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Australian Racing: Duke set to Sale to success

There are eight meetings set to take place across the country on Sunday, including at Sale where a heavy 9 track is forecast.

Race 5 Sale

The Duke Of Dubai @ 7.00

Race 8 Devonport Synthetic

Square Donut @ 7.00

Race 2 Pakenham Synthetic

Rolling Rock @ 3.80

Dubai to return with Sale win

The most valuable race on the Sale card comes up as the fifth event on an eight-race card.

The race in question is a 1413m Benchmark 70 contest, with Mere Fancy expected to jump as favourite for the John McArdle stable.

The four-year-old was a heavy track winner over 1600m when racing at this Benchmark 70 level at Sandown Hillside in June last year.

While the filly has failed to score since, she delivered a highly promising 0.8L second in a Benchmark 70 event over 1300m back at Sandown Hillside on her return to action last month.

Back on heavy ground for the first time since that Sandown Hillside success she rates a leading player, however the returning THE DUKE OF DUBAI is preferred in this contest.

The gelding showed solid form in his last spell including when finishing just over one-and-a-half-lengths behind the winner when fifth over 1700m at Caulfield in October.

That effort marked the his only previous start on a heavy track, while he gets an easier contest having started in a Benchmark 80 event that day.

The pick delivered a couple of fair efforts subsequently, including when fourth on a soft 7 track in a 1600m Benchmark 78 event at Ballarat in November.

Spelled following that effort, the son of Pride Of Dubai won first up in maiden company here in August 2021, while he placed second over 1100m at Ballarat Synthetic first up last spell. 

Jacob Noonan’s mount has a good alley three off the rail and is selected to resume with a victory.

Donut fancied for Devonport victory

SQUARE DONUT has shown a liking for the synthetic track at Devonport in the past and looks up to delivering a victory in the concluding race on the card at the Tasmanian-venue.

The 1350m has attracted a field of 15 and the pick's barrier, two off the rail, is a positive with Anthony Darmanin up.

The gelding won or placed on each of his six starts at this venue in 2022 including when beaten a length into second in a 1650m Benchmark 68 contest here in September.

While the selection failed to shine when eighth of nine in the Launceston Cup, a Benchmark 62 event at Launceston in December, he probably found the 1200m distance on the sharp side that day.

The gelding heads into this contest on the back of a couple of barrier trials over 800m here last month and he is taken to resume with a win, having won over track and trip in September.

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Rock ready to roll her opposition

The second race on the synthetic surface at Pakenham is an interesting 1400m maiden contest.

Crown Crusher has shown ability in his three starts on turf to date, including when sixth on a soft 6 surface in a 1200m maiden here last month.

Returning from a break that day, the Gold Standard gelding kept on nicely in behind, having raced from off the pace in the 12-runner contest.

The step up in distance should suit, however, he is expected to find the Ben & JD Hayes-trained ROLLING ROCK too strong.

The pick showed a liking for this distance when delivering a second-place finish on a soft 7 track at this venue last month.

The filly raced from the front on that occasion and it's of note that the winner that day - Gamegirl - won over the same course and distance on her only subsequent start.

Prior to that, the selection had delivered an eye-catching fifth when racing from off the pace in a 1200m maiden at Donald the previous month.

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