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Australian Racing: Mantua to enjoy Sandown success

There are five meetings set to take place on a busy Wednesday of racing action, including four metro fixtures.

The quintet of cards are staged at Ascot, Eagle Farm, Gawler, Sandown and Warwick Farm.

Race 6 Sandown

Mantua @ 5.50

Race 7 Warwick Farm

Slinky @ 9.00

Race 5 Ascot

Twigger @ 6.50

Mantua to salute at Sandown

They are set to race on the Hillside course at Sandown, with the sixth race of the day a highly competitive 1000m Benchmark 64 handicap.

A good 4 track is expected, with Russian Bobshark likely to start favourite for the powerful Ciaron Maher team.

The three-year-old showed ability when taking out a barrier trial over 800m at Terang in February and he confirmed that promise when debuting with a win last month.

That success came by over one-and-a-half-lengths when racing over this trip on a soft 5 surface at Cranbourne. The gelding missed the break that day and is expected to have improved for the experience.

However, unlike on debut when the youngster jumped from next to the rail, he has been allocated a wide barrier here and he looks opposable in this event.

Stablemate MANTUA is preferred on this occasion, with the son of Fastnet Rock boasting plenty of experience, having started nine times previously.

While the 5.50 selection’s sole win came when successful by a length in a 1000m maiden on a good 4 track at Bendigo in August he has placed in two of his three subsequent starts.

The most recent of those saw him lose out by less than one-and-a-half-lengths in a 1000m Class 1 handicap at Pakenham early last month.

Prior to that the pick had recorded a fair fifth of eight when contesting a Benchmark 64 handicap at Moonee Valley in February.

The selection has been freshened since that Pakenham effort and, with a good barrier in one, he is selected to double his career tally.

Slinky can surprise at Warwick Farm

The finale on Warwick Farm’s seven race card is a 1300m Benchmark 72 handicap restricted to fillies & mares.

The twice-raced Pippie Beach is expected to have her supporters from an inside alley for trainer Chris Waller.

The three-year-old gained plenty of barrier trial experience prior to recording a length third in a 1200m maiden on debut at Newcastle last month.

The filly went on to break her maiden by over a length when stepped up to this distance at Kembla Grange two weeks later.

Waller’s representative is set to race on a heavy track for the first time here, having encountered good 4 surfaces on both previous starts.

With underfoot conditions in mind, SLINKY is taken to overcome a wide barrier to record her second win this prep.

The 9.00 pick has raced on wet tracks on all four starts in 2024, including when winning by two lengths in a 1200m maiden held on a heavy 8 track at Kembla Grange in March.

Both of the selection’s subsequent outings have come over 1200m in Benchmark 64 handicap events at Gosford including on a soft 5 surface on 25th April.

The daughter of The Autumn Sun did best of those racing from off the pace last time and she is taken to double her career tally with Zac Waddick up.

Twigger to record Ascot win

The fifth race at Ascot is an interesting 1000m Class 1 handicap event.

TWIGGER takes the eye here, having gone unbeaten in three barrier trials at Lark Hill prior to making his debut at Bunbury in November.

The 6.50 pick won at the first attempt over 1100m when contesting a maiden held on a good 4 track at Bunbury and has performed well on two of his three subsequent starts.

The three-year-old has been spelled since recording a two-length fourth in a Class 1016m handicap held on a good 4 track at the same venue at the end of December.

The booking of leading hoop William Pike takes the eye here, while the wet track should pose no serious issues here.

The Oratorio gelding will jump from an inside barrier and he is selected to register his second win on his first start at this venue.

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