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Australian Racing: Velvet Haze eyes Grafton glory

After Without A Fight’s impressive Melbourne Cup success on Tuesday there are four meetings for punters to get involved with on Wednesday.

Race 7 Kyneton

Convener @ 3.00  

Race 3 Grafton

Velvet Haze @ 5.00  

Race 8 Port Lincoln

Dantela @ 4.00 

Convener to take Cup

It’s Cup day at Kyneton with the feature race, the bet365 Kyneton Cup, set to take place as the seventh race on a nine-race card.

The big race of the day is due to take place over 2006m with a good 4 track expected at the Victoria venue.

Red Sun Sensation has delivered a couple of good efforts since finishing last of eight when jumping at triple figure odds in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield first up.

The four-year-old has placed on both subsequent outings, including when returning to Group company for the 2040m JRA Cup, a Group 3 event at Moonee Valley on 27th October.

The gelding was narrowly beaten when runner-up that day and the Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman-trained gelding has a good barrier here.

The ex-European galloper CONVENER is preferred on this occasion however.

Trained by Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, Convener showed solid form when delivering a two-length victory in a Benchmark 78 handicap at Mornington in April.

The five-year-old was spelled following a below-par effort over 1800m at Flemington the following month, but delivered a good second at Moe when racing first up this time around.

That second came in the 2050m Moe Cup, a handicap event held on a good 4 track, and he has Teodore Nugent, on board that day, in the saddle here.

Barrier one is a further positive for the son of Almanzor and he looks up to returning to winning ways.

Haze for Grafton glory

Grafton are set to stage an eight-race card on a soft 5 track with the third race of the day an interesting 1400m Benchmark 66 handicap.

Jai Williams’ mount Galaxy General is expected to have his supporters, returning to turf following three outings on the polytrack at Gold Coast.

The most recent of those efforts saw the gelding placing third in a 1200m Benchmark 60 handicap on 28th October.

A change of tactics saw the gelding race from the front on that occasion. However, he is a versatile type tactics wise having won from off the pace at the same venue in July.

However, it’s notable that the four-year-old steps up in trip and he looks opposable returning to turf.

The Kris Lees’ trained filly VELVET HAZE is preferred in this contest, having impressed when saluting by nearly two-and-a-half-lengths over 1300m at Beaumont on his penultimate start.

That Beaumont triumph came when racing in a Benchmark 58 handicap over 1300m on 26th September.

The pick followed that triumph up with a good third in a similar race to this over the same distance at Coffs Harbour.

While both of those efforts came on a sound surface, the four-year-old had placed third on a soft 6 track at Scone earlier this spell, while she placed on heavy going in 2022.

Apprentice Benjamin Osmond takes two kilograms off the filly’s back and the pair are taken to defy a wide barrier to register a victory here.

Dantela to double up

The last race on the Port Lincoln card takes the eye, with DANTELA expected to salute in the 1350m Benchmark 64 handicap.

The mare performed well over 1250m here when placing second, beaten one-and-a-half-lengths in a Benchmark 68 handicap on 15th October.

The daughter of Showcasing duly went one better when victorious over this course and distance in a Benchmark 62 handicap on a good 4 track 10 days later.

Kayla Crowther, on board for both of those efforts, is again in the saddle, and with the trip and underfoot conditions to suit the pair look up to completing a double.

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