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Australian Racing: Planet can Cash in at Ascot

There are eight meetings due to take place on Sunday including a metro fixture from Ascot and the Group 3 Black Opal at Canberra.

Race 8 Canberra

The Years @ 4.00

Race 9 Ascot

Planet Cash @ 11.00

Race 3 Sunshine Coast

Jetpack Verdi @ 3.00

Years to take Black Opal

The previously mentioned Group 3 Black Opal over 1200m is set to see a field of 14 go to post following the scratchings of Gustosisimo, Limburg and Empress Of Wonder.

A soft 5 surface is forecast for the contest with the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott trained newcomer Autumn Ballet expected to start as favourite.

The daughter of The Autumn Sun was a $340,000 purchase as a yearling last Easter and has shown up well in her two trial efforts to date.

The second of those saw the filly draw well clear of her rivals under big race hoop Tim Clark and she rates a worthy favourite in this field.

Stablemate THE YEARS (4.00) may have too much for her however with the colt boasting solid race experience having made two starts to date.

Beaten less than two lengths when fourth over this course and distance on a soft 5 track here on debut, he showed improved form to win impressively at Kembla Grange last time.

That Kembla Grange effort came over 1300m, when a change of tactics to racing from the front saw the colt show good speed and put the race to bed in impressive fashion.

Shaped as if he could be competitive at a much higher level that day he is taken to deliver a first Group race success here.

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Cash to complete Ascot double

The penultimate contest on Ascot’s ten-race card is the J.C. Roberts Stakes over 1800m and it is set to take place on a good 4 track, with 17 runners declared for the $150,000 contest.

PLANET CASH (11.00) has won two of his four starts this spell with both of those victories coming under his jockey here Lucy Warwick.

The son of Dash For Cash showed solid form when beaten two lengths into fourth in the 1400m Greenfields Breeders’ Classic on a good 4 surface at Pinjarra Scarpside on her penultimate start.

Shaped as if a step up in trip would suit and that was again the case when delivering a narrow victory in a Benchmark 66+ contest over the same trip here on February 11.

He defied market weakness that day having drifted and while he has a wide barrier to contend with, that shouldn’t be an issue given the geldings running style.

Verdi to break maiden

The third at Sunshine Coast is an 1800m maiden contest with Mister Hemsworth expected to prove popular with punters.

Trained by Annabel Neasham the import showed solid form in his first three starts since making the switch placing in maiden contests on each occasion.

The third of those came when runner-up in a 1600m contest at Gosford at the start of last month. That effort was followed by a below par run when down the field at Newcastle nine days later.

Freshened since that effort he is expected to performer better here, but in JETPACK VERDI (3.00) faces stiff opposition.

Our pick has placed third on each of his two previous starts, including when staying on nicely over 1400m on a good 4 track at Eagle Farm last month.

Dropping to provincial level is a positive for his chances here and with the step up in distance expected to suit, he is taken to get off the mark at the third attempt.

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