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Australian Racing: Saloon to drink in Northam success

There's plenty of racing action taking place on Sunday, including at Northam where they are set to stage a Group 3 contest.

Other meetings take place at Alice Springs, Bathurst, Devonport, Nowra, Port Augusta, Sale and Sunshine Coast on a busy day of racing.

Race 6 Northam

Saloon Bar @ 5.00

Race 7 Sunshine Coast

Ready To Torque @ 5.00

Race 4 Bathurst

Roman Miss @ 3.80

Saloon for Group 3 glory

The previously mentioned Northam Group 3 contest is the 1300m Northam Stakes, expected to be held on a soft 5 track.

The feature race comes up as the penultimate contest on a seven-race card, with the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Western Empire expected to start favourite.

The six-year-old placed at Group 1 level at Ascot in the Kingston Town Classic over 1800m in December 2021, but has finished held in three starts at that level since.

Those efforts include a 12th when jumping at $201 for the 1400m Group 1 Memsie Stakes on his final start of 2023.

The gelding returned with a good third when beaten less than a length in The Drummond Golf Joey over 1200m last month and he has William Pike up once more.

However, the Daniel Morton-trained SALOON BAR is the selection on this occasion.

The gelding demonstrated solid form at a lower level last prep, including when winning a 1200m Benchmark 78+ handicap at Ascot in December.

The 5.00 pick raced on a good 4 track that day, having demonstrated that he handles wet tracks when placed three times on soft surfaces at Belmont Park earlier that prep.

While the four-year-old has been unable to score in three starts this time around, he lost out narrowly in a 1200m Benchmark 72+ handicap at Ascot on his penultimate start.

The selection arrives here on the back of a fifth, beaten just over one-and-a-half-lengths in The Kia Quokka at Ascot last month and he looks up to saluting in this contest.

Torque set for hat-trick success

They race on the polytrack surface at Sunshine Coast and Enterprise Lucia is expected to prove popular with punters ahead of the seventh race of the day.

The race in question is a 1000m Benchmark 62 handicap, with the filly set to make her first start since joining the Stuart Kendrick stable.

The three-year-old won twice at Grafton last year including in an 1106m Class 1 handicap in November.

In-form hoop Cody Collis takes one-and-a-half-kilos off the youngsters back, however, the pair will have to negotiate a wide alley if they are to take this event.

With the barrier in mind, READY TO TORQUE is taken to complete a hat-trick here, with the filly set to jump from five in this contest.

The four-year-old has won on both starts since switching to the polytrack here, having returned with a third in a small field race held on a heavy 10 track here in January.

The 5.00 pick recorded a second up success by over a length when taking out a Class 1 handicap over this distance here at the start of March.

A victory in a Benchmark 58 handicap under her jockey here Damien Thornton duly followed two weeks later.

Trainer Billy Healey has freshened his filly since that latest course success and she is taken to complete a hat-trick.

Roman to rule at Bathurst

The fourth race at Bathurst is a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap with ROMAN MISS selected to register her second win in three starts this prep.

The three-year-old broke her maiden when winning on a soft 5 track in a 1010m maiden event at Orange first up.

The 3.80 pick subsequently recorded a fourth-place finish when tackling a Class 1 handicap over 1100m at Scone.

The filly raced on a good 4 track when beaten just over four-and-a-half-lengths doing best of those to race towards the head of affairs.

Gary Portelli’s filly has a good barrier in six here and she is taken to return to winning ways with Mikayla Weir in the saddle.

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