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Australian Racing: Danaustar primed to strike at Sandown

There’s metro meetings at Canterbury, Sandown Hillside, Eagle Farm and Belmont Park plus a provincial fixture at Murray Bridge to get involved with on Wednesday.

Danaustar to triumph at Sandown Hillside

The sixth at Sandown Hillside, a 1300m Benchmark 70 contest set to be held on a soft 6 track has attracted a big field with the Jamie Kah-ridden Tobaysure expected to jump as favourite.

The four-year-old completed a double when delivering a one-and-a-half-length triumph in a 1600m Class 1 contest at Pakenham at the end of March.

While the gelding wasn’t up to scoring in stakes company when finishing a fair sixth in a 13 runner renewal of the Vobis Sires Guineas over the same trip at Caulfield subsequently he gets a marked drop in grade here.

However the shorter distance here isn’t certain to suit and the main pace angle in this field, Danaustar is taken to get the better of Phillip Stokes charge.

Danaustar has been in good form of late completing a soft track double when drawing clear of his rivals to take out a Benchmark 64 event over 1400m on the Lakeside course here back in July.

Subsequently finished runner-up at this level on a heavy 9 track over 1400m here three weeks later and having been freshened up by the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team since the Zoustar gelding is taken to defy a wide draw to deliver a victory under Linda Meech.

Derani for Eagle Farm glory

Moktaffy is expected to have plenty of supporters ahead of the fourth at Eagle Farm, an 1800m Class 2 contest set to take place on a good 4 track.

Chris Waller’s gelding has shown solid form at this track in recent times placing on two of his last three starts including when third over this distance in a Benchmark 72 event on 27th August.

A wide draw should prove no issue for the son of Lope de Vega given he has raced from off the pace on his two most recent starts and he is respected in what looks a highly competitive heat.

Derani has placed on both starts at this venue with both of those efforts coming in class 3 contests including when runner-up over this distance on a good 4 surface on his penultimate start.

Racing wide proved no issue when finishing third in a 1600m contest three starts back and with that in mind drawing barrier 11 for this contest shouldn’t prove too much of an issue.

Trained by Maryann Brosnan the gelding gets a drop in grade here following a close third in a 1700m event at Gold Coast on 26th August.

Started favourite for that Gold Coast race and looks up to making amends here with Robbie Fradd in the saddle.

County to score in the wet

In the sixth race at Canterbury, a 1550m Benchmark 72 event Quality Time and Akahata are vying for favouritism.

The former placed second when contesting a similar race to this over this distance on a soft 5 track at Randwick Kensington last month while the latter returned from a spell with a runner-up finish in a Benchmark 64 race over 1400m at Newcastle.

While the pair both hold strong claims it can fall to Owen County to break through for a third win in five career starts.

Twice a winner on heavy tracks including over 1400m in a handicap contest at Randwick back in May the pick has proved a disappointment on his two most recent starts including in the Group 1 J. J. Atkins Stakes over 1600m at Eagle Farm in June.

That effort came on a good 4 track and while the three-year-old was never involved on a soft 5 track in a Benchmark 72 event at Randwick Kensington latest the softer ground forecast here is a positive and John Sargent’s charge can return to winning ways with top hoop Hugh Bowman taking over in the saddle.

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