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Australian Racing: Freedom to Escape his rivals at Bendigo

There are five meetings set to take place on Thursday, including at Bendigo, where a bumper ten-race card is on the schedule.

They also race at Ballina, Cairns, Kembla Grange and Northam.

Race 9 Bendigo

Freedom Escape @ 6.00

Race 5 Kembla Grange

Modern Millie @ 6.50

Race 3 Ballina

Intentional Lass @ 3.80

Escape to run free at Bendigo

The penultimate race on the card at Bendigo is a 1600m Benchmark 64 handicap contest set to take place on a soft 7 surface.

Boh Rhap is sure to have his supporters despite a wide alley, following two consecutive victories last month.

The first of those saw the gelding salute by an impressive four-and-a-half-lengths in a maiden over 1620m at Donald on June 17th.

The four-year-old duly followed up when taking out a Restricted 64 handicap over 1765m on a heavy 8 track at Geelong at the end of the month.

That Geelong form could be working out better, however, and stepping back up in distance FREEDOM ESCAPE is preferred in this contest.

The gelding showed good form over much further in his last spell including when placing second in a 2500m Benchmark 64 handicap at Moonee Valley in February.

The shorter distance here is no issue, with Freedom Escape having placed over 1400m at Sandown Lakeside first up that spell.

The 6.00 pick's first outing this time around saw him finish fourth in a 1300m Benchmark 64 handicap at this venue two weeks ago.

Apprentice Ryan Houston was in the saddle on that occasion, with the pair catching the eye in finishing strongly having been ridden from off the pace.

While the track that day was rated a heavy 8 track, he has shown good form on a sound surface in the past and, with the soft 7 here no issue, he looks capable of recording a second up success.

Millie to defy top weight

The fifth race on the Kembla Grange card is a 1400m Class 1 handicap event.

With a good 4 track expected Skylight Song looks likely to jump as favourite having delivered a string of placed efforts at Wyong in the last six weeks or so.

The most recent of those saw the three-year-old suffer a length defeat in a 1350m Benchmark 64 handicap on a good 4 track just under two weeks ago.

Tracking the early pace that day, Brad Widdup’s gelding delivered a good effort, but has a tendency to find one too good.

This was the case when beaten a neck over the same track and trip at this level prior and, while the extra 50m here is no issue, having placed over track and trip in November he looks opposable.

Top weight MODERN MILLIE is preferred here at 6.50, with her handler Nathan Doyle having been among the winners in the last month.

The European import has competed at a higher level in the past and registered some good placed efforts when racing at metro level in her last spell.

Those efforts included a head second over 1600m in a Benchmark 72 handicap at Warwick Farm in December.

Spelled following a fifth at Rosehill the following month, she returned with a good sixth in a race over 1350m at Wyong July 15th.

The pick usually improves for her first run back and she is taken to double her career tally.

Lass ready for Ballina glory

INTENTIONAL LASS takes the eye in the third race on the Ballina card.

The race concerned is a Benchmark 58 handicap with a soft 7 track forecast.

The pick broke her maiden at Murwillumbah when racing first up this spell and has placed in the top four in all three subsequent starts.

Those efforts included a two-and-a-half-length third in a Benchmark 58 handicap over 1400m at Grafton earlier this month.

The going was a good 4 at Grafton, but the wet track is no issue with 3.80 International Lass having won on a heavy 9 when breaking her maiden in May.

The selection has a good barrier and is selected to salute for the second time this spell.

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