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

Australian Racing: Snowdome can Overpass Ascot favourite

There’s Group 1 action in Perth with Ascot’s 1200m Winterbottom Stakes the sole Group 1 contest of the day.

There are also four other metro meetings taking place across the country with wet tracks expected at all bar Caulfield.

Race 9 Ascot

Snowdome @ 15.00  

Race 8 Caulfield

Vow And Declare @ 4.40  

Race 7 Rosehill

Williamsburg @ 9.00 

Snowdome for Winterbottom glory

The feature race at Ascot is the penultimate action on a 10-race card.

With a soft 5 track expected, Overpass is set to jump as favourite, with connections having launched a successful raid on this venue when their gelding took out The Quokka here in April.

That effort came over this course and distance on a soft 5 track and, while he’s failed to score in three starts since, he has placed second twice including at Group 1 level.

The gelding lost out narrowly when returning from a spell in The Shorts, a Group 2 event over 1100m at Randwick in September, prior to a down-the-field effort in The Everest at Randwick.

Bjorn Baker’s gelding has been freshened since that effort and, while he rates a worthy favourite here, SNOWDOME is selected to spring a minor upset.

Trained by Neville Parnham, the pick showed progressive form last season, ending it with a half-length defeat in a 1200m Benchmark 78+ handicap at Belmont Park in June.

While that form is a fair way short of what will be required to win here, the four-year-old took a marked step forward when successful in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes here first up. 

Ridden by regular pilot Chris Parnham that day, the colt registered a narrow-margin victory dropped to 1000m when racing close to the pace.

Similar tactics are expected here and, while he has a wide barrier to overcome, he boasts a good record on wet tracks and is selected to register his eighth career win. 

Vow for Zipping success

The eighth race of the day at Caulfield is the Group 2 Zipping Classic over 2400m. A good 4 surface is expected for the contest with Muramasa set to have his supporters. 

The four-year-old is unbeaten in three starts this spell, with the two most recent of those coming in Group 3 company including when scoring in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2600m at Flemington.

The gelding came home two-and-a-half-lengths clear of his rivals on that occasion, having taken out the 2000m Coongy Cup at this venue prior.

The 2400m distance here is no issue, however, VOW AND DECLARE is preferred for the Danny O’Brien team on this occasion.

The veteran galloper registered a one-and-a-half-length victory in this race 12 months ago and he has shown that he is still a force to be reckoned with despite his advancing years.

The eight-year-old stepped up on his first up effort when delivering a two-length second in the Group 1 Might And Power Stakes over 2000m at Caulfield in October.

The selection followed that up with a good second-place finish in the 2500m Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup, while he can be forgiven for a ninth-place finish in the Melbourne Cup over 3200m last time. 

The drop back in distance is in his favour and, with Billy Egan up, he looks capable of registering back-to-back wins in this race. 

Williamsburg to triumph at Rosehill

The seventh race at Rosehill is the Group 3 James Squire Festival Stakes set to take place over 1500m on a soft 7 track.

WILLIAMSBURG showed good form over this track and trip when one-and-a-half-lengths second in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes here in September.

While not at his best in three subsequent starts, he’s been beaten by less than four lengths on each occasion, including when down the field in The Damien Oliver, a 1400m Group 2 contest.

The soft going here is no issue for Tyler Schiller’s mount and, having shown good form at this venue in the past, he is taken to salute for the Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou stable. 

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