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Australian Racing: Just Fine can cause Randwick upset

There’s Group 1 action at both Randwick and Flemington on a great day of racing on Saturday.

Race 7 Randwick

Just Fine @ 8.00

Race 8 Randwick

Kimochi @ 6.50

Race 8 Flemington

Veight @ 6.00

Fine to surprise in Verry Ellegant

The first of the three Group 1 races set to take place is the seventh race on the Randwick card, the 1600m Verry Elleegant Stakes.

Fangirl has impressed in similar races to this in the last 12 months, winning both the Winx Stakes in August and the King Charles III Stakes in October over this track and trip.

Both of those triumphs came at the top level while she resumed with an impressive two-and-a-half-length success in the 1400m Group 2 Apollo Stakes here last month.

However, she is expected to jump at short odds for the Chris Waller team and, while she rates a worthy favourite, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott’s JUST FINE may surprise.

The gelding registered some solid efforts in the UK and was the winner of his first three starts since switching hemispheres, with all three of those wins coming here.

The six-year-old has been racing over further since taking a course and distance Benchmark 94 handicap on his first start since making the switch.

The son of Sea The Stars raced off a light weight when triumphing in the Group 1 James Squire Metropolitan over 2400m here in September.

While the pick disappointed in the Might And Power when racing at weight-for-age weights at Caulfield subsequently, he has been spelled since that effort.

Regan Bayliss’ mount arrives here on the back of a couple of trials at Warwick Farm and he is selected to deliver a first up success dropping back in distance.

Kimochi for Group 1 success

The following race on the card is the Group 1 Surround Stakes over 1400m for three-year-old fillies.

Learning To Fly is expected to jump as favourite having returned to action with a close second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes over 1200m at this track last month.

Annabel Neasham’s filly raced on a soft 5 track that day having impressed in a couple of barrier trials at Warwick Farm in January.

The daughter of Justify had shown good form at three going unbeaten in three starts prior to unseating in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill just under a year ago.

The step up in distance here looks likely to suit, however, she has to reverse form with KIMOCHI if she is to take this contest.

The winner of the previously mentioned Light Fingers Stakes, the pick showed good form at the top level earlier this season placing second twice in Group 1 contests.

Those second-place finishes included a one-and-a-half-length defeat in the Thousand Guineas over 1600m at Caulfield in November.

The selection was spelled following that effort and is expected to appreciate the step back up in distance she gets here.

Jason Collett’s mount has a decent barrier in seven here and she is selected to provide trainer Gary Portelli with a winner at the highest level.

Veight for Guineas glory

The Group 1 action at Flemington comes in the shape of the Australian Guineas over 1600m.

VEIGHT takes the eye here having demonstrated good form earlier this season including when runner-up in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas Prelude over this trip in October.

The drop back to 1200m saw the selection deliver a solid fifth place finish when beaten just over two-and-a-half-lengths in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud stakes here next time.

The colt, a first up winner at Group 2 level this prep, failed to complete a double when fourth at Caulfield last month; however that effort came in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes.

The pick raced against older rivals over 1400m that day and acquitted himself well in finishing fourth, beaten under one-and-a-half-lengths on a good 3 track.

Regular rider Damian Lane is again in the saddle here and he looks capable of steering the colt to victory on his return to 1600m.

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