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Australian Racing: Kentucky Nick to deliver at Sandown

There are six meetings set to take place on Wednesday, including at Sandown where an eight-race metro card is scheduled to take place.

Race 5 Sandown Lakeside

Kentucky Nick @ 4.00

Race 2 Ipswich

Capital Cee @ 4.40

Race 2 Pinjarra

Hit The Jackpot @ 7.50

Nick set for Sandown success

They are in action on the Lakeside course at Sandown, with the fifth race of the day an interesting 2100m Benchmark 64 handicap.

The Ciaron Maher-trained Vermillion Dragon showed little in his three barrier trials, but took a marked step forward when making his debut at Kembla Grange last month.

The three-year-old came home over three lengths clear of his nearest pursuer when contesting a 1500m maiden held on a soft 6 track.

The gelding was hampered at the start that day and is expected to appreciate the big step up in distance here.

Underfoot conditions are forecast to be similar to those he encountered on debut and, while he rates highly in this field, the experienced KENTUCKY NICK is preferred.

The four-year-old has won or placed in the top three in six of his eight starts this prep, including when a length second over 1600m at Bendigo in December.

The 4.00 pick stays this distance well, having won by three-and-a-half-lengths when contesting a 2200m Benchmark 58 handicap at Ararat three starts back.

The gelding has lost out narrowly when runner-up on both subsequent starts, with the first of those coming in a 2250m Benchmark 68 handicap at Morphettville Parks.

Mark Zahra is a notable jockey booking and he looks capable of steering the son of American Pharoah to victory.

Capital to complete a double

The second race at Ipswich is a 1350m Benchmark 68 handicap due to take place on a soft 7 surface.

Tony Gollan’s Gospel Girl made the perfect start to her career when defying odds of $81 to deliver a victory by over a length in a 1200m maiden at Doomben early last month.

The filly won on a soft 5 track that day and backed that effort up with a good second when beaten a length over this track and trip in a Benchmark 65 handicap March 20.

However, top weight CAPITAL CEE is preferred here for the Stuart Kendrick team.

While the pick failed to shine on a heavy 8 track at Sunshine Coast first up this prep, he has performed well on soft ground in the past including when fourth here in August.

The 4.40 selection came home fourth on a soft 5 track in a 1200m maiden that day and he recorded his first victory when winning in impressive fashion here on 16th March.

The son of Capitalist raced over this course and distance, coming home over two-and-a-half-lengths clear of his rivals on a good 4 track.

Bailey Wheeler takes a valuable two kilograms off his back and the pair are taken to register a victory together from barrier nine.

Hill charge to Hit Pinjarra Jackpot

The Ryan Hill-trained HIT THE JACKPOT has been in good form in Western Australia this season and he goes in the second race on the Pinjarra card, a 1200m handicap.

The race, restricted to three-year-olds, sees the gelding take on eight rivals, having broken his maiden in a 1111m maiden at Bunbury in December.

The 7.50 selection has since registered top-four finishes in all three of his subsequent starts, including when beaten less than two lengths at Ascot at the end of January.

The gelding was spelled following that effort, which came when contesting a 1000m Class 1 handicap on a soft 5 surface.

The son of Gingerbread Man advertised his well-being with a win in a 400m barrier trial at Belmont Park earlier this month and can resume with a win under Victoria Corver.

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