There’s just the three meetings set to take place today with soft 7 tracks forecast for Grafton and Echuca and a good 4 likely for the sole provincial fixture at Yeppoon.
Shaluna is expected to have her supporters as she goes in search of a third win in her last six starts following a good two-and-a-half-length second place finish in a Class 3 contest over course and distance two weeks ago.
The daughter of Shalaa handles the good going forecast here and having won in a Benchmark 55 event over this trip at Mackay she looks to hold strong claims of saluting with claimer Jake Molloy taking the ride on the four-year-old.
Grade dropper Scent Of Fear is preferred in this field however with the six-year-old having delivered a solid fifth place finish in a 1400m Benchmark 65 event at Townsville earlier this month.
Drawn wide on that occasion the six-year-old had delivered a good second place finish at the same level when contesting a 1470m event at Bowen on her penultimate outing and she should have no issue with the shorter distance here having placed second twice over this trip this spell including when beaten half-a-length at Mackay last month.
Cody Collis, on board last time out takes the ride here and Scent Of Fear is expected to be able to sit in behind the early pace having drawn the inside barrier with ten set to go to post following the defection of My Zebrinka.
For Ari looks likely to jump as favourite ahead of the fifth race at Echuca, a Benchmark 58 event having delivered a close up fourth in a Restricted 58 affair over 2088m on a heavy 8 track at Moe just under a month ago.
Previously impressed on a heavy 10 surface when getting off the mark at the 11th time of asking in a maiden contest over 2000m at Wangarratta just under three weeks earlier but Dean Holland’s mount may have to settle for minor honours with Wanjiru preferred back down in grade having never been a factor when ninth from a wide draw in an 1800m Benchmark 64 contest at Sandown Hillside 13 days ago.
The extra distance the son of Complacent gets here shouldn’t be an issue having shaped as if this trip wouldn’t be an issue when third over 2050m at Wodonga on a soft 7 track on his penultimate start while jockey Daniel Stackhouse boasts an impressive 27% strike-rate (4/15) at this track in the last year and is taken to add to his tally with David Bourne’s charge capable of putting that latest run behind him.
Ambitious Prince goes in search of back-to-back wins following an impressive victory in the 2100m Gold Cup at Tuncurry earlier this month.
That effort came on a heavy 10 track but the quicker going forecast here should prove no issue for the veteran performer who was registering his first victory of the year when saluting under his rider here Ben Looker that day.
However the Casino Prince gelding looks to have something to find with Stuck With You who triumphed by two-and-a-half-lengths in the 2020m Tygalgah Cup on a good 4 surface at Murwillumbah on his penultimate outing.
Softer ground forecast here is no issue with the seven-year-old having finished half-a-length second in a Benchmark 90 event over 2200m on a soft 6 surface at Doomben subsequently and having shown improved form since returning to around this distance Matthew Dunn’s charge is selected to register a second win in three starts at this venue with his jockey at Murwillumbah Matthew McGuren returning to the saddle.