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Australian Racing: Drop in distance suits Tafika

We’ve just the three meetings to get involved in this Monday with country fixtures from Benalla, Grafton and Tamworth set to take place.

Tafika to break maiden

The third at Benalla is a highly competitive 1206m maiden contest with the field headed by the Craig Weeding-trained Kaurava.

The daughter of Spring Falls placed on her final two starts in her first spell with the most recent of those efforts coming when placing third in a 1400m maiden at Wagga in February. Had previously filled the same position over 1175m at Albury and while she showed she handles a soft 5 at Albury she is unproven on heavy going.

A wide draw is a further negative with regards her chances and claimer Fiona Sandkuhl may find she has one or two in front of her when passing the post at the finish.

Tafika placed third on her first two Australian starts including when beaten six-and-a-half-lengths in a 1600m maiden on a heavy 8 track at Ballarat last month.

Proved a disappointment when down the field over the same trip at Bendigo subsequently but with a good draw here and debuting for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace training team she is taken to get off the mark dropping back in distance.

Deputy to fly home at Grafton

In the fourth at Grafton, an 1185m maiden handicap Heir Apparent is expected to jump as favourite following a couple of solid efforts this spell.

Trained by John Sprague the four-year-old delivered a good fourth place finish in a 1206 maiden on a heavy 8 track at Port Macquarie earlier this month.

Has shown a liking for a sound surface when placed over 1000m in a Sandown HIllside maiden on a good 4 track at the start of this year but is expected to find that the Ryan Malone-ridden Flying Deputy has too much in this contest.

Flying Deputy finished a respectable fifth in a 1200m maiden at Murwillumbah recently and while he failed to muster a place that it was a respectable effort coming on the back of two third place finishes at Ipswich including over 1350m.

Both of those efforts came on good tracks and while the draw could have been kinder only likely outsider La Fusee of the pace angles is drawn inside the pick and he should have no issues from barrier eight.

Girl to break maiden at Tamworth

Divine Crescent placed twice on good 4 racks last spell including when third over 1400m at Bathurst in February and is expected to be fancied ahead of the penultimate race on the Tamworth card, a 1200m maiden contest.

Cameron Crockett’s charge is open to improving having made just the four previous appearances but he is making his first start for Crockett and as such the experienced Astern’s Girl who has shown a liking for wet tracks in the past is preferred.

The selection delivered a solid second place finish in a 1010m maiden on a soft 7 track at Port Macquarie when returning from a break at the start of this month and she delivered a decent fourth place finish over 1206m on a heavy 9 surface at the same venue subsequently.

Has raced from the front in the past but was ridden with more restraint last time out and looks capable of slotting in behind likely pacesetter George’s Super prior to getting off the mark at the eighth time of asking.

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