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Australian Racing: Iowa to build on promising form

There’s seven meetings set to take place on Wednesday with five of those coming at metro level.

Race 3 Warwick Farm

Iowa @ 7.50

Race 7 Eagle Farm

Liquor @ 4.00

Race 8 Sandown Hillside

Seonee @ 3.60

Iowa for Warwick Farm success

The third at Warwick Farm is an intriguing Benchmark 78 contest with Temple Of Artemis expected to jump as favourite for the 2200m contest.

Irish handler Joseph O’Brien and owner Lloyd Williams have teamed up to win the Melbourne Cup with Rekindling and Twilight Payment in the past and their charge makes his Australian debut here.

The top weight has the services of leading hoop James McDonald on his first start since finishing four-and-a-quarter-lengths seventh over 2600m at Leopardstown last September. The four-year-old has been gelded since that effort and should have no issue with the soft 7 track having won on a wet track in Europe.

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The shorter distance here may prove more of an issue however and fellow import Iowa is preferred on this occasion. The pick showed solid form in his first spell for handler Mark Newnham, building on a couple of promising efforts when winning by nearly four-and-a-half-lengths at Newcastle in October.

That victory came home 2350m and while he disappointed over 2400m at Randwick Kensington later that month he was given a break thereafter. The drop to 1800m proved no issue when the selection delivered a length victory when ridden from mid-division in an 1800m Benchmark 64 event at Hawkesbury earlier this month.

The son of Galileo defied market weakness having drifted in the market that day and with the step up in trip and switch to a wet track no issue he looks up to completing a double.

Liquor to stay unbeaten

The penultimate race on the Eagle Farm card is a 1000m Benchmark 65 handicap for three-year-olds. Grade dropper Allude is expected to have his supporters for the Chris Munce stable having tackled Group 2 and Group 3 company in 2022.

The son of Spirit Of Boom has shown a liking for this track and trip in the past when winning by one-and-a-half-lengths here last April. While outclassed in Group company on her next two starts she was never a factor when tenth over 1300m at this venue when last in action in June last year.

Barrier nine isn’t ideal for the top weight here and with that in mind Liquor is preferred for trainer Tony Gollan. Liquor made the perfect start to her career when delivering a half-length victory under highly promising apprentice Angela Jones over 800m at Ipswich earlier this month.

That victory came on a good 4 surface and it’s of note that the runner-up Bauhinia Rock and the fourth home Artie Pantz have both won subsequently.

The daughter of Spirit Of Boom gets in off a low weight here and while the barrier draw (seven) could have been kinder she is taken to maintain her unbeaten record.

Seonee to score under Lafferty

We head to Sandown Hillside for our third pick of the day with Seonee taking the eye in the finale. The race in question is a 15 runner Benchmark 78 contest with a good 4 track expected for the 1600m contest.

The pick has won over this trip in the past when triumphing at this level on the Lakeside course when encountering a heavy 10 surface in August last year.

The daughter of Winning Rupert was beaten just one-and-a-half-lengths when fifth in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes over 1600m at Moonee Valley subsequently.

The four-year-old appeared to find the trip on the sharp side when a respectable seventh over 1300m at this venue when racing first up this spell. Laura Lafferty on board that day takes three kilograms off here with her mount having won by a narrow margin over 1400m in a Benchmark 78 event on the Lakeside track earlier this month.

Trained by Patrick Payne, the selection has a decent draw in barrier six and looks up to registering a fifth career success.

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