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It's another packed day of racing across Australia on Saturday
  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Olivia’s Spirit can shine on Halloween

There are three meetings set to take place on Tuesday, including at Grafton who are due to stage an eight-race card.

Race 6 Grafton

Buck Pharoah @ 4.00 

Race 8 Grafton

Olivia’s Spirit @ 4.60 

Race 5 Kilcoy

Granny’s Reward @ 3.00 

Pharoah to defy top weight

The sixth race on the card is an interesting 1000m Class 3 handicap event set to take place on a soft 5 surface.

The Terry McCarthy-trained Panuara Boy is expected to have his supporters, having placed on three of his four starts since winning over 950m at Moree in August.

That Moree triumph came when racing at Benchmark 58 level and the gelding heads into this contest on the back of a one-and-a-half-length third in a Class 3 1110m handicap at Lismore.

However, jockey Matthew McGuren will have to overcome a wide barrier if he is to steer his mount to victory and he looks opposable in this contest. 

Top weight BUCK PHAROAH is preferred on this occasion, having contested a $150,000 Class 5 set weights contest at Tuncurry when last in action back in February.

The five-year-old had shown solid form prior to that in his last spell, placing three times on a good 4 track, including over 1100m in a Benchmark 66 handicap at Port Macquarie in January.

Trained by Neil Godbolt, the gelding boasts an impressive first up record with two wins and a second from his three first up starts. 

The most recent of those first-up triumphs came over 1106m in a Benchmark 58 handicap on a heavy 10 track at Port Macquarie in January and he looks up to resuming with a victory. 

Spirit for Grafton success

The finale at Grafton is a competitive-looking 1175m Benchmark 58 handicap contest.

Written Fame is expected to jump as favourite following an impressive three-length success in a 1010m maiden at Murwillumbah.

Returning from a break on that occasion, the pick finished strongly that day having been ridden with restraint. 

While Matthew Dunn’s gelding showed ability on softer surfaces earlier this year, that Murwillumbah effort on a good 4 track was a career best effort.

The three-year-old is less exposed than his rivals here, however, he has a wide barrier to overcome and it may prove profitable to side with one of his more experienced rivals. 

Preference in that regard is for top weight OLIVIA’S SPIRIT who has a fair barrier in eight here and has shown a liking for this venue in the past.

The pick delivered a victory by nearly half-a-length when overcoming interference at the start when contesting a 1015m Class 1 handicap on a good 4 track last month.

Jake Hull’s gelding tackled a stronger Benchmark 68 handicap over 1200m at Newcastle subsequently and, while he met trouble in running, he beat just one rival home on 17th October. 

The easier contest the selection tackles here is in his favour and the son of Rubick looks up to delivering his third career win.

Granny’s to score at Kilcoy 

The fifth race at Kilcoy takes the eye with the 1500m Benchmark 60 handicap attracting a field of 10. 

GRANNY’S REWARD has shown good form at Gatton in four starts this spell, winning twice and placing second once.

The most recent of those victories came when winning by a length over this distance in a Restricted 58 handicap event. 

The fifth home that day Top Babe has boosted the form with a victory since, while the pick has placed on half of his four starts on the forecast soft going. 

Trainer Jack Bruce has had a couple of winners in recent weeks and his representative looks capable of completing a double in this contest.  

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