Bruce McAvaney's horse set for Canterbury

SYDNEY Aug 9 2016

With the eyes of the world on the Olympics, Australia's most high-profile commentator in Rio could be forgiven for having one eye on the races.

Leading sport broadcaster Bruce McAvaney is a part-owner of Embley who is entered to run in a midweek 1250m benchmark race at Canterbury on Wednesday.

While those in Brazil are surrounded by the world's biggest sporting celebration, organising a live broadcast of the fifth race at Sydney's inner-west track might be a stretch.

The race is set to go at 0245 Rio time.

Trainer Bjorn Baker said it would be great to give McAvaney a city winner while he commentates on the Games.

"It's good to have him involved in the horse. He's a gentleman," Baker said.

"This horse hasn't been far away so I think they deserve a bit of luck in a city race."

While dropping back from Saturday grade to a midweek race would usually make for an easier race, Embley will face some stiff competition if he runs on Wednesday.

The Hawkes Racing-trained Secret Prophet was fourth behind subsequent Group One winner Palentino in a Listed race on Stakes Day at Flemington.

And trainer Gabrielle Englebrecht's stable star Cannyescent is finally set to start his road to black-type races in spring after being scratched three times because of heavy tracks.

Englebrecht said Cannyescent's entry in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday was a back-up plan, with the gelding likely to start if the Canterbury track was rated soft or better.

Baker will also scratch Embley if the track remains heavy and the trainer says he is weighing up his options with the horse entered for Gosford on Thursday.

"It's not that easy tomorrow so that's one reason we might lean towards Gosford," he said.

The regally bred Embley is by High Chaparral out of a Group One-winning mare.

His dam Dashing Eagle won the 1996 Thousand Guineas and was owned by another high-profile Australian who made his name outside racing, winemaker Wolf Blass.

"On his day Embley's got ability but he's definitely a bit better fresh and on better tracks," Baker said.

McAvaney got his start as a race-caller and is most well-known for a long career broadcasting AFL.

And there's a tinge of the sport which made him famous in the gelding, who shares his name with West Coast premiership star Andrew Embley.



Matt Coughlan - AAP

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