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Australian Racing: Budgerigar set for Belmont score

There are four meetings set to take place on Sunday including at Belmont Park, Ipswich and Tamworth, with picks below for all three tracks. 

Race 7 Belmont Park

Budgerigar @ 4.00

Race 8 Ipswich

French Step @ 8.00

Race 5 Tamworth

A Shooting Duck @ 5.00

Budgerigar to complete hat-trick

The concluding race on the Belmont Park card is a 1400m handicap event. Neville Parnham sends out Vitalize here with the mare, who is set to jump from next to the rail, expected to start favourite.

The five-year-old returned to action with a two length seventh in a 1200m Benchmark 66+ handicap event at Ascot just under a month ago.

The mare followed that up with a fifth in a 1400m contest at Pinjarra Scarpside with both of those efforts coming on a good 4 track.

The switch to a wet track is no issue here, however the in-form BUDGERIGAR is preferred with promising apprentice Luke Campbell taking two kilograms off.

The pick is the winner of three of his five starts this spell with his two most recent triumphs coming over 1413m at Geraldton.

The second of those victories saw him triumph by a length in a Benchmark 70+ handicap on a good 4 track there just over two weeks ago.

Trained by Daniel and Ben Pearce, the selection has performed well at metro level in the past including when runner-up at Ascot three starts back and looks up to taking this event.

Step for Ipswich success

The penultimate race on the card at Ipswich is an eye-catching 1350m Class 1 set weights contest.

Jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester boasts a 38% strike-rate (11/29) with his rides in the last 30 days and his mount Jukebox In Siberia is expected to have her supporters.

The three-year-old broke her maiden when contesting a 1200m maiden at Doomben at the end of August.

The filly was making her first start since that effort when delivering a three length fourth in a Benchmark 62 handicap over the same trip at Gold Coast just over two weeks ago.

While the Annabel Neasham-trained filly raced close to the speed for her maiden success she was ridden with more restraint last time out and looks a versatile type tactics wise.

The youngster has been allocated a wide barrier here and with that in mind she looks opposable in this contest.

In contrast, FRENCH STEP will jump from next to the rail having been allocated barrier one for this event.

The four-year-old delivered a half-length victory in an 1800m maiden at Sunshine Coast in June and has since acquitted herself well - including when fourth over 1690m here.

That latest effort saw her beaten one-and-a-half-lengths in a 1690m Class 2 handicap held on a soft 5 track in early August.

The selection has performed well over this shorter distance in the past including when placed in a maiden on a heavy 10 track here back in May.

The filly has had had a couple of barrier trials at Doomben and those efforts should have put Kyle Wilson-Taylor’s mount spot on for her return to action.

Duck to remain unbeaten 

Tamworth are set to stage a seven race card with A SHOOTING DUCK taking the eye in the fifth race of the day, a 1000m Benchmark 74 handicap.

The filly is unbeaten in two starts to date having followed up a maiden win at Muswellbrook with a length success in a 1200m Class 1 at Scone in July.

The selection raced on a good 4 track at Scone however softer going here is no issue having raced on a soft 5 surface at Muswellbrook.

Trainer Cody Morgan boasts an impressive 26% strike-rate (30/115) with his sprinters here in the last 12 months and the pick can help him improve on that with a win here.

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