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Australian Racing: Wings of Song to fly to Oaks glory

Racing in South Australia takes centre stage on Saturday, with two Group 1 contests taking place at Morphettville, the Australasian Oaks and the Robert Sangster Stakes.

A busy day of racing also sees meetings taking place at Caulfield, Rosehill, Eagle Farm, Ascot, Gold Coast, Kyneton, Kembla Grange, Geraldton and Toowoomba.

Race 7 Morphettville

Wings Of Song @ 6.50

Race 8 Morphettville

Estriella @ 3.20

Race 6 Caulfield

Modown @ 3.40

Song to extend winning run in Oaks

The first of those Morphettville Group 1 events is the 2000m Australasian Oaks set to be held on a good 4 surface.

Pulchritudinous is expected to have her supporters having demonstrated strong form in New Zealand for previous handler Chad Ormsby.

The filly placed third in a 1600m Benchmark 65 handicap at Tauranga in February, but has demonstrated strong form since being stepped up in distance.

The daughter of Wrote ended her time with Ormsby by completing a double in winning the 2400m New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.

Notably each of her last three starts have come on wet tracks and she will appreciate any softening of the going making her first start for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.

Patrick Payne sends out WINGS OF SONG here, with the filly having won four times in Tasmania earlier this prep.

Those victories included three wins in Listed company, including by half-a-length in the 2100m Listed Tasmanian Oaks at Launceston in February.

While this is a stronger contest, the three-year-old returned to the mainland when winning by two lengths in the 1800m Group 3 Auraria Stakes here two weeks ago.

The 6.50 selection is usually ridden from off the pace and, with that in mind, barrier nine shouldn’t pose any issues in this contest.

The Mendelssohn filly has won each of her last six starts and she is taken to continue her winning run, with Jake Noonan, on board here last time out, again set to ride.

Estriella set for Sangster success

The second Group 1 at Morphettville is the 1200m Robert Sangster Stakes.

Learning To Fly showed plenty of ability as a juvenile and she goes in search of her first win at three following two good efforts at Randwick.

The first of those Randwick starts saw her lose out by a narrow margin when contesting the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes over this trip in February.

The drop back to this distance is no issue for the filly, who finished a good fourth over 1400m in the Group 1 Surround Stakes subsequently.

Both of those efforts came on a soft 5 surface and she is expected to find ESTRIELLA hard to beat in this contest.

Ciaron Maher’s filly finished a close second in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes over 1200m at Randwick in August prior to a sixth over 1100m at Flemington.

The 3.20 pick was spelled following that Flemington effort and she has won all three starts this prep including twice at the Melbourne venue.

The most recent of her wins came when delivering an impressive two-and-a-half-length victory in the Listed Sunshine Classic there at the end of last month.

The return to 1200m shouldn’t pose any issues and Mark Zahra’s mount looks up to registering her first win at the highest level.

Modown looks good for Guineas win

Away from Adelaide, Caulfield plays hosts to The TBV Vobis Platinum Guineas over 1600m.

Charlotte Littlefield’s MODOWN is the selection here having demonstrated good form so far this prep.

The three-year-old failed to shine when fancied for the Group 2 Sandown Guineas over 1600m at Caulfield in December, but he was freshened following that last of 11.

While the 3.40 pick suffered a defeat in a 1200m Benchmark 64 handicap at Pakenham on his next start, he made amends upped to 1400m when winning there subsequently.

The gelding contested a Class 1 handicap that day, with connections opting to step him up to Listed company at Bendigo when last in action two weeks ago.

The selection placed third when beaten three lengths in the 1400m Bendigo Guineas on that occasion and he is taken to return to winning ways with Jack Hill booked to ride.

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