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Australian Racing: Rising and Niccolite set to do battle

We’ve eight meetings for punters to get involved with this Sunday including metro meetings from Sandown Lakeside and Hobart.

Rising for second success

The first of the flat races on the Sandown Lakeside card comes up as the second race of the day with Niccolite and Rising currently vying for favouritism.

Nicollite proved a disappointment having attract support at big odds when eighth on a soft 6 track in a 1200m contest at Caulfield last month. Had an excuse on that occasion having lost a plate during the race and she is usually ridden from off the pace.

In contrast Rising has been ridden positively in all three starts to date including when caught late on in a 1200m Class 1 event on a soft 7 track at Cranbourne last month. Racing first up on that occasion the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained galloper was making his first start since finishing sixth over 1400m on the Hillside course here last December.

Mark Zahra’s mount has drawn the rail and the four-year-old is taken to get out of the barriers quickly to make all the running to double his career tally.

Coin to surprise at Wagga

Suprer Aurora is expected to jump as favourite in the final race on the Wagga card, a 1300m Class 1 handicap contest.

Jett Stanley’s mount was a winner on a heavy 9 track in a 1000m maiden at Echuga at the start of June and he put a slightly disappointing effort at Wangaratta behind her when upped to 1200m to place second in a Benchmark 58 contest on soft going at Warracknabeal.

Kept on well on that occasion but may have to give best to fellow Echuga maiden winner Keep The Coin.

The Gerald Egan-trained gelding confirmed his liking for heavy going when winning by a narrow margin under his jockey here Nick Souquet on that occasion and while his first start in a Class 1 resulted in a heavy defeat when eleventh over 1400m at Corowa recently he can be forgiven that effort having been drawn wide.

The barrier draw has been far kinder to the son of Keep The Faith here and he is selected to spring a surprise on his first start at this venue.

Doonican for Hobart glory

Smokin’ Hard has been performing well this spell placing on his last two starts including when narrowly beaten in a Benchmark 62 contest over this track and trip on a soft 5 track a week ago.

Scott Brunton’s mare is a relatively versatile sort tactics wise but notably it’s getting on for three years since she registered her only previous victory, in a six runner maiden at Tatura in November 2019.

A wide draw here isn’t ideal here while market rival Campeao, narrowly beaten when runner-up in a Class 1 contest over 2150m at Launceston two weeks ago has yet to win in nine previous starts.

Preference therefore is for Sigrid Carr’s mount Doonican who has drawn the rail here on the back of a solid third place finish in a 1620m event in this grade on a soft 6 track at Launceston on 24th July.

Making just his fifth appearance that day the son of No Nay Never broke his maiden in a 1700m contest at Gold Coast on his penultimate outing and with further improvement expected is taken to double his career tally.

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