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Australian Racing: Drop in grade perfect for Thelma

There are nine meetings set to take place on Sunday with Hobart providing metro action.

Race 5 Hobart

Thelma @ 2.40

Race 7 Pinjarra

No Apology @ 5.50

Race 5 Sunshine Coast

Highland Son @ 5.50

Thelma for Hobart success

The Class 3 handicap over 1200m at Hobart is set to take place as the fifth race on a seven race card. The expected going is a soft 5 with Verbano likely to have her supporters following a solid fourth when contesting a Benchmark 62 event over 1200m at Launceston last month. 

That effort came on a good 4 track but the daughter of Alpine Eagle handles softer conditions having finished fourth at Morphetville Parks on a soft 7 surface in June last year. 

She is likely to find the grade-dropping Thelma too much with the six-year-old’s prominent racing style a positive in this seven runner event. The selection has placed twice at this level at Launceston this year including when narrowly beaten over 1200m on a good 4 track at that venue in January. 

The five-year-old has shown a liking for this venue in the past including when winning a Benchmark 64 event over 1200m here when racing first up this spell. The soft 5 track should prove no issue having performed well on wet tracks at Launceston in June and July last year. 

Connections saw fit to step the daughter of Helmet up in grade for the 1400m Group 3 Vamo Stakes at Launceston last month and while down the field she was beaten just over two lengths. The drop in grade here is a positive and she can provide Brendon McCoull with a winner.

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Apology for Cup triumph

The $125,000 Capel CC Premiers SW Cup, a Benchmark 81+ contest provides the feature race on the Pinjarra Scarpside card.

A number of the runners here contested the Bunbury Cup over 2100m at Ascot earlier this month with Casino Seventeen finishing third having been sent off the odds-on favourite. The five-year-old had shown good form for the Grant & Alana Williams team prior to that including when winning a couple of Benchmark 72+ contests at Ascot. 

The second of those victories came over the 2200m trip he tackles here but No Apology is preferred to confirm the Bunbury Cup form having placed second that day. 

Trained by Stephen Miller the pick had previously finished one-and-a-half-lengths second in the Detonator Stakes over 1800m at Ascot on 25th February.

While the six-year-old has yet to win in four starts this spell he has placed second on his two most recent outings with all four of those efforts coming under his jockey here Lucy F Fiore. The son of Declaration Of War has a good barrier in four and is selected to deliver a seventh career success.

Son for Sunshine Coast success

The fifth at Sunshine Coast is an interesting 1000m Benchmark 68 contest. With the likes of Win Burn, Lepreezy, Hard Landing and Potent View all likely to want to go forward from the barriers this may well be set up for one ridden with more restraint. 

Highland Son fits the bill in that regard having been ridden from off the pace a number of times in his last spell including when third over 1000m on the polytrack here in May last year. 

The pick finished runner-up in a small field Class 3 event over 1000m here when racing first up last month and stepped up to 1200m when fading at Eagle Farm subsequently. 

The five-year-old was weak in the market for that Eagle Farm contest but boasts a solid record at this venue of three wins, four seconds and two thirds from his nine starts here. James Orman is a positive jockey booking and he is taken to steer Highland Son to victory.

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