2016 Bill Ritchie Handicap an Option for Cannyescent

July 22nd, 2016

Trainer Gabrielle Englebrecht is confident stable star Cannyescent is a Group-level horse; underlining a race like the 2016 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) as a legitimate Spring Carnival target for the galloper this time.

Cannyescent has made only a handful of appearances at the races since debuting for Englebrecht last spring; but has posted two impressive wins and performed admirably in his two starts at black type company so far.

Englebrecht fitted the Canny Ballad gelding with a cross-over noseband in an impressive trial last week, and told AAP she is confident he will be tough to beat when he returns to racing in the Schweppes Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury on Saturday.

“He really responded to it extremely well – a little bit too well,” Englebrecht said of the trial.

“He dropped the bit and he was back last off the bridle early.

“I expect him to win. I think he’s capable of winning but I don’t want to discount how talented some of the other runners in the race are.

“He’s mature now and he’s seasoned.

“There’s plenty of races for him across the spring if he shows he’s up to it.”

Englebrecht has a big opinion of Cannyescent, and rates the horse a ‘one in a billion’.

“I wish I could describe how much I love him,” Englebrecht said.

“He’s just the sweetest, most kind and gentle animal you’ve ever seen.”

Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Cannyescent stamped himself as one to watch from the outset when taking out the Australian Stockyard Co Maiden (1200m) by close to two lengths.

Making a credible transition to black type company when fifth in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m), Cannyescent was returned to the paddock after running fourth in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m).

Resuming this year for success in the Schweppes BM71 (1100m), Cannyescent has not been seen at the races since finishing seventh in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) on February 6th.

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