Back to basics for non-starter Al Minhaad

The highly anticipated debut of Al Minhaad will have to wait for another day with the colt scratched at the barrier at Canterbury.

The Hawkes Racing-trained two-year-old was the short-priced favourite for the 1100m race on Wednesday but made the trip from Rosehill for nothing.

While the clerks of the course were chasing California Raider after he tossed Kerrin McEvoy before the start, Al Minhaad was withdrawn after getting his leg over the side of the gate.

California Raider made his way back to the barriers with Bezel jumping as the $4.40 favourite.

But his bid was thwarted by the Anthony Cummings-trained El Sid ($6) who held him off by a head.

“It was a good result against some nice horses,” stable foreman Edward Cummings said.

“He was bought at the breeze-up sale and we think he is potentially a stakes horse.

“He did well at his first start when he finished fourth to Astern.”

El Sid raced against Astern in December with the winner going on to record two stakes victories this year.

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Al Minhaad will have to go back to school with stewards ordering he run in a barrier trial.

There was also drama in the fillies division with debutante and favourite Blowing Kisses ($2.60) getting the nod over the fast-finishing Invincibella ($4) by a nose in a finish that fooled her jockey Tye Angland.

“I thought the other horse got me on the line,” Angland told trainer John Thompson.

“She had a bit of a look at the winning post.

“I didn’t want to lead so she has had to work and to her credit she did a good job.”

Chris Waller came away from the meeting with a double as he powers to his sixth Sydney trainers’ premiership with his 2012-2013 record of 167-1/2 winners in his sights.

Waller’s winners were Avonaco and No Return, a four-year-old whose owners include retired New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum.

“He was also in Silky Red Boxer so it’s good to get another horse winning for him,” Waller said.

The feeling is mutual with McCullum, who named his bats after racehorses, using one called Sacred Falls, the Waller-trained dual Doncaster winner, in his final match.

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