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Australian Racing: Jokers Grin to put smiles on faces at Belmont

There are five meetings set to take place on Wednesday including at Warwick Farm where an eight-race card is scheduled.

Race 7 Warwick Farm

Estadio Mestalla @ 5.00

Race 8 Sale

General Firepower @ 3.50

Race 2 Belmont

Jokers Grin @ 2.00

Estadio Mestalla for victory

The feature race on the Warwick Farm schedule is the penultimate contest, a listed event over 1400m.

James Cummings’ Tamerlane won at this level when saluting in the Paris Lane Stakes at Flemington earlier this season and he is expected to jump as favourite.

The gelding subsequently finished a good fourth in The Damien Oliver, a Group 2 1400m contest held on a good 4 surface at the same venue the following month.

The six-year-old tried to make all that day and has won at Doomben and placed at Randwick since.

However the son of Golden Horn failed to shine when ninth over 1300m in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes at Scone first up this prep and improvement is required.

ESTADIO MESTALLA is preferred on this occasion, with the gelding having delivered three good efforts since winning at Benchmark 88 level in February.

That February success came over 1500m on a good 3 track at Rosehill and he went on to place second over 1600m at Randwick on his next start.

The selection has since proved that he can compete at this level when a close fourth in the 1200m Listed Takeover Target Stakes on a heavy 9 track at Newcastle last month.

Joe Pride’s representative gets in off a nice racing weight, having finished strongly when fourth in a 1300m Benchmark 94 handicap at Randwick earlier this month.

Tyler Schiller, on board last time, is again set to ride and he can steer the five-year-old to victory.

General Firepower to salute at Sale

The eighth race at Sale is a 1400m Benchmark 70 handicap set to take place on a soft 6 surface.

Clayton Douglas sends out Gronkowski, the mount of Thomas Stockdale in this contest.

The four-year-old showed a liking for the forecast soft 6 track when saluting by over three lengths at Warrnambool on his penultimate start.

Gronkowski, the son of Starcraft, raced prominently when contesting a Benchmark 64 handicap that day and performed well when runner-up on the Lakeside track at Sandown subsequently.

The gelding often races close to or just behind the speed with GENERAL FIREPOWER, a confirmed frontrunner the preferred here.

The gelding has won two of his four starts since returning from a spell, with the first of those coming in a 1200m Benchmark 64 handicap at Pakenham first up.

While the five-year-old failed to shine when down the field at Cranbourne subsequently, he has shown good form in two outings since.

Both of those efforts have come over this distance, including when making all to deliver an impressive four-and-a-half-length victory at Sandown on 5th June.

The selection contested a Benchmark 70 handicap on a good 4 track that day and the softer going expected here is no issue.

Apprentice Tayla Childs takes the ride for the first time and jumping from an inside alley her mount is taken to make all the running.

Jokers Grin for Belmont success

Belmont Park are set to stage a nine-race card with the second race a competitive three-old sprint handicap.

Bernie Miller’s JOKERS GRIN had a couple of barrier trials at Lark Hill prior to making his racecourse debut.

The second of those trials saw him come home over four lengths clear of his rivals in a 950m contest last month.

While the gelding could finish only fourth on debut he was keen and had to race wide throughout in a 1200m maiden at this circuit.

The selection broke his maiden at the second attempt when finishing strongly to deliver a three length victory over 1000m at Northam on 13th June.

Patrick Carbery’s mount raced on a soft 5 track at Northam and, with similar underfoot conditions expected, he looks capable of completing a double.

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