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Australian Racing: Missile Leader aiming for Moruya glory

There are eight meetings due to take place on Sunday including at Esperance where it’s Cup Day.

Race 7 Moruya

Missile Leader @ 8.00

Race 7 Esperance

Let’sdeal @ 4.80

Race 1 Pakenham

Aki @ 5.50

Missile to fire

The penultimate race on the Moruya card is a qualifying race for the Country Championships, with the Class 5 1400m due to be run as a set weights contest.

Bandi’s Boy has won two of his last four starts, with both of those victories coming when racing at metro level at Randwick.

The first of those saw him triumph by just under a length in a 1200m Class 3 handicap on a soft 5 track in October.

The four-year-old encountered similar underfoot conditions when saluting in a Benchmark 78 handicap over the same distance in January.

Jay Ford’s mount arrives here on the back of a third in an 1100m Benchmark 78 handicap at Rosehill, however, a wide alley is far from ideal stepping up to 1400m.

MISSILE LEADER is preferred in this event having won two of his four starts since returning from a spell.

The first of his two defeats saw the gelding finish just under three-lengths seventh over 1200m in a Class 3 handicap here in January.

Keith Dryden’s gelding showed improvement next time however, saluting by a narrow margin over 1200m at Wagga prior to a third in a 1500m Class 3 at Rosehill.

The four-year-old scored by two lengths when last in action in a 1600m handicap on a soft 6 track at Canberra on 23rd January and looks up to completing a double.

Deal to defy top weight in Cup

The Esperance Cup is set to take place as the penultimate contest on Esperance’s seven-race card.

A good 4 track is expected for the 2000m Benchmark 72+ handicap event with Clint Johnston-Porter booked to ride Manavendra for Daniel & Ben Pearce.

The gelding is a dual winner this prep having completed a double when successful by a length in a 2200m handicap at Ascot in January.

The four-year-old went on to place third in a Benchmark 66+ handicap over the same track and trip prior to disappointing dropped to this distance at Pinjarra.

Trainer Steve Wolfe boasts a near 19% strike-rate (14/75) with his runners at this venue and his LET’SDEAL is the pick to defy a wide barrier.

The five-year-old was a dual winner in February last year, including in a Benchmark 66+ handicap over 2200m at Ascot.

The gelding registered a number of good efforts at metro level subsequently, including when placing three times at Belmont Park prior to being spelled in September.

The son of Dundeel has made four appearances this prep, winning over 1600m at Ascot three starts back and he arrives here on the back of a second over 1675m at Bunbury.

The step up in distance is in his favour and he is selected to register his seventh career success.

Aki to break maiden

The opener at Pakenham sees the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained AKI line up for his fourth career start.

The three-year-old showed ability when three-lengths fifth over 1620m on a good 4 track at Donald when debuting in September.

A below-par effort over this distance on a soft 6 surface at Ballarat followed and the gelding was spelled after that effort.

The selection shaped as if he was worth another try at this distance when a close second over 1600m in a maiden at Werribee when racing first up last month.

Daniel Moor takes the ride for the first time and his mount is taken to upset likely favourite The Mansman who has placed second in four of his five previous starts.

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