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Australian Racing: Winter Thorn set to cause boilover

There are just the two meetings due to take place on Monday with country meetings at Queanbeyan and Grafton.

Race 2 Grafton

Winter Thorn @ 6.00

Race 3 Grafton

Veloce Venus @ 1.95

Race 6 Queanbeyan

Breakaway Week @ 2.40

Thorn to upset Empire at Grafton

The second at Grafton is an interesting Benchmark 66 contest over 2230m. A good 4 track is forecast with Annabel Neasham saddling likely short-priced favourite I Am The Empire, the mount of Brodie Loy. 

The four-year-old was the winner of his penultimate start, a Class 1 contest over 2140m on a soft 5 surface at Goulburn when sent off an odds-on favourite.

The son of Camelot could finish only fifth when beaten four lengths upped to 2400m for a Benchmark 68 contest at Kembla Grange next time out however. The gelding is better than he showed that day but preference is for last start winner Winter Thorn who triumphed here earlier this month.

The grey was putting a below par seventh in a 2050m Class 1 event at Doomben when trying to make all behind him when winning that course contest.

That victory came at Class 1 level on a heavy 8 track but the gelding has no issues with a sound surface having performed well on good going in the past.

Trainer Kris Lees boasts a 33% strike-rate (7/21) here in the last year and his representative, one of two in the race for the handler can help him improve on that.

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Venus to break maiden

The following race at Grafton is a 1720m maiden plate. A number in this field have plenty of experience with The Redman likely to have his supporters having drawn the rail in this contest.

Trained by Shannon Manwarring the Reset gelding recorded his best effort this spell when beaten one-and-a-half-lengths in a 1415m maiden on a soft 5 track at Coffs Harbour a week ago.

Prior to that the chestnut had jumped at big odds when tenth over 1200m in a maiden here. Both of the three-year-old’s previous placed efforts have come on soft going and he has had plenty of opportunities to get off the mark. With the above in mind fellow youngster Veloce Venus is preferred here.

The son of Pariah made his debut in a 1500m maiden contest on a good 4 surface at Port Macquarie earlier this month. Ridden by Aaron Bullock on that occasion the selection did best of those racing on the speed with only Stellar Style, who was ridden with restraint finishing ahead of him. 

The pick is expected to have improved for that effort and with a good alley in six looks capable of providing handler Paul L Shailer with a winner.

Week to break maiden at Queanbeyan

The penultimate race on Queanbeyan’s card is a 1600m maiden plate. The Keith Dryden-trained Breakaway Week is expected to jump as favourite for the race with a soft 6 surface expected.

The daughter of Dissident has shown a liking for wet tracks in the past placing on soft 5 tracks on each of her last two starts.

The most recent of those came when three lengths third in a 1400m contest at Canberra two weeks ago. While that form has yet to be properly tested she had a subsequent dual winner one place behind her when two lengths second over 1408m at Sapphire Coast prior.

The pick has a good barrier in six here and looks capable of getting off the mark with main rivals Despoina and Red Redemption having to overcome a wide draw and ground concerns respectively.

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