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Australian Racing: Pretty Amazing choice at Hawkesbury

There is metro action from both Hawkesbury and Ipswich among five meetings set to take place on Wednesday.

Race 5 Hawkesbury

Pretty Amazing @ 3.80

Race 1 Ipswich

Count On Me @ 3.20

Race 4 Ballarat

Brung King @ 4.20

Pretty to amaze at Hawkesbury

Crack Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira teams up with Chris Waller in the fifth at Hawkesbury. The race in question is a 1600m Benchmark 72 contest with a heavy 9 track expected. 

Moreira is set to partner Pungo from barrier three in what looks a competitive contest, with the three-year-old having performed well when winning at this Benchmark 72 level on his penultimate start. 

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That victory came by a narrow margin in a 1250m contest at Canterbury when racing first-up back in February. The son of So You Think subsequently delivered a good third-place finish when upped to 1400m for a Benchmark 78 event on a soft 6 track at Warwick Farm last month. 

The gelding delivered a good third-place finish that day but stablemate Pretty Amazing is preferred on this occasion. The four-year-old filly was victorious in Group 3 company in the Kembla Grange Classic over 1600m on a heavy 9 track at Goulburn just over a year ago.

While the American Pharoah filly has failed to score in five subsequent attempts, she did deliver a strong half-length second in a 1550m Benchmark 78 event at Randwick's Kensington track first-up this spell. 

The selection has won second-up in the past and, with the switch to a forecast heavy track in her favour, she is taken to deliver a first victory of 2023.

Count to score for Neasham

Trainer Annabel Neasham boasts an impressive 34% strike-rate (14/41) at Ipswich in the last year and she saddles Count On Me in the opening race of the day.

The 1710m Benchmark 65 handicap has attracted a field of six, with Count On Me having shown good form in recent starts. 

Last of 14 over 2000m at Kembla Grange back in January, the pick has finished in the first two over shorter distances on each of his last two starts.

The first of those came when scoring by a length in a 1526m Class 1 handicap held on a heavy 9 track at Lismore on 24th February. The Reliable Man gelding duly followed that up with a good third-place finish at a Benchmark 65 event over 1600m at Sunshine Coast last month.

Freshened since that effort, he has a good barrier in four here and looks capable of saluting under Ben E Thompson.

King to rule at Ballarat

The 1400m maiden plate, which is the fourth race on the Ballarat card, plays host to our third and final bet of the day. The selection here comes in the shape of the twice raced Brung King for trainer Henry Dwyer.

The three-year-old was narrowly beaten when making his debut in a 1447m maiden on a soft 6 surface at Geelong at the end of September.

The form of that race looks decent enough, with a number of those in behind winning since, including dual scorers High Approach and Speakeasy. 

The son of Crackerjack King jumped at big odds on that occasion and subsequently went on to place third in a smaller field event over 1500m on the synthetic track here in mid-October.

Off the track since that effort, the Crackerjack King gelding is expected to have improved for the break and, with a good barrier in five, looks capable of registering a first victory at the third time of asking.

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