Promising Canberra 3yo Atom Eve has gone to the spelling paddock and will return to racing in the winter.

Atom Eve will thereby miss next month’s Mercedes Benz Black Opal meeting in the Capital and the Country Championships.

The I Am Invincible filly impressed winning a recent TAB HighwayHandicap at Randwickand trainer Norm Gardner says she was going to the paddock win or lose.

“She went straight out after Randwick and she will come back to the stable in a month,” Gardner says.

Luke Pepper Debutant Creates Interest At Canberra

 Up-and-coming Canberra trainer Luke Pepper has several nice chances on Friday’s Canberra program, including debutant Iltextya in the first.

The 2yo Snippetson filly comes off a nice Goulburn trial win and Pepper has a very good opinion of her.

“Iltextya is a nice professional filly and we are looking forward to her going around on Friday,” Pepper says.

“She can lead or take a sit and a slow track shouldn’t worry.

Blake Shinn and Tony McEvoy Key Canberra Combo

 Classy Sydney hoop Blake Shinn will ride for Tony McEvoy in Canberra on Friday and they’ll link on a couple of key runners.

Dreadlock in Race 4 looks the pick of them. The Redoute’s Choice gelding was heavily supported across markets to win at Canberra last Friday week, but the race was washed out.

He was then scratched at Kembla Grange on Tuesday and kept for this. 

He did not have the best of it placing last time behind the promising Hermosa Beach at Canberra after a strong Goulburn Maiden win on debut.

Matt Dale Looking To Boost Rosehill Record

 Canberra trainer Matt Dale has an exceptional strike rate at Rosehill and he returns on Saturday with three runners.

Dale will line up former Kiwi mare Kaleidoscope in Race 1 and the progressive Hermosa Beach in Race 2.

In Race 8 he is represented by Karakuchi but he says she probably won’t start if the track deteriorates.

This racing season Dale has had eight runners at Rosehill for five winners — a strike rate of 63%.

Further, if you had backed all of them you would have recorded a profit-on-turnover of 461%.

Keeping Nick Olive Safe — Canberra Friday

 It pays to keep the sharp Nick Olive yard very safe when you’re punting at Canberra and he lines up six runners at Friday’s Capital Cash meeting.

In the first race the debutant Fox Tails will fly the stable flag coming off an Albury trial win.

Olive says the 2yo Foxwedge colt is still new but “…everything he does he keeps improving.

“He gives me a nice feel and I am very happy with him going into this race.

Atom Eve to make Sydney debut

 Saturday’s Highway Handicap at Randwick beckons for promising Canberra 3yo Atom Eve.

Atom Eve blitzed a Canberra trial field and then debuted with an Albury Maiden win and followed that with a resounding 4.5L victory in a Canberra CL1. 

The I Am Invincible filly travels to Sydney in the peak of form and trainer Norm Gardner says she is very well.

“I would not take here there unless I was 100% happy with her,” Gardiner says.

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