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Australian Racing: Namazu in the mix to claim The Archer

There are seven meetings set to take place on Sunday including at Rockhampton, where the $775,000 The Archer is the feature race of the day.

Racing is also scheduled to take place at Albany, Ballarat, Hobart, Narromine, Strathalbyn and Taree.

Race 7 Rockhampton

Namazu @ 9.00

Race 6 Albany

Sluice Box @ 3.80

Race 7 Taree

Run Rory Run @ 8.00

Namazu shoots for Archer glory

Set to take place as the penultimate contest on an eight-race card, The Archer is a 1300m weight-for-age contest due to be staged on a soft 5 track.

Strait Acer is expected to jump as favourite, having shown form at the highest level in the not too distant past when placing third in the Sir Rupert Clarke in November.

Racing over 1400m at Caulfield that day the gelding was beaten less than one-and-a-half-lengths on a good 3 track.

The gelding has failed to salute in four starts at a lower level since then however, including when runner-up in two starts since being freshened.

Edward Cummings’ gelding arrives here on the back of a length second in the 1400m Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Final over 1400m at Randwick.

The shorter distance is no issue, but preference here is for the Ricky Vale-trained NAMAZU.

The six-year-old showed good form in Cup contests over further last prep including when delivering an impressive win in the Townsville Cup at Townsville in August.

The 9.00 selection came home six lengths clear of his 15 rivals when racing on a good 4 track that day and subsequently registered a fourth in the 2100m Cairns Cup.

Connections have opted to try sprinting with their gelding this prep, with two second-place finishes in 900m barrier trials here preceding a win over 1350m at Mackay.

The son of Medgalia d’Oro raced in a handicap contest held on a soft 5 track that day and following a barrier trial win here earlier this month he is taken to follow up.

Box to take Cup qualifier

Albany’s sixth race is the 3100m The Road To The Jericho Cup WA Qualifier, a 3100m Benchmark 66+ handicap event.

A good 4 track is expected with Fioreyes expected to have his supporters stepping up markedly in distance.

The gelding was freshened prior to delivering a length success in an 1800m Class 1 handicap at Ascot at the end of last month.

A runner-up finish when narrowly beaten in a 2000m handicap at Pinjarra followed and he is one to note on his first attempt at this distance.

SLUICE BOX is another stepping up markedly in distance, with the veteran galloper having shown that he can compete at Listed level when third in the Pinjarra Cup, a Listed handicap at Pinjarra in April last year.

While unable to win since then, the 3.80 pick has recorded some big effort in defeat including in Cup races on his two most recent starts.

The first of those saw him register a fifth in the 2100m Albany Cup held on a good 4 track at this circuit.

Alan Kennedy’s Mount delivered a fourth over the same trip when beaten less than two lengths in the Geraldton Cup subsequently.

While stamina has to be taken on trust here, he shapes as if he will stay further and is taken to register the eighth win of his career.

Rory to triumph at Taree

A heavy 10 track is expected at Taree, with the finale a 1262m Benchmark 58 handicap contest.

RUN RORY RUN is a proven wet track performer, having won three of his five starts on heavy going.

The most recent of those starts saw him place second in a 1305m Benchmark 58 handicap held on a heavy 9 surface at Tuncurry on 18th April.

The 8.00 selection was racing first up on that occasion, having failed to shine on a sound surface for much of 2023.

Apprentice Mollie Fitzgerald, on board at Tuncurry is again set to ride and taking two kilograms off the gelding’s back she is taken to steer him to victory.

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