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Australian Racing: Pocket for Valley glory

There are 16 meetings set to take place on Saturday including action from Randwick and Moonee Valley.

Race 2 Randwick

Dimaggio @ 8/1

Race 8 Moonee Valley

Corner Pocket @ 4/1

Race 8 Ascot

The Velvet Queen @ 13/10

Dimaggio for Randwick success

The second race on Randwick’s 10-race card is an interesting Benchmark 72 event. A soft 6 surface is expected for the 1600m contest.

John Thompson’s Crafty Eagle is likely to jump as favourite. The three-year-old has won half of his four career starts including over this trip at Gosford.

That Gosford success came in a Class 1 event on a Good 4 track. He has shown he handles wet conditions in the past, placing on a heavy 10 track at Warwick Farm on debut.

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He has a nice racing weight but may well find the Kim Waugh-trained Dimaggio too strong.

The top weight has won twice so far this spell. The latest of those victories came in a 1550m Benchmark 72 event at Canterbury last month.

Successful on a good 4 track that day, the gelding placed third on a heavy 8 track over the same track and trip subsequently.

A draw in eight is no issue given Dimaggio’s tactical versatility. He looks worth another go at this trip given how he’s seen out 1550m of late.

Useful claimer Dylan Gibbons takes the ride and can steer the six-year-old to a sixth career success.

Corner Pocket has too much

Savannah Cloud has encountered a rich vein of form of late. The gelding completed a four-timer when winning a Benchmark 84 event over 1400m at Sandown Hillside.

Phillip Stokes’ charge is expected to have his supporters in the eighth at Moonee Valley. The race in question is a 1600m Benchmark 100 event with a soft 5 track forecast.

The five-year-old has won twice from five starts at this venue. While well drawn here he is stepping up in grade and is expected to find that class dropper Corner Pocket has too much.

The pick has shown a liking for this track in the past winning twice from three starts here. He has a win to his name already this spell when scoring by half-a-length over 1400m at Flemington.

That victory came on a good 3 track but softer going here is no issue.

Claiming rider Thomas Stockdale was in the saddle when the Toronado gelding was placed second at this level at Pakenham first up this spell. That effort came over 1200m at the start of last month.

The selection placed in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes at Flemington last March on his only previous start at this distance.

He has drawn the rail here and looks up to completing a double.

Queen to rule at Ascot

The Velvet Queen lost out by a head in the Group 3 La Trice Classic at Ascot at the start of the month, having been forced to race ride and starting awkwardly over 1800m that day.

Darren McAuliffe’s charge had previously won two of her three starts this spell. The second of those came by a narrow margin in a Benchmark 72+ event over this track and trip.

That triumph came on a good 4 track with similar going expected for this contest.

Regular pilot Chris Parnham is a positive booking having ridden the filly in 14 of her 15 previous starts.

The daughter of Universal Ruler is well drawn in two and is taken to register a victory dropping in grade.

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