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It's another packed day of racing across Australia on Saturday
  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Costa Smeralda eyeing Gosford glory

There are four meetings due to take place on Thursday with a good 4 track expected at all.

Race 6 Gosford

Costa Smeralda @ 4.40

Race 5 Seymour

Jordy Girl @ 3.80

Race 5 Bunbury

Playing Quest @ 2.60

Costa for Gosford success

The sixth race on the Gosford card is an interesting Benchmark 64 handicap set to take place over 1100m.

Global Empire looks likely to jump as favourite for the Joseph Pride stable, with the four-year-old looking for his second win of 2023.

The gelding registered his first victory when saluting by two-and-a-half-lengths in an 1100m maiden at Wyong back in August.

The son of I Am Invincible was racing on a soft 5 track that day and was spelled following that effort.

Global Empire showed that he is up to competing at Benchmark 64 level, when a good second over 1000m in a handicap at Warwick Farm earlier this month.

The drop down from metro level racing is in his favour here, however, the once-raced three-year-old filly COSTA SMERALDA is preferred. 

Tyler Schiller’s mount is out of the speedy juvenile Spanish Pipedream and she showed up well when taking a 782m barrier trial at Warwick Farm in September.

The Exceed And Excel filly confirmed that she is a horse with plenty of potential, when making a winning debut in an 1100m maiden held on a soft 6 track at Wyong later that month.

While the form of that contest could be working out better, she shaped as if she could compete at a higher level that day and is taken to defy a wide barrier to salute here.  

Girl to deliver at Seymour

The fifth race at Seymour takes the eye with a field of 12 declared for a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap contest.

Promising apprentice Dakotah Keane takes two kilograms off Aurolaa’s back and the pair are expected to prove popular with punters.

Aurolaa’s sole success this spell came when delivering a narrow margin victory in a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap held on the synthetic track at Pakenham in July.

The four-year-old gets a drop down from metro racing here, having beaten one rival home when seventh in a Benchmark 64 handicap over this trip at Sandown Lakeside earlier this month.

While Simon Zahra’s representative has a good barrier here, JORDY GIRL is selected to record her second career win.

The selection returned to action with a narrow defeat when runner-up in a 1000m maiden held on a good 4 track at Wagga early last month.

The four-year-old duly went one better when saluting by over two-and-a-half-lengths in an 1100m maiden at Wodonga three weeks later.

Logan McNeil, on board here, made all on the pick on that occasion, with the jockey employing more patient tactics when partnering his mount to a half-length fourth over 1175m at Albury on 9th December.

Trained by David O’Prey, the filly shaped as if she would appreciate the step up in distance she gets here and she is taken to record her second career win. 

Quest for victory

Trainer Michael Lane boasts a 20% strike-rate (5/20) with his runners in the last 30 days and his PLAYING QUEST is one of three runners for the handler at Bunbury.

The three-year-old broke his maiden when winning over 1400m on a good 4 track here on 26th November. 

The application of blinkers brought about improvement on that occasion and the pick showed up well once more when runner-up in a 1410m Class 1 handicap here subsequently.

The step up in distance looks likely to suit here and, with a top hoop in Damian Lane up, the Playing God gelding looks capable of saluting here. 

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