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Australian Racing: Vokes looks on course for Devonport success

There are no fewer than nine meetings set to take place on Sunday, including at Devonport in Tasmania and Grafton in New South Wales, as well as Mudgee and Kilcoy.

Race 5 Devonport Synthetic
Vokes @ 3.00

Race 6 Grafton
Gulf Of Tomini @ 6.50

Race 2 Mudgee
Aussie Pharoah @ 3.80

Vokes expected to return in style

The fifth race at Devonport is an interesting race, with Sistine expected to have her supports in the 1150m Benchmark 60 handicap that is set to take place on the synthetic track.

The filly delivered a second-place finish when racing in a handicap over 1200m at Hobart on her penultimate start.

The three-year-old showed good form when beaten a length on a good 4 track on that occasion, but has been absent since finishing down the field in a 1200m event at Launceston 12 days later.

Trained by Sigrid Carr, the filly showed she handles this track when trialling with a second over 800m here last month, but she looks opposable with preference for fellow returnee VOKES.

Vokes made just the two starts last time around, including when placing third in a 1009m Restricted 62 handicap at this venue a year ago.

The 3.00 three-year-old followed that effort up with an impressive success in an 1120m handicap on a soft 6 surface at Launceston three weeks later.

While the daughter of Needs Further’s subsequent absence is a concern, she has trialled well ahead of her return to action including when successful in an 800m barrier trial here in May.

The Leanne Gaffney-trained filly has a good alley four off the rail and is taken to salute on her seasonal reappearance. 

Gulf enjoys the going at Grafton

GULF OF TOMINI takes the eye in the sixth race at Grafton.

The race in question is the 2230m McKimmes R.E. Cup Prelude, which is set to take place on a soft 5 track.

Trained by Cassandra Schmidt, the 6.50 gelding has shown a liking for this venue in the past by winning three of his four previous starts here, including in a Benchmark 58 handicap on a good 3 track in November.

He has won twice since then, with both of those victories coming at Port Macquarie, including when victorious by half-a-length in a Benchmark 66 event over 2000m at the end of May.

The four-year-old found the step up to metro level too much when a well-beaten last of eight when tackling a Benchmark 78 event over 2000m at Rosehill just over two weeks ago.

This looks a more suitable target and the tactically versatile gelding is taken to register a victor with Luke Rolls booked to ride.

Pharoah to rule at Mudgee

Line Of Fire took a step forward when third last time out and is expected to jump as favourite for the second at Mudgee.

The competitive 1500m maiden handicap has attracted a field of 14, with Bjorn Baker’s colt having delivered a third in a six runner 1400m maiden at Nowra when last in action June 20th.

The two-year-old has yet to prove his liking for a wet track, however, with the going forecast to be a heavy 8 and AUSSIE PHAROAH is preferred on this occasion.

The 3.80 pick showed solid form when third in a 1300m maiden on a soft 5 track at Dubbo on his penultimate outing.

The three-year-old gelding followed that up with a half-length defeat, having raced from the front in a 1600m maiden at Coonamble nine days later.

The drop back to 1500m here should prove no issue, while similar comments apply to the softer going forecast.

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