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  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Hollywood Hero can star at Randwick

There are four meetings due to take place on Wednesday, with a metro fixture at Randwick Kensington the pick of the four.

Race 2 Randwick Kensington

Hollywood Hero @ 2.10

Race 4 Randwick Kensington

Sweet Baby Boom @ 2.50

Race 5 Pakenham

Only Need Time @ 12.00

Hero for Randwick glory 

Trainer Bjorn Baker can boast a strong record at this venue with a 28% strike-rate (5/18) here in the last 12 months.

The handler is double-handed in the second race of the day, a Benchmark 78 handicap over 1400m.

Baker saddles both Iknowastar (Amy McLucas) and HOLLYWOOD HERO (Jason Collett) in the race, with the pair having clashed in the 1600m Dubbo Gold Cup at Dubbo last month.

The first named runner came out on top having raced from the top that day but preference is for Hollywood Hero who finished strongly for fourth on that occasion

The four-year-old followed that fourth-place finish up with a good third when ridden closer to the speed in the 1800m Bathurst Cup handicap event at Bathurst on 24th September.

The drop back in distance should prove no issue for the son of Sacred Falls who placed second in a 1400m Benchmark 72 handicap on a good 4 track at Rosehill in early August. 

The pick is a tactically versatile gelding and he is selected to provide Baker with a winner in this contest. 

Boom to complete hat-trick

The fourth race on the Randwick Kensington is an interesting fillies & mares handicap contest.

The race in question is a Benchmark 78 event set to be held over 1400m a good 4 surface.

Top weight Street Gossip showed good form in her last spell winning twice over around 1600m, including when taking out a Listed event, the Princess Stakes at Doomben in April.

That Listed victory came in a set weights affair held on a good 4 track and she made her first handicap start since winning a Class 1 event prior to that when returning last month.

The four-year-old was beaten over four lengths into fourth over 1300m in a similar race to this at Warwick Farm in that first up start last month and the extra distance here is in her favour.

However preference here is for a likely front-runner in SWEET BABY BOOM who has a good barrier next to the rail. 

The four-year-old is another to have returned at Warwick Farm this spell, this time coming home just over one-and-a-half-lengths fourth over 1000m in a Benchmark 72 event.

The filly was making her first start in nearly 16 months on that occasion and showed improved form when saluting in the same grade over 1150m on a soft 5 track here two weeks later.

The selection steps up in distance having impressed over 1200m when taking a Benchmark 72 race by nearly two-and-a-half-lengths at Canterbury last month.

Jockey Amy McLucas takes a valuable three kilograms off here and she is taken to improve on her 33% strike-rate (8/24) when riding for the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott team. 

Time to salute

The fifth race on the Pakenham card is a 1000m Restricted 64 handicap event with top weight ONLY NEED TIME expected to deliver a big effort.

The selection was a near four-length winner over this trip when tackling a Benchmark 58 handicap on a soft 7 track at Mornington in December.

The six-year-old has made just the three subsequent appearances with the mares best effort in two starts this year coming when beaten over four lengths into third over 1100m at Horsham.

The mare raced in a Benchmark 58 handicap at Horsham and, while she has yet to start at this venue, it’s noted that she has a good record of one win and seven places from 11 starts over this distance.

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