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Australian Racing: Owen to make it count at Warwick Farm

There are six meetings set to take place on Wednesday, with five of those metro fixtures, including at Warwick Farm.

Race 4 Warwick Farm

Owen County @ 5.50

Race 7 Sandown Hillside

Chester Warrior @ 5.50

Race 6 Ascot

Ensign Pulver @ 21.00

County to complete a hat-trick

The fourth race on the Warwick Farm is the longest of the day at the track, with the Benchmark 72 handicap set to be staged over 2110m.

Top weight Etna Rosso has the services of top hoop James McDonald, having performed well in Europe including when fifth at Royal Ascot in June last year.

The four-year-old came home fifth in the 2816m Queen’s Vase that day but he has been racing over shorter since joining the Chris Waller team.

Following a down the field effort over 1350m at Rosehill first up he took a step forward when beaten less than two lengths in a 1600m contest at Randwick on 17th February.

The entire jumped at triple figure odds when seventh in a Benchmark 88 event that day is expected to go off as favourite again when stepping up in distance.

However, OWEN COUNTY is preferred on this occasion, with the gelding arriving here in good form following two wins at a lower level.

Those two wins including a two-length success on a good 4 track in a Benchmark 64 handicap over 2100m at Gosford at the start of last month.

The 5.50 son of Dundeel duly followed up when successful by a narrow margin on a soft 7 surface when racing over 2000m just under three weeks later.

The pick is a fairly versatile type with regard to tactics and he looks up to helping Brad Widdup improve on his 26% strike-rate (5/19) at this venue in the last twelve months.

Warrior to battle for Sandown win

The penultimate contest at Sandown Hillside is a 1000m Benchmark 70 handicap expected to take place on a good 4 track.

The James Cummings-trained Pantelone is expected to start as favourite, having resumed last prep with a half-length win in a Bendigo maiden.

The three-year-old went on to deliver a victory when racing over 1200m in a Benchmark 70 handicap at Mornington.

The gelding was spelled following a decent fifth in a 1400m event at Flemington in November and it can pay to look elsewhere over this distance.

Preference in this event is for CHESTER WARRIOR for the Ben, JD & Will Hayes team.

The gelding is a dual winner this season, including when successful over this distance when racing down the straight at Flemington in January.

The 5.50 selection was freshened following that effort, however he proved a disappointment when racing at this level over 1100m at Flemington subsequently.

A change of tactics saw the gelding race from off the pace last time having made all on his penultimate start and he is taken to return to winning ways.

Conditions set to favour Ensign

Ascot are set to race on a soft 5 track with the penultimate race of the day a 1400m handicap event.

Holly Watson has just one ride on the card taking the ride on the nine-year-old ENSIGN PULVER in this contest.

The gelding jumped at odds of $101 when coming within a length of springing a surprise in a 1410m Class 5 handicap at Bunbury early last month.

While the 21.00 pick failed to build on that effort, returning to metro company when fifth of nine over 1400m at Belmont Park subsequently, he raced wide without cover that day.

Trained by Bradley Senior, the gelding has shown a liking for wet tracks in the past, including when saluting on a soft 5 track at Belmont Park in September.

While the barrier allocation could have been kinder here, the son of Harbour Watch has forecast conditions to suit and is selected to deliver a victory.

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