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Australian Racing: Waller charge eyes Wyong Gold Cup win

The Wyong Gold Cup is the feature race on Friday with the meeting at Wyong supplemented by three country fixtures at Mornington, Canberra and Birdsville.

Lord for Cup success

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Grove Ferry is expected to have his supporters ahead of the feature Wyong Gold Cup at Wyong.

The six-year-old has shown good form in his two most recent starts following up a second place finish over 1800m at Randwick with a good fourth in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup over 2000m at the same venue on 20th August.

Both of those Randwick efforts have come on the forecast soft 5 going while Tim Clark’s mount also has winning form on a quicker surface should the ground dry up.

Notably however the ex-European galloper hasn’t registered a victory since switching hemispheres with his most recent success coming in the UK back in May 2021.

Preference in this event is for another import in Lord Ardmore who showed good form in New Zealand earlier in his career.

The drop in grade appeared to suit when winning a Benchmark 88 contest over 1800m on a heavy 8 track at Rosehill while I duly followed up over the same distance at Randwick subsequently.

Chris Waller’s charged placed third in the previously mentioned Group 3 Premier’s Cup over 2000m at Randwick on his most recent start and with the extra distance here unlikely to trouble he is selected to score under top hoop Hugh Bowman.

Sketched to break maiden

The third race at Mornington is expected to see the Mark Zahra-ridden Custodian jump as favourite for the Anthony and Sam Freedman team.

The son of Shalaa showed plenty of ability when making his debut in the Group 3 Black Opal over 1200m at Canterbury back in March.

While that race has produced winners the three-year-old may find Sketched has too much for him in this competitive contest.

 The pick took a step forward when finishing a good third in a Listed contest over 1000m at Flemington when racing first up last spell.

Had excuses following issues in the early stages of the race when sixth in a Moonee Valley maiden over 1200m subsequently and while unproven on the heavy 10 going he looks up to delivering a victory racing first up. 

Gift to score at Canberra

The fifth race on the Canberra card is a 1000m Benchmark 70 contest and with the going forecast to be a soft 7 it looks likely to be a competitive affair.

Smuggler’s Bay is sure to have his supporters coming into this contest on the back of a length victory in a 1000m Benchmark 66 contest at Goulburn at the end of July.

Freshened up since the Squamosa gelding was racing second up on that occasion having finished a fair fifth in a Benchmark 74 affair on his return to action earlier that month.

While Smuggler’s Bay has won four of his nine starts to date two of those have come when racing second up with that Goulburn triumph under today’s rider Rochelle Wedrat-Kroezen his first since winning over this distance at Orange in October last year.

Emma’s Gift is selected to get the better of the likely favourite here having delivered a solid second place finish when beaten a head on a heavy 8 track in a 1010m Class 3 event at Moruya last month.

Raced in fourth for much of that contest and having ended her last spell with three consecutive third placed efforts at this venue she looks up to delivering a victory under jockey Alysha Collett.

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