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Australian Racing: Winston Smurfhill can give competition the blues

There’s 10 meetings set to take place on Sunday including at Hawkesbury and Grafton in New South Wales.

Race 5 Hawkesbury

Kangaroo Court @ 3.60

Race 6 Grafton

Full Press @ 7.50

Race 7 Sunshine Coast

Winston Smurfhill @ 5.00

Court for Hawkesbury success 

The fifth at Hawkesbury takes the eye with regards our first selection of the day.

The race in question is a 1300m Class 1 handicap event with the resuming Strait Acer expected to have his supporters.

The Edward Cummings-trained gelding delivered a nose triumph in a 1400m maiden handicap at Randwick Kensington in December.

Following that effort the pick acquitted himself well in stronger contests including when beaten less than three-and-a-half-lengths into seventh in a 1500m Benchmark 72 race at Rosehill in March.

The three-year-old comes here on the back of a second over 1040m in a Randwick barrier trial but is overlooked in favour of KANGAROOS COURT.

Trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott the pick showed plenty of promise in two starts last spell including when fourth over 1400m in a maiden on a good 4 track at Scone in January.

The break following that effort appeared to suit with the gelding resuming with a one-and-a-half-length triumph in a 1200m maiden at Kembla Grange on 27th June.

The selection raced prominently that day and similar tactics are expected with jockey Adam Hyeronimus, on board that day again in the saddle. 

Press for Grafton glory

The Cassandra Stummer-trained Rachel’s Edge is likely to jump as favourite for the sixth race at Grafton.

The 1610m Benchmark 66 handicap is set to take place on a soft 5 surface and has attracted a field of 12.

The gelding failed to shine when jumping at big odds in a metro event at Randwick three starts back but has put in improved efforts in two subsequent starts. 

The four-year-old has placed on both of those outings including when third over 1600m in similar conditions to those forecast here at Scone June 30.

However the top weight FULL PRESS is selected to get the better of him on this occasion having performed well in defeat in three Cup races in recent starts.

The most recent of those saw the selection jump at $26 prior to finishing fourth in the 1500m Wauchope Cup at Port Macquarie June 18.

The step up in distance should prove no issue having performed well over further when runner-up in a 1720m contest here last November. 

Lachlan Scorse has had a couple of winners from a handful of rides in recent weeks and with his mount having shown a liking for this venue in the past they are taken to salute.

Smurfhill to salute at Sunshine Coast 

Trainer Natalie McCall has her string in good form of late with a 31% strike-rate (4/13) in the last 30 days.

She saddles the four-year-old WINSTON SMURFHILL in the seventh race on Sunshine Coast’s nine-race card.

The gelding showed up well when racing from the front in a 1200m Benchmark 58 handicap at Rockhampton when making his seasonal debut on a soft 5 track at the start of last month.

The son of Mahisara took a step forward when delivering a length victory over this course and distance when switched to a Class 1 contest two weeks later.

Freshened since that triumph the pick has a good alley six off the rail here and with Tiffani Brooker in the saddle he is taken to register his third career success.

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