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Australian Racing: Pretty Panda catches the eye at Albury

There are three meetings set to take place on Monday, including at Coffs Harbour where a seven-race card is scheduled.

Race 4 Coffs Harbour

Pixie Hallow @ 6.00

Race 7 Coffs Harbour

Twilight Rock @ 5.50

Race 4 Albury

Pretty Panda @ 3.60

Hallow for Harbour success

The fourth race on the Coffs Harbour card is a competitive looking 1000m Class 3 handicap contest set to take place on a soft 7 track.

Al Ash Lad showed good form in his last spell winning three times, including in a 1200m maiden at Murwillumbah when racing second up.

The five-year-old registered a Class 2 handicap success over 1550m back at Murwillumbah three starts later, while he ended that spell with a metro success at Rosehill.

The gelding won over 1500m at Rosehill and, while he has had a couple of barrier trials in the last month, he is not certain to appreciate this drop back in distance.

The son of Al Maher suffered a defeat on a soft 5 track when third in maiden company at Ballina first up in his last spell and PIXIE HALLOW is preferred on this occasion.

The selection is a regular at this venue with six of his 11 starts coming here, including his two most recent victories.

The second of those victories saw him race from the front prior to coming home two-and-a-half-lengths clear of his rivals in a 1012m Benchmark 58 handicap held on a good 4 track on 29th December.

Prior to that, the four-year-old had lost out by two lengths when placing third in a 1005m Class 2 set weights contest held on a soft 5 track here at the end of the previous month.

While barrier seven is wider than ideal here, he arrives in good form and has run well, albeit without winning from a wide alley here in the past. 

Trainer Jim Jarvis was on the mark with Pretty Shamrock here earlier this month and jockey Noriyuki Masuda can maintain his unbeaten three-from-three record on the selection. 

Rock for glory 

Jockey Mollie Fitzgerald delivered an impressive victory aboard Crowie’s Shout when racing at Glen Innes earlier this month and the pair team up in the Coffs Harbour finale.

The race in question is a 1300m Benchmark 58 handicap, with the four-year-old set to jump from barrier four, having raced close to the pace when winning at Glen Innes.

The gelding won on a good 3 track on that occasion but has shown winning form on wet tracks in the past, scoring at Inverell last July and on a soft 7 surface at Sapphire Coast two months earlier. 

However, likely front-runner TWILIGHT ROCK is preferred here, having been allocated an inside alley for trainer Brett Cavanough.

The four-year-old placed twice in maiden company over 1200m, prior to delivering an impressive six length success in a 1310m maiden on a heavy 8 track at Lismore on his penultimate start.

The gelding followed that effort up with a good third when racing in third early in a 1260m Class 1 handicap at Ballina earlier this month. 

The pick has performed well for jockey Braith Nock in the past, with the rider finishing in the top four on both starts on the son of Fastnet Rock and the pair are selected to deliver a victory here. 

Panda to salute at Albury

The Olivia Osborne-trained PRETTY PANDA takes the eye in the fourth race on the Albury card, with the mare allocated an inside alley for the 1000m Benchmark 58 handicap.

The five-year-old won by a narrow margin when contesting a Benchmark 50 handicap over this distance on a good 4 track at Gundagai at the start of the month. 

The pick was collared late on when ridden by her jockey here Laura Lafferty, with the pair narrowly beaten into second in a Restricted 58 handicap at Wodonga subsequently. 

The front two finished over two-lengths clear of the third home on that occasion and the daughter of Redente looks capable of returning to winning ways with expected underfoot conditions to suit. 

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