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Australian Racing: Drop in distance suits Gold Card

There’s just the three country meetings for punters this Monday but the action looks competitive with wet tracks the order of the day.

Card for Kempsey glory

Slice Of Heaven is expected to prove popular ahead of the penultimate race on the Kempsey card, a 1000m Benchmark 58 event.

Colt Prosser’s charge ended 2021 with a fair fifth of seven in a 1000m Benchmark 66 event on a heavy 10 track at Taree in November and while it’s a concern that she hasn’t been seen in action so far this year his trial efforts, two wins at Port Macquarie last month including under her rider here Georgia McDonnell point to a forward showing.

The five-year-old has a wide draw to overcome here while similar comments apply to fellow performers Moon Over Alice and Sharkim and with that in mind Gold Card who is expected to race prominently and has a good draw three off the rail is the pick.

Peter Graham’s performer completed a double when winning over 1250m in a Class 1 event at Taree back in February and while he could finish only tenth over 1400m at the same venue subsequently that did come in a much stronger affair.

Down the field over 1100m at Grafton when racing first up the selection showed improved form second up last time around and dropping back in distance the four-year-old is selected to spring a minor upset under claimer Zac Wadick.

Murkowski to deliver Queanbeyan victory

The Danielle Seib-trained Borderlands is expected to jump as favourite for the sixth race on the Queanbeyan card, a Benchmark 58 handicap over 1460m.

With a soft 6 track forecast the daughter of Headwater is set to tackle the quickest ground she’s faced so far with all three previous outings, including a 1400m maiden win at Bathurst coming on heavy surfaces.

Shaped as if further improvement was likely when winning last time out but may find Alysha Collett’s mount Murkowski too good with the four-year-old filly coming into this contest on the back of a fourth place finish in a 1300m Class 1 event on a heavy 8 surface at Canberra last month.

Trainer by Joe Cleary, the grey has shown good form over this course and distance in the past winning a maiden here by three lengths on a good 3 track in October last year and the daughter of Swiss Ace is selected to double her career tally.

Xtrayya to double up

With four last time out winners in the field the seventh at Wodonga, an 1100m Benchmark 58 contest looks to be a competitive event.

Defence Force performed well when winning by three lengths over this course and distance in a Restricted 58 event last month and rates a worthy favourite with the faster ground (a soft 7) forecast here no issue.

A dual winner from four starts at this venue the five-year-old has a solid draw in two and looks likely to play a part in the finish.

Lani Bang Bang is another with claims following a third career win when taking out a Restricted 58 over 1217m on a heavy 8 track at Moe recently. Her jockey here Jake Duffy was on board that day and she is another who looks to hold strong claims.

Xtrayya is the selection however with the son of Xtravagant making the perfect start to his career when racing prominently prior to delivering a narrow margin victory in an 1100m maiden at Wangaratta on 8th August.

Promising claimer Hannah Le Blanc takes over in the saddle and the four-year-old is selected to maintain his unbeaten record for handler Daniel McCarthy.

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