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Australian Racing: Elegant Empress catches the eye at Goulburn

There are just two meetings set to take place on Tuesday with action from both Goulburn and Benalla.

Race 7 Goulburn

Elegant Empress @ 5.50

Race 5 Goulburn

Super Norwest @ 4.60

Race 5 Benalla

Cheval Savant @ 2.50

Empress to rule for Neasham

Goulburn are set to host an eight-race card on a soft 5 track, with the penultimate race on the card a 1000m Benchmark 66 handicap event.

Debello is expected to prove popular with punters for the Gary Portelli team, having been competing in metro races in recent starts.

The gelding delivered a good third when beaten less than a length in a six runner 1000m Benchmark 68 handicap at Warwick Farm in November.

The three-year-old followed that up with a close up fifth when contesting a Benchmark 64 handicap over the same track and trip on 6th December. 

Interference at the start was probably partly to blame for a heavy defeat over 1200m at Randwick when last in action on 26th December, however it’s of note that he jumped at odds of $31 that day.

The easier contest here is a positive, however, top handler Annabel Neasham is double-handed here and ELEGANT EMPRESS is the pick to overcome a wide alley.

The four-year-old broke her maiden by two lengths in a maiden over this trip on a good 4 track at Gosford in March last year and has since proven that she handles softer surfaces.

The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor performed well when narrowly beaten in a 1000m Benchmark 58 handicap on a heavy 8 track at Queanbeyan when racing first up this spell.

The filly tried to make all that day and duly went one better when ridden with more restraint in a 1000m Class 2 handicap at Muswellbrook earlier this month. 

Jockey Angus Villiers' one-and-a-half-kilogram claim is helpful here and he can help Annabel Neasham improve on her 45% strike-rate (5/11) in handicap sprints here in the last 12 months. 

Super for success

Earlier on the Goulburn card, the fifth race of the day is a competitive looking Class 1 handicap with the Peter & Paul Snowden team set to saddle Full Revolution.

The daughter of Russian Revolution showed ability in her first spell racing, including when runner-up at Hawkesbury on debut in June last year.

However, she has shaped like an improved performer this time around, following up a second over 1100m at Gosford with a narrow win over the same track and trip on 12th January.

The three-year-old steps out of maiden company here however and SUPER NORWEST is preferred in this contest.

The selection broke her maiden in a 1010m maiden at Moruya in June last year and she registered a couple of good efforts subsequently that spell, including when fifth in a 900m Class 1 handicap here in August.

The filly made her first start this spell when two-and-a-half-lengths fourth in a 1010m Benchmark 58 handicap held on a soft 5 track at Orange last month.

Trainer Matthew Dale has his string in great form at present, with six winners from his 17 runners so far in 2024 and his representative can add to that tally form barrier five. 

Savant to salute

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace partnership ended with winners over the weekend and Maher looks up to continuing his good run of form with a winner in the fifth at Benalla.

The trainer saddles CHEVAL SAVANT in the 2100m Benchmark 64 handicap, with his representative having recorded his second career win when saluting at Canberra earlier this month.

The selection won by a narrow margin, having raced close to the pace in a 2000m set weights contest held on a good 4 track on that occasion.

The four-year-old appeared to appreciate the drop back from metro racing, having finished a well held fifth in a Benchmark 64 handicap over 2200m on a heavy 9 track at Warwick Farm prior.

Ethan Brown is a positive jockey booking and he looks capable of steering the pick to victory.

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