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Australian Racing: Divine Pair targets win number three

With two provincial and two country meetings set to take place on Thursday there’s some competitive action to get stuck into including a ten race card at Northam.

Pair for Northam glory

In the eighth at Northam, an 1100m Class 3 handicap the return of Brad Rawiller to saddle for Halatorion catches the eye.

The veteran hoop was on board for both of the five-year-old’s wins las t spell but has been absent from the saddle this time around including when the son of Oratorio finished ninth over 1200m at Belmont Park on 27th July.

Unproven on the forecast heavy 8 track however and Halatorion is expected to find top weight and likely favourite Divine Pair too strong.

Colin Webster’s charge has shown good form over this course and distance this spell including when runner-up in a Class 5 on a good 4 track last month. Raced from off the pace on that occasion and has delivered his best efforts when employing that running style.

Notably boasts a strong wet track record with two wins and four places from six starts on soft or heavy surfaces and with regular pilot Peter Knuckey up the five-year-old is selected to register career win number three.

Lisa to double up

The fifth race on the Newcastle, the 1890m Prince Of Merewether Handicap, a Class 1 contest is the longest race on the card with Pharoah’s Reign likely to start favourite.

The four-year-old mare got off the mark at the eighth time of asking when justifying short odds in winning a 1750m maiden at Muswellbrook by a length on a soft 6 track.

Had previously placed second in three of her four starts this spell including on her sole start on a heavy surface in a 1300m maiden at Hawkesbury when racing first up.

Recent efforts and breeding suggest she will have no issues with the extra distance here but fellow last time out winner Just Like Lisa may have too much for the American Pharoah mare.

Just Like Lisa recorded her first victory when taking out a Class 1 contest over 1600m on a soft 7 track at Scone last month.

Has proven form on wet tracks having placed twice in heavy track maiden races at this venue earlier this spell while she has form over around this distance having ended her last spell with two placed efforts in maiden company over 1850 and 1900m.

The booking of Nash Rawiller is of note here and while his mount has a wide draw to overcome that should not prove too much of an issue given her tactical versatility.

Dragon for maiden triumph

Hesitate looks sure to have her supporters ahead of the third race on the Sale card, a 1732m maiden plate.

Craig Newitt’s mount has placed second twice this spell following up a sixth place finish on the Pakenham Synthetic track with a second on a good 4 surface over 1717m here last month.

Tracked the pace that day and is expected to employ similar tactics with a good barrier draw two off the rail.

Preference however is for Rhythmic Dragon who overcame a wide draw and an awkward start to deliver a third place finish in the previously mentioned maiden race here.

Caught the eye in finishing well on that occasion and is taken to reverse form with Hesitate to get off the mark at the sixth time of asking.

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