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Australian Racing: Xanthus to return to winning ways

We’ve three meetings to look at today with Townsville staging provincial racing and two country fixtures at Scone and Terang.

Race 6 Townsville

Xanthus @ 4/1

Race 5 Terang

Dance Of Thunder @ 6/1

Race 7 Scone

Summer In Siam @ 4/1

Xanthus to triumph at Townsville

Siren Rock is expected to have his supporters in the sixth at Townsville, the Magic Millions Country Cup Qualifier Handicap. 

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The race, over 1200m has attracted a field 14 with a soft 5 track forecast. Georgina Bourke’s charge has shown good form here of late winning two of his last five starts. Most recent victory came by nearly three-and-a-half-lengths over 1609m on a good 4 track here a month ago.

Previously placed second when beaten half-a-length in a handicap over 1400m in similar conditions here. Yet to win over 1200m however and is opposable despite his strong track record.

Xanthus won his first two starts at Benchmark 70 level this spell. Second of those came when making all to win by one-and-a-half-lengths in a Benchmark 70 event over 1050m.

Doesn’t have to lead however as he showed when a close second over 1100m in a Mackay Class 6 event earlier this month. Raced in third early that day and similar tactics are expected from a wide draw.

Extra distance here is no issue having won four times at 1200m in the past while the pick has won on soft in the past. Handler Jared Wehlow and jockey Ryan Wiggins 22% strike-rate (11/49) when teaming up is a further positive.

Thunder for Terang glory

Tifosi for the Anthony and Sam Freedman team is expected to jump as favourite for the fifth at Terang. The race, a 1200m Benchmark 58 event has attracted a field of 11 including the three-year-old.

Tifosi debuted with a maiden win over 1100m on a soft 5 track at Wodonga in July. Below par last of nine on a heavy 9 at Sandown Hillside subsequently however.

Gets an easier event here with a good draw in four a positive. Dean Holland, on board for both previous starts is up but he may find Dance Of Thunder too good with the latter drawing the rail. Jarrod Fry’s mount won over 1400m in a Restricted 58 contest at Mildura in July.

Failed to score in two subsequent starts last spell including when sixth over 1400m at Morphetville Parks. Spelled subsequently he returned with a fair ninth over 1100m at Warrnambool just under two weeks ago.

Never involved having raced in tenth in an 11 runner field that day he is expected to strip fitter for the run. The booking of Jarrod Fry, third on the pick at Donald in August is a positive.

Dropping down from a Benchmark 64 event the Night Of Thunder gelding looks up to doubling his career tally.

Summer to score at Scone

The finale at Scone is an interesting 1400m Class 1 handicap. A good 4 track is forecast with trainer Annabel Neasham double-handed.

Top weight I Am The Empire disappointed when last of six over 2000m at Kembla Grange in July. That effort came at Benchmark 64 level having pulled hard. Should get more cover here which will help but preference is for stablemate Summer In Siam.

The pick made the perfect start to his career winning by half-a-length in a Kembla Grange maiden. Successful over 1200m on a soft 6 track that day he came home fifth over the same trip at Gosford subsequently.

That Gosford effort came in a Class 1 and with improvement expected he looks up to scoring with Alysha Collett up.

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