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  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Soarhi eyeing Grafton glory

There are just two meetings taking place on Monday with Grafton and Wodonga set to host racing action.

Race 3 Grafton

Mofeed @ 3.00

Race 8 Grafton

Soarhi @ 2.70

Race 6 Wodonga

Bon Shadow @ 5.50

Mofeed to salute

Filthy Rich, the mount of Norikyuki Masuda, is expected to have his supporters ahead of the third race on the card, a 1420m maiden plate.

The five-year-old has been a regular at this venue in recent months, running here four times this spell, including when one-and-a-half-lengths second here earlier this month.

That effort came over this trip and, while similar (soft 5) conditions are expected here, the gelding has a wide alley to overcome if he is to salute here.

A wide alley is a further negative and with that in mind, the once-raced MOFEED is preferred on this occasion.

The selection showed improvement with racing in barrier trials with his most recent effort resulting in a sixth over 946m in a barrier trial at this venue last month.

That effort preceded the gelding’s official debut over 1181m at this circuit earlier this month. 

The gelding raced from off the pace on that occasion but caught the eye in delivering some good late progress over a trip that appeared to be on the short side.

The son of Akeed Mofeed is expected to appreciate the step up in distance he gets here and, with a good barrier, he looks capable of breaking his maiden at the second attempt. 

Soarhi eyeing Grafton glory

The concluding race on the Grafton card is a competitive looking 1620m set weights Class 1 event.

A soft 5 track is expected with I Am Good At This and SOARHI expected to compete for favouritism in the race.

The former showed he handles this track when losing out narrowly by a nose in a 1220m maiden event here in March last year.

It took the gelding six subsequent starts to break his maiden, with that victory coming by less than two lengths in a 1550m maiden at Murwillumbah last month.

The five-year-old faced just five rivals that day and, with this looking a more competitive affair, Soarhi is preferred for the John Smerdon stable.

The five-year-old has yet to run at this track but showed that he can perform at a higher level when runner-up in a 1600m Benchmark 64 handicap at Moonee Valley in December. 

That Moonee Valley effort was his best performance of his last spell and he performed well when runner-up over 1400m at Sunshine Coast on his penultimate start.

The step back up in trip shouldn’t be an issue following a fourth over 1400m in a Class 1 handicap at Beaudesert last month.

The selection has a good jockey in the shape of Justin Huxtable and, while the underfoot conditions are softer than ideal, he is taken to double his career tally. 

Shadow to complete double

The sixth race at Wodonga takes the eye with regards to the third selection of the day. 

The race concerned is a 1200m Benchmark 64 handicap with BON SHADOW having shown good form so far this spell.

The selection is a three-time winner this time around while the seven-year-old has delivered a further four places from a total of nine starts since resuming in December.

The most recent of those three victories saw the gelding register a narrow margin victory in a 1300m Benchmark 64 handicap at Swan Hill early last month.

Freshened since that Swan Hill success, he has the services of Billy Egan and looks capable of completing a double. 

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