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Australian Racing: Duchess Gossip to be the talk of the town

There are seven meetings set to take place on Sunday, including an eight-race card at Geelong.

Race 7 Mount Barker

Duchess Of Gossip @ 5.50

Race 5 Geelong

Highland Hill @ 4.20

Race 6 Wyong

Fire Star @ 2.00

Gossip to go well at Mount Barker

The TABtouch Mount Barker Sprint, a $100,000 Benchmark 72+ handicap is the most valuable race on the Mount Barker card.

The 1300m contest has attracted a field of ten, with Clint Johnston-Porter’s mount Supersession expected to prove popular with punters following three good efforts this spell.

The four-year-old has finished strongly on each occasion, including when winning narrowly having raced from off the pace in a 1230m Benchmark 72+ handicap at Albany earlier this month.

Adam Durrant’s gelding has a good barrier in five here, however, preference is for the filly DUCHESS OF GOSSIP.

The selection has placed third in three of her four starts this time around, with the sole exception a fourth in the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic over 1400m at Ascot at the start of last month.

The daughter of All American had to challenge wide with her rider losing her whip on that occasion and she may well have finished closer but for that.

The 5.50 filly lost out narrowly when beaten into third under William Pike in a 1200m handicap at Pinjarra earlier this month, with any softening of the going between now and race time a positive.

Jockey Holly Watson rides the pick in an official race for the first time and barrier eight shouldn’t pose any issues, with her mount expected to race from mid-division.

Hill tipped for Geelong glory

The fifth race on the Geelong card is the 2409m Bet365 Handicap, a Benchmark 58 contest set to take place over 2409m.

Top weight Kentucky Nick is expected to jump as favourite for the race, following two placed efforts from three starts this spell.

The most recent of those placings saw the four-year-old finish third in a 2080m Benchmark 64 handicap at Cranbourne earlier this month.

The gelding raced on a good 3 track that day and wears a visor for the first time with Daniel Stackhouse set to ride.

Preference on this occasion, however, is for HIGHLAND HILL who represents the Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock team.

The gelding has a wide barrier to overcome here but has been competing in stronger contests this spell including when fourth over 2200m in a Benchmark 64 event at Seymour 3rd January.

The 4.20 selection followed that effort up with a fifth in a Restricted 64 handicap contested over 2080m on a good 3 track at Cranbourne nine days later.

While any overnight rain would aid the selection, he has shown solid form over around this time in the past including when fourth in Listed company at Sandown Lakeside in April last year.

Jye McNeil is a positive jockey booking for this event and his mount, a son of Highland Reel, looks capable of saluting stepping back up in distance. 

Star to salute at Wyong

The penultimate race on the Wyong card is an interesting 1000m Class 1 handicap, with FIRE STAR taking the eye, having broken his maiden at this venue in August last year.

The three-year-old raced over this course and distance on that occasion, but found the step up to Group 3 company too much when fading into ninth in the San Domenico Stakes subsequently.

The 2.00 selection was spelled following that effort and has performed well when ridden with more restraint in two subsequent outings, with both coming at Benchmark 64 level.

The first of those saw the gelding lose out by one-and-a-half-lengths when runner-up over 1100m on a soft 6 track at Canterbury at the start of this month.

The son of Deep field followed that effort up with a defeat by just over a length when runner-up in a similar contest held in similar conditions at Randwick Kensington on 17th January.

Joshua Parr takes the ride for the first time here and he looks capable of steering Peter & Paul Snowden’s representative to victory.

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