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Australian Racing: Deep Rouge can show true colours at Canterbury

There’s plenty of racing action set to take place on Wednesday, including at Sandown where they are set to race on the Hillside course.

Race 5 Sandown

Hazel Baby @ 5.00

Race 6 Canterbury

Deep Rouge @ 8.00

Race 9 Eagle Farm

Fun Sponge @ 11.00

Hazel Baby to record victory at Sandown

The fifth race on the previously mentioned Sandown card is a 1300m Benchmark 70 handicap.

A soft 6 track is expected for the race restricted to fillies & mares with Corner Off set to have her supporters following two placed efforts this prep.

The first of those starts saw her beaten less than a length when third in an 1125m Benchmark 64 handicap on a heavy 8 track at Geelong in May.

The step up to Benchmark 70 level saw her lose out by half-a-length when switched to the synthetic track at Ballarat for a race over 1200m on 18th June.

However, this looks a tougher contest and Archie Alexander’s filly looks opposable in this race.

Ciaron Maher’s HAZEL BABY is the selection in this contest with the pick unbeaten in two starts over this distance.

Both of those efforts over the trip came at this venue including on a soft 7 track when contesting a Benchmark 78 handicap in June last year.

The selection has won twice since, including on her first two starts last prep with both of those triumphs coming at metro level.

The filly registered a narrow victory in a Benchmark 64 handicap over this track and trip in February, however, she failed to score in two subsequent starts.

Jaylah Kennedy’s ended her last prep with an eighth at Caulfield in April and is likely to have benefited from the break.

The daughter of Toronado has a decent barrier in seven here and is taken to return with a win.

Deep Rouge to score at Canterbury

A seven-race card is set to take place at Canterbury with the penultimate contest an 1100m Benchmark 72 handicap event.

Sara Ryan’s Chief Conductor is expected to start favourite for the race having demonstrated a liking for the track and trip earlier this season.

The five-year-old won a course and distance Benchmark 78 handicap in November and he has had just three subsequent starts.

Those three starts include a fifth when racing over 1000m in a similar contest held on a heavy 9 surface at Randwick on 8th June.

The gelding caught the eye in finishing strongly having raced from off the pace and improvement is expected second up.

DEEP ROUGE is preferred for the Wayne Brown team on this occasion, having shown good form in three starts in 2024.

The drop down from Listed company appeared to suit when finishing just over half-a-length third in a Benchmark 82 handicap at Muswellbrook in April.

The mare was racing first up that day and she had issues at the start prior to finishing third over 900m at Newcastle the following month.

The selection raced on heavy surfaces in both of those starts and he returned to winning ways at Dubbo on 25th May.

The six-year-old won by a narrow margin when racing over 1200m on a good 4 track that day and the shorter distance here is no issue.

Apprentice Olivia Chambers takes a valuable three kilograms off the pick’s back and they look capable of upsetting the favourite jumping from an inside barrier.

Fun Sponge to complete double

The finale at Eagle Farm is a 1600m Benchmark 70 handicap set to take place on a good 4 surface.

FUN SPONGE takes the eye here having registered top three finishes in five of his six starts this prep.

Those efforts include a good one-and-a-half-length second in a 1400m Benchmark 62 handicap at Dalby early last month.

Mark Currie’s gelding went one better when ridden from the front in a 1300m Benchmark 70 handicap at Toowoomba subsequently.

Tahlia Fenlon, on board at Toowoomba, is again set to ride with her mount having performed well when placing at this venue in the past.

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