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Australian Racing: China Grove looks sharp at Tamworth

There are four meetings set to take place on Wednesday with wet tracks expected at all four venues.

Race 5 Tamworth

China Grove @ 6.00

Race 7 Albury

Karaka Lad @ 6.00

Race 3 Bendigo

Cantolago @ 2.60

Grove ready to double up

The fifth race at Tamworth is an interesting 1400m Benchmark 58 handicap contest.

Trainer Melissa Dennett sends out Lord Of The Sun here, with the gelding expected to jump as favourite having performed well on two of his three starts this spell.

The five-year-old returned with a near two length victory on a firm 2 track over 1100m at Armidale at the end of September.

The son of American Pharoah raced in a Class 1 handicap that day and delivered his best effort in two subsequent starts when fifth over 1200m on a soft 5 track at Moree at the start of this month.

Aaron Bullock’s mount trialled in impressive fashion at Scone recently, but another option is preferred on this occasion.

The selection here is top weight CHINA GROVE, who has shown good form in winning three times from seven starts this spell.

The gelding’s first two victories this time around came at Armidale, with two placed efforts at the same venue following, including when third of six over 1300m in a Benchmark 66 contest there.

The 6.00 seven-year-old again raced at Benchmark 66 level when racing from the front prior to delivering a narrow victory in a 1600m handicap at Quirindi earlier this month.

Robert Knight’s representative is reunited with regular jockey Cassey Williams here, with the rider having been absent for the Quirindi success last time out.

China Grove has an inside alley here and looks capable of recording a victory dropping back in distance.

Lad to salute at Albury

The finale at Albury is a competitive looking 1175m Benchmark 66 handicap contest.

A soft 5 surface is expected here with Patrika Gold expected to have her supporters having saluted by nearly eight lengths in a Benchmark 58 handicap at Tumut November 4th.

The six-year-old was ridden by her jockey here Coriah Keatings, having finished fourth at this Benchmark 66 level on both previous starts this spell.

Donna Scott’s mare has failed to shine in all three previous starts on wet tracks finishing last on each occasion and with that in mind it can pay to look elsewhere for the winner.

Ben, JD & Will Hayes send out KARAKA LAD here and, with an inside alley and proven wet-track form, he is taken to deliver a victory under Lachlan King.

The pick registered a near six-length victory when tackling a 1420m Benchmark 64 handicap at Werribee in June.

The 6.00 six-year-old has made just two starts subsequently, including when racing first up at Ararat earlier this month.

The son of Iffraaj was beaten just over four-and-a-half-lengths when racing over 1100m in a Benchmark 64 handicap on a good 4 track that day.

The extra 75m the gelding tackles here is in his favour and returning to a wet track he is taken to deliver a second up success.

Cantolago for Bendigo success

The Hayes team look to hold strong claims of completing an across-the-card double, with CANTOLAGO representing them in the third race at Bendigo.

The race in question is a 1300m maiden plate, with their representative having registered placed efforts in each of her last two starts.

The most recent of those outings saw the filly beaten two lengths into third in a 1406m maiden on a good 3 track at Benalla November 12th.

While the 2.60 pick failed to shine on a soft 5 track at Ballarat when racing first up this spell, she should have no issues with the soft 5 here, having performed well on a wet track at Pakenham last spell.

Blaike McDougall rides the selection for the first time and looks capable of steering her to victory.

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