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

Australian Racing: Ruby set to take flight at Hawkesbury

There are six meetings set to take place on Thursday, including both Hawkesbury and Pakenham.

Race 8 Hawkesbury

Ruby Flyer @ 4.20

Race 7 Pakenham

Phere The Ex @ 4.60

Race 5 Rockhampton

Knight's Sword @ 1.90

Ruby Flyer to defy top weight

Acceber has plenty of experience with 13 starts to his name and is currently vying for favouritism ahead of the finale at Hawkesbury.

The race in question is a 1600m Class 1 handicap event with a soft 5 track expected for the 13-runner contest.

The gelding has delivered two placed efforts from five starts this spell, including when six lengths third in a Class 1 contest over 1600m at Wyong on his penultimate start.

The three-year-old appeared to find racing at Benchmark 74 level too much when down the field in ninth over the same course and distance.

While he has a good alley, similar comments apply to top weight RUBY FLYER who is preferred on this occasion.

The selection is racing on his home track, having returned to action with a seventh of nine in a maiden handicap over 1200m at Kembla Grange back in February.

Freshened following that effort, the son of Flying Artie went on to deliver an impressive five-and-a-half-length victory in a 1350m maiden at Wyong subsequently.

The switch to a soft 7 track combined with the step up in trip appeared to suit on that occasion.

The third home from that Wyong event has registered a victory on his only subsequent start and, with the promise of more to come at this trip, Jason Collett’s mount is selected to complete a double.

Hayes' charge ready to deliver

The penultimate race on Pakenham’s eight-race card is an interesting Benchmark 64 contest.

A soft 5 track is expected ahead of the 1400m event, with Titan Of Choice expected to jump as favourite, having performed well in defeat here a number of times this spell.

Those efforts include a half-length defeat when runner-up in a similar race to this over track and trip on a soft 5 surface on his penultimate start.

While only fifth over the same trip at Cranbourne subsequently, it’s of note that the gelding was beaten less than one-and-a-half-lengths that day.

However, he looks opposable here with PHERE THE EX the selection here.

Trained by Ben & JD Hayes, the pick broke his maiden when racing first up last spell, delivering a narrow victory in a 1600m maiden contest at Cranbourne in April last year.

The four-year-old went on to deliver a couple of solid efforts in much stronger events, including when sixth in the 2500m Group 1 South Australia Derby at Morphettville just over a year ago.

The son of Exosphere drops back markedly in distance, here having ended his 2022 campaign with two good placed efforts over 2400m and 2500m respectively.

The second of those efforts came in a $200,000 contest at Flemington and July and he looks capable of delivering a victory racing first up.

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Sword set to shine for Vale

KNIGHT'S SWORD looks up to returning to the winner's enclosure in the fifth race at Rockhampton.

The five-year-old contests a 1300m handicap contest with a heavy 8 surface expected.

The pick has yet to race on a heavy track, but has shown a liking for soft surfaces in the past, including when successful by a length in a small-field course and distance handicap last month.

The gelding took his record over this track and trip to three wins from as many starts that day, prior to a below-par effort at Mackay subsequently.

Promising claimer Montana Philpot takes the ride here and, with the Ricky Vale stable in good form with a 38% strike-rate (6/16) in the last month, Knight's Sword looks up to returning to winning ways.

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