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Australian Racing: Skiing to power home at Warrnambool

Warrnambool is the main meeting on Monday, with a total of $275,000 on offer at their flat and jumps card.

Race 6 Warrnambool

Skiing @ 3.40

Race 6 Grafton

He's A Copy Boy @ 11.00

Race 7 Beaumont

Keikoku @ 5.50

Skiing to complete a double

The sixth race on the Warrnambool card is a competitive looking 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap set to take place on a soft 6 track.

Judge Kellie won second up last prep when breaking her maiden by a narrow margin in a 1200m maiden at Woodville just under a year ago and she races second up here.

While unable to score in three starts since that Woodville triumph, she returned with a good two length second over this distance at Terang earlier this month.

The four-year-old contest a Benchmark 64 handicap on that occasion and she gets a drop in grade here.

The filly was making her Australian and stable debut for the Michelle Payne team when racing at Terang and she caught the eye having raced from off the pace that day.

Preference in this event, however, is for Ciaron Maher’s top weight SKIING.

The gelding showed ability prior to making his debut in an 1100m maiden at Ararat at the end of last month.

The four-year-old came home over a length clear of his rivals when racing on a good 3 track on that occasion and he puts his unbeaten record on the line here.

The form of that Ararat contest hasn’t been properly tested as yet, with the 3.40 pick racing in fourth prior to going on to deliver a victory under Linda Meech.

The selection tackles winners for the first time here and jumping from an inside barrier he looks up to completing a double, with apprentice Luke Cartwright set to ride.

Copy goes for Grafton glory

The meeting at Coffs Harbour has been switched to Grafton, with the sixth race of the day a 1505m Benchmark 58 handicap.

The Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained Never Island is expected to start as favourite from barrier three as she seeks a second win this prep.

She has performed well on both starts here since resuming in December, including when winning a 1600m Benchmark 58 handicap here in January.

The filly has been beaten less than two-and-a-half-lengths in metro events at Doomben on both subsequent starts and, while unproven on heavy going, she acts on soft ground.

HE'S A COPY BOY is the selection here, however, with the gelding having performed well on soft and heavy surfaces in the past.

The four-year-old resumed with a good third when beaten just under three-and-a-half-lengths over 1600m at Taree in November.

The 11.00 selection contested a Benchmark 66 handicap on a good 4 track that day and he can be forgiven two heavy defeats when jumping at big odds subsequently.

The first of those saw him contest a Class 3 handicap at Randwick the following month, while he was never involved dropped to 1400m at Tuncurry last month.

The gelding contested a $150,000 Class 5 set weights event at Tuncurry and he gets a welcome drop in grade here.

French apprentice Camille Houlgatte takes a valuable two kilograms off the top weights bac,  with the pair looking capable of saluting.

Keikoku to salute at Beaumont

The most valuable race on the Beaumont card is the concluding 1150m Benchmark 66 handicap.

KEIKOKU catches the eye for trainer Luke Pepper here, having shown solid form in his last prep including when winning over 1300m at Coonamble in June last year.

The drop back in distance appeared no issue with the five-year-old resuming with a five length third in a 1000m Benchmark 66 handicap at Muswellbrook on 15th March.

While the 5.50 selection raced on a good 3 track the softer going forecast here and a wide barrier are unlikely to pose issues with the gelding usually ridden from off the pace.

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