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Australian Racing: A Hint of success at Northam

After a big day of Group 1 action on Saturday we have eight meetings taking place on Sunday with provincial action from Northam and Sunshine Coast plus six country fixtures.

Race 6 Northam

Hint Of Mint @ 3/1

Race 8 Sunshine Coast

Harlequin Field @ 5/1

Race 5 Bendingo

Miss Balvenie @ 6/4

Mint for Northam success

Cheerful Moment is sure to have his supporters ahead of the sixth race on the Northam card, a 1300m Class 5 event.

The four-year-old has been beaten less than a length on each of his three starts since taking out a 1733m Benchmark 64 event at Geelong in June.

The shorter distance here is no issue having finished runner-up over 1200m at Belmont Park subsequently.

However, the son of Mongolian Khan has shown his best form on wet tracks and while he performed well over 1600m on a good 4 surface at Belmont Park last time he may find the combination of the sound surface and the sprint distance too much with Hint Of Mint preferred for trainer Neville Parnham.

You have to go back to a Benchmark 70 event over 1000m at Moonee Valley nearly two years ago to find the six-year-old's most recent win. However, she has acquitted herself in stronger races since including when one-and-a-half-lengths fifth over 1400m in the Bendigo Gold Bracelet at Bendigo in April.

The winner and third in that Bendigo contest have both gone on to deliver victories at Group 2 level and having won first up in the past Brad Parnham's mount is selected to register career win number five with a good draw in two a positive with regards Hint Of Mint's chances.

Field for Noosa Cup glory

Awesome Lad is expected to jump as favourite for the eighth race at Sunshine Coast, which is the 1400m Noosa Cup, a Benchmark 80 event set to take place on a good 4 track.

The six-year-old has placed on each of his last two starts, including when third in a Class 4 event over this course and distance.

He had previously placed second over this distance in a similar contest on a good 4 surface at Eagle Farm just over two weeks earlier and while another big effort is expected, Harlequin Field is selected to concede weight to his main rival in this contest.

Matthew Dunn's charge has been racing at Gold Coast of late, completing a double when taking out a 1350m Class 5 event on a good 4 track there in August.

Successful by a head that day, he delivered a respectable sixth in a Benchmark 75 event on a heavy 8 track over the same course and distance subsequently.

The going was against him on that occasion and the return to a sound surface can see the five-year-old register a victory dropping to provincial level.

Balvenie to return to winning ways

At Bendigo, the fifth race on the card, a 1000m Benchmark 64 event is an intriguing affair.

The consistent Ultimate Edition has delivered three second place finishes from as many starts this spell with all three of those coming on the synthetic surface at Ballarat.

He went down by one-and-a-half-lengths when runner-up over 1100m there in a Restricted 64 event at the end of August but he has a wide draw to overcome.

Given the gelding likes to race close to or on the speed he may have to use up plenty of energy if he is to get over to the rail from barrier 12.

Miss Balvenie has made a good start to her career, winning half of her six starts and is preferred here having delivered a victory over this trip at Sandown Hillside in a 10 runner Benchmark 64 event on a soft 5 track on her penultimate outing.

Not disgraced when five-and-a-half-lengths fourth over the same course and distance in a Benchmark 78 contest last time out and dropping in grade she looks up to providing hoop Brett Prebble with a victory.

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