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Australian Racing: Expect an Inspirational showing at Flemington

While there are 22 meetings scheduled for Saturday, all eyes will be on the Group 1 action at Randwick and Flemington.

The former stages three Group 1 contests and the latter the most valuable race of the day in the shape of the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.

Girl to score in Turnbull

In the previously mentioned Turnbull Stakes, ex-European galloper Gold Trip is expected to jump as favourite having shown good form since joining the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team from France.

The son of Outstrip demonstrated good form back in his native country, including when finishing third in the 2400m Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on a soft surface at Saint-Cloud in July last year.

He delivered a respectable third over an inadequate 1500m in the Winter Challenge at Rosehill on his Australian debut in July. That was prior to taking a step forward to deliver a third place finish upped to Group 3 company when attempting to concede weight all round in the Foundation Cup over this trip at Caulfield two weeks ago.

Gold Trip, 14/5, sets the standard on form but the good 4 going forecast is quicker than ideal and Inspirational Girl at odds of 10/1 may spring a surprise back up to Group 1 company.

Danny O'Brien's charge was a winner at the top level at Ascot back in 2020 and while she missed most of 2021 she did manage to register a narrow margin success in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes over 1600m at this venue at the start of March.

She showed signs that another win might not be far away when placing second in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes over 1600m at Moonee Valley at the start of last month.

Inspirational Girl boasts an impressive four-from-four record second up and with the forecast going in her favour she is taken to deliver a victory with Jye McNeill in the saddle on her first attempt at this distance.

Vie for Metropolitan glory

Durston delivered an impressive three-and-a-half-length victory in the 2300m Newcastle Gold Cup on a soft 6 track at Newcastle just over two weeks ago and is likely to have his supporters as he goes in search of a first Group 1 triumph in the 2400m Metropolitan at Randwick.

Chris Waller's charge is bidding to complete a hat-trick having taken out the 2100m Wyong Gold Cup prior to that Newcastle triumph and while he's yet to tackle this trip since joining the Waller stable he was a winner at up to 2900m in Europe as a three-year-old and is to score 12/5.

He gets in off a low weight here, though, is tackling the forecast heavy 8 going for the first time in this contest.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team are represented by Le Don De Vie here and he is selected at 11/2 to register a third victory in five starts this spell. He has shown that heavy tracks are no issue when delivering an impressive victory in the Caloundra Cup over this trip on a heavy 10 track at Sunshine Coast on his penultimate start.

He had to race wide throughout on that occasion and the seven-year-old delivered a respectable seventh when contesting the Group 3 Premier's Cup over 2000m on a soft 5 track at this venue subsequently.

Zougotcha to take Flight

Earlier on the Randwick card the three-year-old fillies are in action in the 1600m Group 1 Flight Stakes.

Fireburn is likely to head the market at 6/4 having shown good form here at two winning three of her four starts at the track, including when taking out the Group 1 Inglis Sires' over 1400m here in April.

She backed that up with a second over this track and trip in the Champagne Stakes and handler Gary Portelli is likely to have her spot on following two fifth place finishes at Rosehill, including in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes last week.

However, Fireburn a wide draw to contend with here and may have to give best to the improving Zougotcha, who has registered back-to-back Group 2 victories here in recent times.

She followed up a victory in the 1200m Silver Shadow on a soft 5 track in August with a triumph under big race hoop James McDonald in the Tea Rose Stakes over 1400m two weeks ago.

Wet conditions are in her favour and at 5/2 she looks ready for the step up in grade and trip.

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