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  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Castile can overcome Cairns rivals

There are four meetings set to take place on Friday, with a nine-race card at Tuncurry the most valuable fixture of the day.

Race 9 Tuncurry 

Elleves @ 4.40

Race 4 Cairns

Castile @ 3.80

Race 4 Goulburn

Snap Book @ 2.80

Elleves for hat-trick success 

The finale at Tuncurry is an interesting Benchmark 66 handicap due to take place over 1200m on a good 4 track.

Powderfinger performed well when delivering her first victory in over a year in saluting by half-a-length in a 1200m Class 2 handicap at Warren in July.

Victorious on a soft 6 track on that occasion the filly has been racing in stronger contests since including when tackling a Class 2 metro event at Rosehill last time.

Outclassed on that occasion she should appreciate the easier contest here, however, the in-form ELLEVES is preferred in this event.

Trainer Kris Lees boasts an impressive 33% strike-rate (9/27) at this venue in the last 12 months and his representative comes here seeking a hat-trick of victories.

The pick triumphed by a narrow margin when taking out a 1400m Class 1 handicap at Tamworth on his penultimate outing, while he duly followed up at Scone last month.

That Scone success came on a soft 6 track in a 1300m Benchmark 58 handicap and, while he tackles a tougher contest here, he has a good barrier four from the rail.

The drop back to 1200m here should prove no issue for the gelding, given he has shown solid form at this distance in the past, including when placed in a Class 1 at Canberra in February.

Jockey Aaron Bullock, on board for the selection’s two most recent outings, is again booked to ride here and the pair are taken to complete a hat-trick to improve Lees’ record here.   

Castile for Cairns success 

Sillman is expected to prove popular with punters ahead of the fourth race on the Cairns card.

The race in question is a 1400m Class 3 handicap set to take place on a good 4 surface.

The mare has finished runner-up in four of her six starts so far this time around and put a couple of unplaced finishes behind her when runner-up over 1500m here on 19th August.

The five-year-old was racing in a Benchmark 70 handicap on that occasion and is expected to appreciate the switch to this grade dropping slightly in distance.

All four of the mare’s four second-place finishes this spell have come here and, while she rates highly, she is expected to find at least one too good. 

Ryan Wiggins partners top-weight CASTILE who is taken to get the better of Sillman in this event.

The pick has failed to score since winning a small field 1609m handicap at Townsville in March but has registered a number of good efforts since then.

The gelding’s near four-length fifth over 1460m in a Home Hill Class 3 handicap at the end of last month was arguably his worst of 2023 so far. 

Barrier nine shouldn’t pose any problems for the son of Lonhro who is usually held up in his races and he looks capable of getting trainer Matthew McGuire off the cold list. 

Book to score at Goulburn 

The fourth race on the Goulburn card takes the eye for our third selection of the day with SNAP BOOK having shown up well in a much stronger race last time out.

The five-year-old gelding contested a Class 2 1400m metro handicap at Rosehill when beaten less than two-and-a-half-lengths into fifth last month.

The gelding caught the eye when staying on well from off the pace that day and the step back up in distance here is expected to suit.

Nick Heywood, on board for the gelding’s penultimate start, is reunited with the son of Fighting Son here and the pair are taken to deliver a victory racing from off the pace. 

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