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Australian Racing: Poker Dice ready to roll

There’s plenty of racing on Friday with six meetings for punters to get stuck into.

Race 4 - Sunshine Coast 

Mr Galazi @  3.00

Race 7 - Orange 

Zakariz @ 11.00

Race 4 - Canberra 

Poker Dice @ 2.60

Galazi to complete double:

The fourth race on the Sunshine Coast card is an interesting Class 1 1000m handicap contest. 

A good 4 track is expected at the Queensland venue with a field of ten due to line up following the scratchings of Caesaris, Lost Media and Rockatansky. 

Big Short is expected to have his supporters after delivering a first up victory last spell, when taking out a 1200m maiden on soft 5 track at the start of October. 

The four-year-old followed that success up with two second place finishes, including under his rider here, Kyle Wilson-Taylor, in a 1200m Class 1 event at Doomben in November. 

Off the track, since that effort, he has yet to race over 1000m with all of his form coming over further. 

With that in mind preference is for MR GALAZI who with two starts to his name is the least experienced runner in the field. 

The son of Sir Prancealot debuted with a half-length second in an 860 maiden at Gatton in early December. 

The winner that day won at Ipswich on his next two starts and it was no surprise to punters to see the pick salute by two lengths over 1000m at Eagle Farm when next in action. 

The subject of support in the market on that occasion the pick made all the running to see off his eight rivals. 

Georgina Cartwright, on board for both previous starts is again in the saddle here and her mount can resume with a victory.

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Zakeriz for Cup success 

The Orange Cup provides the feature at Orange with a heavy 9 track expected for the 2100m handicap contest. 

Ita is expected to jump as favourite following a couple of solid runs over shorter including when beaten a length into fourth in the Muswellbrook Cup over 1500m at Muswellbrook two weeks ago. 

That effort came on a soft 6 track but the five-year-old has shown a liking for heavy tracks in the past winning once and placing six times from eight outings on tracks described as heavy. 

The extra distance here should prove no issue having run well over track and trip just over a year ago but a wide barrier may be more of an issue. 

ZAKERIZ boasts an impressive four wins from seven starts on heavy track and is selected to deliver a victory here however. 

The pick registered a victory over 1600m on a soft 6 surface at Albury when last in action March 23. 

The step up in distance here looks likely to suit while the selection has a decent alley seven from the rail. 

Jockey Molly Bourke knows the veteran performer well and she can steer the son of Zariz to a ninth career success.

Dice for Canberra glory 

POKER DICE takes the eye in the fourth race on the Canberra card with the pick coming into the 2000m contest on the back of a fourth in a similar race to this over course and distance. 

The Class 1 contest sees the Keith Dryden-trained gelding jump from barrier eight having proven he stays further when runner-up over 2200m on a Good 4 track at Sapphire Coast three starts back. 

The selection did best of those coming from off the pace when beaten just over two lengths last time out with the winner and third boosting the form with subsequent victories. 

Jockey Jeff Penza knows what it takes to win here given he boasts a 21% strike-rate (23/1109) here in the last 12 months.

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