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Australian Racing: Jennifer's wish can come true at Caulfield

There are five meetings set to take place on Thursday with the metro meeting at Caulfield the highlight of the day.

Race 5 Caulfield

Jenniferwish @ 4.40

Race 8 Caulfield

Signal @ 6.00

Race 5 Kembla Grange

Aix En Provence @ 4.60

Jennifer to score at Caulfield

The fifth race on the Caulfield card is a 1600m Benchmark 70 handicap set to take place on a good 4 surface.

Aperitivo has shown good form of late and is expected to have her supporters for the Ben, JD & Will Hayes team.

The filly has won twice this campaign, including when successful in a Benchmark 64 handicap over 1600m at Sale on her penultimate start.

The four-year-old raced on a good 3 track that day but showed she handles softer, when narrowly beaten in a similar race to this over 1600m at Moonee Valley on 24th November.

Daniel Stackhouse is again in the saddle, however, JENNIFERWISH is preferred on this occasion.

The five-year-old registered her only victory of 2023 when successful by a narrow margin in a Restricted 64 handicap over 1600m at Pakenham in January.

The selection has registered some good placed efforts since however, including in two of her three starts this spell.

Both of those placed efforts were third-place finishes over 1200m in Benchmark 64 handicap contests at Pakenham, with the most recent coming on a soft 5 track on 10th November.

Declan Bates, set to ride here, had his first ride on the mare when the pair were a close fourth in a 1400m Benchmark 64 handicap at Sandown Lakeside 12 days later.

The step back up to 1600m is in the pick’s favour and the daughter of Mshawish is taken to deliver her fourth career win. 

Signal to salute

The final race on the Caulfield card is a highly competitive 1100m Benchmark 64 handicap contest. 

Zabeelist receives weight from all bar one of her rivals and is expected to jump as favourite with Damian Lake booked to ride.

The filly impressed when delivering a four-length victory in a 1000m maiden at Bendigo when racing first up this spell.

The four-year-old raced on a good 4 track that day and encountered similar underfoot conditions when fourth over the same trip in a Benchmark 58 handicap at Ballarat subsequently.

However, the Lloyd Kennewell & Lucy Yeomans-trained filly lacks the experience of some of her rivals and with that in mind, top weight SIGNAL is the pick here.

The selection ended her last spell with two victories over this distance on the synthetic track at Ballarat, including by a narrow margin in a Benchmark 58 handicap there in early June.

Trained by Matt Laurie, the gelding made the perfect start to his season when returning with a victory in a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap at Mornington a month ago. 

While that form hasn’t been tested properly, it’s of note that the second and fifth home that day have both placed second on their only subsequent starts.

Jockey Celine Gaudray, on board last time out, takes a valuable two kilograms off and the Danerich gelding is selected to complete a four-timer. 

Provence to break maiden

Kembla Grange’s Elite Sand & Soil Super Maiden Plate is the fifth race at the New South Wales venue and is a 1400m contest set to be the most valuable race of the day.

Trainer Sara Ryan has her team in good form with a 33% strike-rate (5/15) in the last 30 days and she is represented by AIX EN PROVENCE here.

The three-year-old showed ability in his four barrier trials and has since confirmed that with placed efforts in a couple of maiden contests.

The first of those came over 1300m at Wyong, a race in which he was beaten less than one-and-a-half-lengths into third when racing on a good 4 track.

The selection’s jockey here Reece Jones was on board for the first time when his mount placed second, beaten four lengths over the same distance at Newcastle subsequently.

The son of Shalaa has a good barrier here and looks up to breaking his maiden at the third attempt. 

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