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Australian Racing: Mail can deliver at Belmont Park

There’s five meetings set to take place with four of those metro fixtures including an eight-race card at Sandown Hillside.

Race 5 Sandown

Hughes @ 4.80

Race 3 Canterbury

Don Pedro @ 5.50

Race 7 Belmont Park 

Mail @ 8.50

Hughes for first up success 

Ex-New Zealand galloper Metrical he goes in search of a win in the fifth race at Sandown Hillside.

The race in question is a 1400m Benchmark 70 handicap for three-year-old colts and geldings. 

A soft 5 surface is expected here with the Mike Moroney-trained gelding having shown up well in his two starts since transferring from New Zealand.

The first of those saw the youngster deliver a second place finish in a 1200m maiden on a soft 6 track at Mornington.

The son of Time Test caught the eye in finishing strongly that day and duly went one better upped to 1300m on a heavy 8 track at Bendigo at the end of last month.

Blake Shinn’s mount tackles previous winners here and while untested on soft going HUGHES is preferred on this occasion.

The selection won two of his three starts in his first spell with the sole defeat coming when just beaten over three lengths in a Benchmark 64 handicap over 1400m at Pakenham in February.

Trained by Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr the selection made amends when saluting by nearly two lengths in a Benchmark 64 handicap over the same track and trip two weeks later.

The pick has been spelled since that latest triumph and he tackles a wet track for the first time here having raced exclusively on good going prior to this contest.

The son of Russian Revolution arrives here fresh and is taken to resume with a victory. 

Pedro to rule at Canterbury

The third race at Canterbury takes the eye with the 1900m Benchmark 72 handicap attracting a field of 10.

Among those is top weight Olympic Theatre who comes into this contest on the back of a win at Hawkesbury earlier this month.

The five-year-old had been freshened prior to saluting in that Benchmark 68 handicap over 1600m and has a good barrier in four should connections wish to race close to the speed once more.

While the gelding has gone well on a wet track in the past he is at his best on a sound surface and while the extra distance here is no issue he looks opposable. 

Bjorn Baker saddles the three-year-old DON PEDRO here with the pick having won once and placed second twice from his four starts this time around.

The victory came by half-a-length in a 1500m Class 1 handicap on a soft 5 surface at Hawkesbury last month and he has placed second on two of his three subsequent starts.

Robbie Dolan, on board here was up when the pick came home second in an 1800m Benchmark 78 handicap at Randwick earlier this month and he is taken to steer the pick to victory down in grade. 

Mail to deliver victory 

The concluding race on the Belmont Park card is a 1650m Class 1 handicap.

MAIL takes the eye here having shown that he can be competitive at this Class 1 level when placing second over 1600m at Ascot in November last year.

Two disappointing efforts followed and he was spelled following a sixth here at the end of November. 

The four-year-old joined the Dion Luciani stable following that effort and he delivered a fair effort when sixth in a similar race to this over 1400m when racing first up this time around.

That effort came on a soft 6 surface with the race dominated by two horses who raced from off the pace.

The form has a solid look to it with the runner-up Vital Gem registering a victory subsequently and the return to the good going expected here is in the picks favour. 

The gelding was a winner second up in his last spell and looks capable of repeating that with Holly Watson up.   

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