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Australian Racing: Zelgaria going for Grafton glory

There are a number of meetings set to take place on Thursday including at both Grafton and Pakenham.

Race 7 Grafton

Zelgaria @ 4.60

Race 3 Pakenham

Artistica @ 9.00

Race 5 Kyneton

Jayzeal @ 5.50

Zelgaria for Grafton glory

The seventh race of the day at Grafton is a competitive looking 1175m Class 1 handicap contest.

Camp Land has been twice sold cheaply, including for $4,150 at the Inglis April Online Sale in 2022.

That looked a bargain when the gelding made the perfect start to his racing career when saluting by a length on a heavy track maiden contest at Sunshine Coast last month.

The son of Bolt D’Oro raced over 1000m that day and Renita Beaton’s gelding looks sure to have his supporters, as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record.

However, he will have to overcome a wide alley if he is to complete a double and with that in mind, ZELGARIA is preferred despite having to shoulder top weight here.

Brodie Loy’s mount showed good form as a two-year-old last season, including when winning a 1200m metro maiden at Eagle Farm just under a year ago.

The pick has made just three subsequent starts however, including when beaten nearly six lengths in finishing last of eight over 1200m at Doomben in August.

Matthew Dunn’s representative was making his first appearance since a gelding operation that day and he showed up well in barrier trials prior to returning this prep.

The selection raced from mid-division, prior to suffering a two-and-a-half-length defeat when third in a similar race to this over 1106m here on 17th February.

The slight step up in distance here is in Loy’s mount's favour and the pair look capable of recording a victory.

Artistica to break maiden

The third race at Pakenham is one of a number of interesting maiden events on the card.

The race, set to take place over 1000m and restricted to three-year-olds, is expected to take place on a good 4 surface.

The Mark Ashby-trained Core Concept has registered a number of placed efforts to date, finishing runner-up in three of his four starts to date.

The most recent of those saw the colt lose out by less than a length over this distance when racing on a sound surface at Moonee Valley.

While both he and newcomer Fair Game are expected to figure prominently in the market the pick here is ARTISTICA, a chestnut daughter of Trapeze Artist.

The pick contested a Listed event when placing second in the Dequetteville Stakes over 1050m when racing at Morphettville in April last year.

Making just her second start that day, the filly performed well, however she has made just two starts since that effort.

The second of those saw her deliver a length third in an 1100m maiden at Stony Creek when racing first up this spell on 6th February.

The shorter distance here is unlikely to pose issues and, with a good barrier, she is taken to break her maiden racing second up.

Jayzeal for Kyneton success

The fifth of eight races scheduled to take place at Kyneton is a 1900m Benchmark 58 handicap.

A soft 5 surface is expected with JAYZEAL having registered some big efforts this prep.

Those efforts include placings on each of his last two starts, with his jockey here Laura Lafferty on board for both of those efforts.

The pick gets a drop down from metro level racing, having been beaten one-and-a-half-lengths in a 1500m Class 1 contest at Sandown Lakeside last month.

The son of Jayemzed jumped at odds of $31 that day, having previously started at $51 when third of seven in a 1600m Class 1 race at Moonee Valley five days earlier.

The five-year-old has shown up well on wet tracks in the past and, while any drying of the ground would be in his favour, he looks up to registering his second career win.

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