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Australian Racing: Sandy Prince can rule at Morphettville

There’s plenty of Group 3 action on Saturday including three races at Rosehill.

Race 4 Rosehill

Hard To Say @ 4.40

Race 8 Caulfield

A Little Deep @ 5.00

Race 6 Morphettville

Sandy Prince @ 3.80

Hard for Southern Cross glory

The fourth race on the Rosehill card, the Southern Cross Stakes is the second of the Group 3 events with Annabel Neasham’s Lady Laguna expected to jump as favourite for the 1200m contest.

The four-year-old showed good form in her last spell including when placing third in the Group 2 Arrowfield 3yo Sprint held on a heavy 8 track at Randwick in April.

The drop in grade has seen her return to the winners’ enclosure this time around, registering victories in both starts since resuming with a second in an 1100m Benchmark 88 handicap at Randwick in December.

The second of those victories saw her triumph by a length under her rider here James McDonald in the $1,000,000 Magic Millions Fillies & Mares over 1300m at Gold Coast last month.

However, with an inside barrier, HARD TO SAY is preferred for the in-form Jason Deamer stable on this occasion.

The pick completed a hat-trick when taking out a 1000m Class 6 handicap at Eagle Farm when racing on a good 4 track in September.

The four-year-old was freshened following that effort and had no issue racing at Benchmark 100 level when delivering a length success in an 11 runner handicap at Randwick in November.

While the son of Exceed And Excel failed to complete a five-timer when four lengths fifth in a valuable contest at Gold Coast last month, he performed respectably in finishing fifth that day.

Dylan Gibbons’ mount showed up well in a barrier trial held on a heavy 8 track at Beaumont early last month and the soft 5 track expected here shouldn’t pose too many issues. 

Maher filly for first Group race success

The eighth race on the Caulfield card is the 1200m Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes for fillies and mares.

A good 4 track is expected with Wrote To Arataki likely to have her supporters, as she drops in grade for this contest.

The five-year-old was a winner in Group 2 company when taking out the 1400m Sharp EIT Tristarc Stakes at this venue on her penultimate start.

The mare made all the running on that occasion but was ridden with more restraint when seventh in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over the same track and trip here subsequently.

Trainer Matthew Williams spelled his mare following that Sir Rupert Clarke effort in November and, while she has run well over this track and trip in the past, her best form has come over further. 

Ciaron Maher sends out A LITTLE DEEP, the joint least-experienced runner in the field, with just six starts to her name and she is the selection to deliver her fourth career win.

John Allen’s mount has won twice this spell including when taking out a 1000m Benchmark 70 handicap on a good 4 track at Moonee Valley at the end of December. 

The daughter of Deep Field went on to lose out narrowly when racing in an 1100m Benchmark 78 handicap down the straight at Flemington when last in action on 20th January.

The selection remains open to improvement stepping up to 1200m for the first time while she has a good barrier in three. 

Prince to rule

Morphettville are set to hold an eight-race card with the sixth race of the day a 1400m Benchmark 76 handicap.

SANDY PRINCE showed good form when a close second in the 1300m Programmed Ararat Bowl held on a good 3 track at Ararat in November.

The five-year-old raced from the front that day but was unable to employ front running tactics when racing wide and returning with a heart issue at Moonee Valley subsequently. 

Trained by Ben, JD & Will Hayes, the gelding has been freshened since that Moonee Valley disappointment and, having run well in a higher grade here in the past, he looks up to defying top weight.

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