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Australian Racing: Queen Alina can claim New Year’s Day crown

There’s plenty of racing action set to take place on New Year’s Day including metro meetings at Flemington, Ascot, Canterbury and Longford.

Race 8 Ascot

Queen Alina @ 8.50 

Race 6 Flemington

Glentaneous @ 3.20 

Race 7 Canterbury

Recommendation @ 4.40 

Queen to rule in Cup

The Group 2 Perth Cup over 2400m is set to take place as the penultimate race on a nine-race card. 

Local runner Casino Seventeen is expected to jump as favourite to beat a number of interstate raiders.

Grant & Alana Williams’ gelding has shown good placing form this spell, including when three lengths third in the Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes over 2100m here on 23rd December.

The extra distance looks likely to suit, with the six-year-old set to meet the winner that day, Numerian, on more favourable terms. 

While William Pike’s mount looks a worthy favourite here, preference is for the Daniel & Ben Pearce-trained mare QUEEN ANILA.

The selection has shown improved form this time around, winning once and placing twice from his four starts in Listed company.

The daughter of Mahuta is a tactically versatile mare and showed good form when racing close to the speed, prior to taking out the A.T.A. Stakes over 2200m here on 20th December.

The five-year-old had a number of her rivals here behind her on that occasion and gets in off a low weight in this contest.

Jockey Chris Parnham knows the mare well, having ridden her on each of her last 11 starts and the pair look capable of registering a big race win here.  

Glentaneous to triumph at Flemington

The sixth race on the Flemington card is the Listed Bago Handicap, due to take place on a good 4 surface over 2800m.

Ruling showed good form when trained in Ireland and he has delivered good efforts in two starts since joining the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace team.

The six-year-old’s first effort saw him catch the eye when a length second in a 2046m Benchmark 700 handicap on a good 3 track at Benalla in November. 

Jamie Kah takes the ride here, with her mount recording his first victory since switching hemispheres, when successful by a narrow margin in a 2400m Benchmark 84 handicap at Caulfield a month ago.

The step up in distance should pose no issues here, however, GLENTANEOUS is preferred here for the red hot Anthony & Sam Freedman team.

The Freedman team can boast a 33% strike-rate (13/39) in the last 30 days with the pick contributing two victories to that total.

The most recent of those saw him finish strongly to deliver a victory in a 2500m Benchmark 78 handicap on a good 3 track at Moonee Valley on 23rd December.

Prior to that, the gelding had won by two lengths in a small field 2400m Benchmark 70 handicap at Sandown Lakeside and he shapes as if this step up in distance will prove no issue. 

Recommendation for sprint success

The Kia Canterbury Sprint is the feature race on the Canterbury card, with the Listed contest set to take place over 1200m as the seventh race of the day.

A soft 6 is expected here with RECOMMENDATION selected to score for the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable.

The gelding has won twice this spell, including when taking out the Racing And Sports Razor Sharp Handicap, a Listed event over 1200m at Randwick last month.

The form of that contest is working out well with the third home, Waihaha Falls, registering a victory subsequently while the pick has a good barrier six from the rail.

The four-year-old is unbeaten in two starts on going described as soft and, with Regan Bayliss up, he looks capable of completing a hat-trick. 

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