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Australian Racing: Orion to hunt down Mornington win

There are four meetings taking place on Monday with Mornington, Goulburn, Inverell and Thangool all set to stage racing action.

Race 5 Mornington

Orion The Hunter @ 4.60

Race 6 Goulburn

Rush Attack @ 3.50

Race 6 Thangool

Fulmen @ 2.10

Hunter to triumph for Nichols

The fifth race on Mornington’s eighth race card is a 1500m Benchmark 58 handicap set to take place on a soft 5 surface.

The Ben, JD & Will Hayes team saddle Co Co Van Winkle here, with the filly arriving here in great form as the winner of two of her five starts this prep.

The four-year-old placed second when beaten five lengths in a 1300m Class 1 handicap at Cranbourne on her penultimate start.

That effort was followed up by a win when stepped up to 1606m for a Restricted 58 handicap at Ararat earlier this month.

Celine Gaudray’s mount has shown form on a wet track in the past, however she looks opposable in this event.

Jockey Lauren Burke is apprenticed to trainer Shane Nichols with the pair boasting an impressive 36% strike-rate (6/19) when teaming up.

They team up with ORION THE HUNTER, with the gelding having put a couple of below par efforts behind him when winning over 1406m at Benalla last month.

The 4.60 pick came home nearly half-a-length clear of his rivals when contesting a Restricted 58 handicap on a good 3 track on that occasion.

The three-year-old followed that success up with a good third, beaten less than two lengths in a six-runner Benchmark 72 handicap event over 1550m on 6th April.

The son of Deep Field raced at metro level at Morphettville Parks on that occasion and, dropping in grade, looks up to defying a wide barrier in this event.

Attack to resume with victory

The penultimate contest of the day at Goulburn is a 1300m Benchmark 58 handicap event, with Showboat expected to prove popular with punters.

The three-year-old made a winning racecourse debut when successful by a narrow margin in a 10-runner maiden over 1000m at Muswellbrook last August.

Victorious over 1000m on that occasion, he failed to figure when ridden from off the pace having jumped at odds of $61 at Gosford first up this prep.

The gelding steps up to this distance for the first time here and, while this looks an easier contest, fellow three-year-old RUSH ATTACK is the selection.

The son of Brave Smash showed improvement with racing in his first prep, finishing fifth when beaten just over three lengths in an 1100m Bathurst maiden on debut.

The 3.50 gelding raced on a soft 5 track that day, but proved a sound surface is no issue when half-a-length fourth over 1300m in a Kembla Grange maiden in November.

Trained by Annabel Neasham, the return to a wet track saw the pick break his maiden at the third attempt when racing over 1500m on a soft 7 surface at Mudgee.

The youngster raced from the front there and has a good barrier should connections wish to employ similar tactics following two recent barrier trials.

Fulmen to salute at Thangool

The absence of Masonry Man sees FULMEN shoulder top weight in the sixth race at Thangool.

The four-year-old broke his maiden on a soft 5 track when contesting a 1300m maiden at Rockhampton last month.

The 2.10 pick followed that up with a good fourth when racing over 1300m in a Class 1 handicap at Mackay.

The son of Ribchester can be forgiven for a slightly disappointing sixth in a Restricted 55 handicap at Rockhampton last time given that he raced on a heavy 9 track that day.

The return to a forecast sound surface is in his favour and tackling an easier contest with Justin P Stanley up he looks capable of saluting from an inside alley.

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