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Australian Racing: Hardware Lane has the tools for the job

The Scone Cup provides the highlight on an eight race card at Scone while there are also six other meetings set to take place on Friday.

Race 7 Scone 

Banju @ 3.80

Race 6 Cranbourne 

Brungle Raider @ 2.60

Race 6 Albury 

Hardware Lane @ 5.00

Banju for Cup triumph 

The big race at Scone comes up as the penultimate race on an eight race card with Jojo Was A Man expected to have his supporters in the 1600m Listed contest. 

The John Thompson-trained gelding won twice at Randwick late last year including when taking out a Benchmark 100 event by a length on a good 4 surface at the end of December. 

Regular pilot Reece Jones, on board that day takes the ride again here with his mount delivering his best effort since when third in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup over this trip at Hawkesbury last month. 

Barrier 19 is far from ideal in this contest and with that in mind BANJU who has been in winning form of late is preferred. 

The six-year-old has won four of his last five starts with the most recent of those coming when tackling the 1400m Tamworth Cup on a good 4 track at Tamworth last month. 

Prior to that the gelding had placed second when beaten by a narrow margin in Rosehill’s 1900m Paramatta Cup. 

While the Lyle Chandler-trained Benfica gelding hasn’t been seen on a wet track since in over a year his most recent start on a soft surface saw him score by five lengths at Rosehill in January last year. 

Aaron Bullock, on board in the Tamworth Cup is again in the saddle and his mount can overcome barrier 12 to register ninth career success.

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Raider for Cranbourne glory 

The sixth race at Cranbourne takes the eye with the 2520m Benchmark 70 handicap attracting a field of eight runners. 

The Henry Dwyer-trained BRUNGLE RAIDER has shown good form this time around winning four times and placing a further twice from nine outings this spell. 

Those efforts include an impressive six length maiden success when contesting a 1600m maiden on a soft 6 track at Swan Hill back in January while he duly followed up at Warrnambool later that month. 

The step up in distance has seen the pick deliver improved efforts following up a win by nearly four lengths over 2700m in a soft ground Stawell contest with a triumph by four lengths at this venue. 

That latest effort came over 2600m on a heavy 8 track when contesting a Benchmark 64 event. While the pick steps up in distance here he remains open to improvement and with Luke Nolen, on board last time out up he looks capable of completing a hat-trick.

Lane for Sprint success 

Top weight Lady Solly looks to hold strong claims of delivering a victory in the sixth at Albury. 

The 1000m Albury Sprint is the race in question with a heavy 8 surface expected for the handicap event. 

Trained by Scott McIntosh the mare is making her first start at this venue following a below par sixth at Moonee Valley in a 955m in March. 

The seven-year-old returns from a short break here but has a wide alley and with that in mind HARDWARE LANE is preferred. 

The gelding performed well when third of nine over this course and distance in a handicap event on a good 4 track back in February. 

While below that form in two starts since those efforts both came over further including in a 1200m Benchmark 68 event at Morphettville April 15. 

The switch to a forecast heavy track is a positive here and back at his preferred distance the Mitchell Beer-trained four-year-old is selected to register a fifth win in 17 career starts.

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