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Australian Racing: Ellen’s License can drive towards Sandown success

There are six meetings for punters to get involved in this Wednesday with metro meetings from Sandown Lakeside, Canterbury, Doomben and Belmont Park featuring among them.

Race 4 Canterbury

Saturn Star @ 4.40

Race 3 Sandown Lakeside

Ellen’s Licence @ 2.20

Race 5 Doomben 

Surreel @ 6.50

Star to shine

The fourth race at Canterbury is an interesting Benchmark 64 handicap for three-year-old’s.

The race is set to take place over 1250m on a forecast soft 5 surface.

Dakota Vroom is expected to have her supporters having shown plenty of ability in her two starts to date.

The first of those saw her chase home subsequent Group 3 winner Parisal when beaten nearly four lengths into second over 1100m at Randwick Kensington in February.

Spelled following that effort she made a winning return to action when racing prominently prior to delivering a one-and-a-half-length victory over 1100m in a Benchmark 64 handicap at Warwick Farm.

However SATURN STAR is preferred on this occasion with the drop in trip here in the geldings favour.

Trained by Ciaron Maher & David Eustace the selection debuted with a victory in a 1200m contest at Rosehill last September.

That victory came on a good 4 track with the pick having a number of subsequent winners in behind having raced from the front.

Similar tactics were employed prior to fading when finishing lame having appeared not to stay over 1600m at Warwick Farm just under two months later.

That form has worked out well with the winner Kovalica going on to salute at Group 1 level in the Queensland Derby while the third home Awesome John has won in Group 2 company since.

The return to sprinting here is in the pick’s favourite and with a good alley three from the rail he looks capable of saluting first up.

Licence for Sandown success

The third at Sandown Lakeside sees the Patrick Payne-trained ELLEN’S LICENCE go in search of a double having resumed with a victory at Donald.

There was plenty to like about that three length triumph in a 1350m Benchmark 64 handicap with the pick racing close to the pace prior to drawing clear of her rivals.

While the race hasn’t produced any subsequent winners the runner-up and third have both placed second since.

The four-year-old had ended her previous spell with a near four-and-a-half-length success in a 1743m Benchmark 58 event at Geelong.

Racing with more restraint in that Geelong event the daughter of Turffontein has a progressive profile and both of the previously mentioned victories came on wet tracks.

Trainer Patrick Payne boasts an impressive 26% strike-rate (9/35) here this season and stepping up in grade his filly looks up to continuing her progression by saluting under apprentice Luke Campbell.

Surreel to upset Thomas

Billy Healey’s Brown Thomas is expected to jump as favourite for the fifth at Doomben.

The race in question is a 2030m Benchmark 65 handicap with a field of eleven set to go to post on a soft 5 track.

The top weight is dropping in grade here following a close up fifth in a Benchmark 78 handicap over 1800m at Sunshine Coast at the start of the month.

However the Jack Bruce-trained SURREEL is selected to get the better of the seven-year-old here with the mare arriving here having completed a double when winning at Kilcoy.

That Kilcoy triumph came by a length in a 1900m Benchmark 65 handicap on a soft 5 surface with that effort marking the fillies first over the distance.

Unexposed at this distance she looks likely to appreciate the step up in distance and looks up to delivering a victory under apprentice Melea Castle.

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