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Australian Racing: Akasawa set to double up at Gunnedah

There are no fewer than nine meetings set to take place on Sunday, including at Gunnedah where it's Cup Day.

They also go to post at Ballarat, Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Mildura, Moruya, Mount Gambier, Roebourne and Sunshine Coast on a busy day of racing across Australia.

Race 5 Ballarat

Kiss Me Ned @ 4.60

Race 7 Gunnedah

Akasawa @ 2.30

Race 8 Sunshine Coast

Galactic Coast @ 5.50

Ned to salute at Ballarat

The fifth race of the day at Ballarat is a 1400m contest with a field of 10 set to go to post for the Benchmark 58 handicap.

Bodhisattva broke through for his first victory when contesting a 1400m maiden on a soft 7 track at Cranbourne earlier this month.

The gelding had placed in the top three in all bar one of his eight starts prior to that success, including when runner-up in a 1200m maiden on a good 4 track at Seymour first up this prep.

The four-year-old tackles steps out of maiden company here and jumping from a wide barrier looks opposable in this contest.

KISS ME NED is the selection in this event, with the filly having ended her last prep with a one-and-a-half-length success in a 1406m maiden at Benalla in January.

The 4.60 pick justified odds-on favouritism on a good 4 track that day and resumed with a fair sixth in a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap at Seymour last month.

The four-year-old was checked at a crucial stage and had to race four wide that day, with the filly ridden closer to the speed when runner-up at Echuca last time.

Trained by Patrick Payne, the daughter of Highland Reel should have no issues with the drop back in distance, having faded late on at Echuca and an inside barrier is a positive in this event.

Akasawa to repeat Cup success

The feature race at Gunnedah, the 1600m Gunnedah Cup, is an open handicap contest with 18 declared for a race expected to take place on a soft 5 surface.

Russley Crown is expected to have his supporters and is a winner already this prep, having scored in a 1400m Class 5 set weights event at Tamworth when racing first up in March.

While the gelding failed to shine in the Country Championships Final at Randwick, subsequently he registered a fair fifth in a Benchmark 84 handicap at Scone last time.

While Mitch Stapleford’s two-kilogram claim is a positive here, last year’s winner AKASAWA is expected to prove hard to beat and is the pick to record a second win in this race.

The 2.30 selection came home four-and-a-half-lengths clear of his rivals in this race 12 months ago and, while unable to win since, he has recorded some creditable efforts in defeat.

Those efforts include a good fourth when beaten just over two lengths in the 2000m Country Classic at Rosehill at the start of December.

The six-year-old was ridden from off the pace from a wide alley when delivering an eye-catching third in the 1400m Tamworth Cup last month on his only subsequent start.

The underfoot conditions expected here are no issue and, while the gelding carries a big weight here, he looks up to delivering the ninth win of his career.

Galactic to star at Sunshine Coast

Stuart Kendrick saddles GALACTIC LEGEND in the finale at Sunshine Coast and his representative looks capable of delivering a victory in the 1200m Class 1 handicap.

The pick broke his maiden when registering a win in a maiden held over 1110m at Doomben in March.

The four-year-old was racing first up that day and was returning to sprintin,  having ended his last prep with a fifth in a 1600m maiden at this track in October.

A good two-length third in an 1100m Class 1 on the polytrack here followed prior to failing to shine when ninth when stepped up to 1400m level here on 25th April.

The 5.50 selection raced on a heavy 8 track when racing from the front in a Benchmark 65 handicap that day and the drop in distance is in his favour.

Cody Colis takes a valuable one-and-a-half-kilograms off the son of Deep Field’s back and he is taken to double his career tally with blinkers applied for the first time.

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