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Australian Racing: Arizona Activist can make Sale statement

There are four meetings set to take place on Thursday, including at Kembla Grange where an eight-race card is scheduled.

Race 6 Kembla Grange

Headstock @ 5.50

Race 8 Sale

Arizona Activist @ 4.40

Race 5 Mackay

I Eff Oh @ 6.00

Headstock to score at Kembla Grange

The sixth race of the day at Kembla Grange is a 1200m Benchmark 68 handicap set to take place on a heavy 9 surface.

World Alliance is expected to start a short-priced favourite for the Matthew Smith team having resumed with a victory at Hawkesbury last month.

The four-year-old came home nearly a length clear of his nine rivals when contesting an 1100m Benchmark 64 handicap on a soft 6 surface that day.

While the son of Rubick has performed well on wet tracks in the past, barrier eight isn’t ideal for his first start on the forecast heavy going.

HEADSTOCK is preferred on this occasion, having registered a good fourth over 1300m at this venue on his penultimate start.

The pick, set to jump from barrier three here, was beaten less than a length when contesting a Benchmark 64 handicap on a soft 5 track that day.

Robert & Luke Price’s representative performed better than the result suggests, when racing wide throughout prior to finishing ninth here subsequently.

The gelding was beaten less than two lengths over 1300m in that event and he should have no issues dropping back to 1200m.

The son of Headwater placed on a heavy 9 track at Goulburn in October 2022 and is taken to provide jockey Zac Lloyd with a winner in this contest.

Activist for Sale success

The Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Guarded Optimist is expected to prove popular with punters in the penultimate race at Sale.

This race in question is a 1415m Benchmark 64 handicap set to take place on a soft 6 track.

The three-year-old registered a debut win when contesting a 1300m maiden on a soft 5 track at Wangaratta last month.

Guarded Optimist won by a narrow margin when racing from behind the speed having jumped from an inside alley on that occasion.

However, Beau Mertens mount has been allocated a wide barrier in this contest and it can pay to look beyond the son of Almanzor for the winner.

ARIZONA ACTIVIST has finished in the first four in all four starts this prep and he is the selection in this event.

The pick resumed with a one-and-a-half-length victory in a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap held on a good 3 track here in April.

While the youngster was beaten three-and-a-half-lengths when fourth next time, it’s of note that he raced in a metro Benchmark 64 handicap at Sandown that day.

The Written Tycoon gelding raced on the Hillside track that day and subsequently delivered a length third over 1400m on Sandown’s Lakeside course.

Trained by Ben, JD & Will Hayes, the selection contested a Benchmark 64 handicap that day.

Arizona Activist bounded on jumping when beaten eight-and-a-half-lengths into fourth on the synthetic track at Ballarat on 25th June subsequently however.

Daniel Stackhouse is a positive jockey booking here and his mount looks capable of defying a wide barrier to salute for the second time in 2024.

Oh to triumph at Mackay

The fifth race at Mackay is a 1300m Class 2 handicap expected to be held on a soft 5 track.

Steven Royes is set to saddle I EFF OH in this contest with the gelding having won twice at Townsville earlier this prep.

The first of those Townsville victories saw the pick triumph by two lengths in a 1000m maiden in April.

The three-year-old duly followed up when successful by a head in a 1200m Benchmark 55 handicap held on a soft 5 track the following month.

I Eff Oh tackled a tougher contest when delivering a solid third back over 1000m on 25th May.

The extra distance the gelding tackles here should prove no issue and he is taken to return to winning ways.

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