Kerry Weir will head to Albury today with just the one runner in action and that will be Jounama, who is set to contest the 1200m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
The six-year-old will appreciate the drop in class and gate two, while punters will notice that the experienced Simon Miller is back in the saddle.
Still, the Tumut runner will be forced to carry 60kg for her second up run this preparation.
The Zoffany mare was a little under done first up at Wagga and will strip fitter for this event.
The track will suit, with some cut out of the ground with Albury being either a soft five or six but her second up record is poor, with only one placing from four starts.
It will definitely pay to follow the winner of five races at some stage this preparation, but it could be a tad too early at this stage.
Mouse Almighty has been drawn as the third emergency in the 1100m Coolmore Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday but it is highly unlikely connections will take on the $112,000 event if she gets a run.
The George Dimitropoulos runner, who has won two on the trot with wins at Corowa and Wagga, was also nominated for a 1000m Class Two at Queanbeyan on Sunday.
Still, the Tumbarumba trainer said he will probably bypass both events and focus on a 1000m Class Three TAB Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick the following Saturday.
Regardless of the outcome of this, or next weekend’s events, the three-year-old Star Witness filly will be off for a well deserved spell before returning later this year as a four-year-old.
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Former Tumbarumba trainer Rodger Waters will also contest the same 1200m Benchmark 58 at Albury with the in-form Sizzleonthebridge.
The four-year-old Sizzling gelding has won twice from his previous four starts, boasting wins at Wagga and Leeton.
Waters was initially going to spell the Wantabadgery runner but after drawing close to the inside with gate four; he decided to give him one more run.
Ellen Hennessy is in the saddle for the two-kilogram claim, meaning the last start Leeton winner will only carry 56.5kg.
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Connections of Battle Master are giving him every chance of running this week, nominating for three meetings and accepting in two.
The Sturt Thoroughbreds four-year-old was the first emergency at Pakenham last night, potentially jumping from gate 13 in the fifth event, the 1400m Benchmark 64 Handicap.
Luke Nolan was named for the ride and the Mitch Freedman runner was an $18 shot at the time of printing.
The Master of Design gelding, who is out of Bella Vie, is also nominated for race eight at Cranbourne tonight, another 1400m Benchmark 64 Handicap.
Connections faired just as poorly in the barrier draw, with gate 12, whilst Billy Egan is down for the ride.
Freedman has certainly kept his options open though, nomination Battle Master for a 1300m Benchmark 64 Handicap at Bendigo on Sunday.
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Recent Murrumbidgee Turf Club Guineas runner up, Cyborg, is off to Rosehill Gardens tomorrow, contesting the 1500m Class Three TAB Highway Handicap.
The Norm Gardner runner has been in extremely good form of late and deserves a chance in town and looks very well placed in this class of race.
The Tumut owned three-year-old will need a little luck though, after drawing gate 18 but connections get the services of popular Sydney hoop Sam Clipperton.
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Steven Kemp will back up Egler and Lara’s Double at Wagga this Sunday, after a successful trip to Temora last weekend.
Egler, who will jump from box eight in the third event, which is a 320m fifth grade, won on debut over the 330m at Temora.
It is always tough stepping up out of maiden class but this race doesn’t have a lot of depth and it would be a surprise to see the Sh Avatar dog make it two wins from two starts.
Kemp also has the in-form Lara’s Double jumping from box seven in the ninth event, the fourth and fifth grade 525m event.
The Dyna Double One bitch has 14 wins from 84 starts and hasn’t missed a place in her previous five starts, including a best of the night 23.01 win at Wagga two starts back.
The small field will only suit the Kemp runner but there will be question marks over her ability to run out a strong 525m.
Winners and losers
Addocarr’s eighth placing in the 1200m Class One at Doomben on Wednesday might not read well on paper but it certainly wasn’t a bad run.
The Tony Gollan runner, who is part owned by Tumut’s Tim O’Malley, was running fourth for most of the race and loomed as a chance with a furlong remaining.
Baylee Nothdurft called upon the four-year-old Sizzling gelding and he made ground, but it was the back markers who stormed home that relegated him down the finishing list.
The Queenslander definitely improved after his first up effort and could be one to follow next start.
Nick Souquet has a good book of rides at Albury today, riding in five races, including a couple of live chances.
Last start winner Chap’s Dream for Mitchell Beer looks a good option in the sixth event, the 1000m Class One Handicap.
Connections draw gate eight and after winning well at Leeton last start, Souquet and punters will be hoping she can be the first past the judge again.
Riverbend Chief is another nice ride for Souquet, with the Tumbarumba product teaming up with Trevor Sutherland in this race.
The Shrapnel gelding has won five from 27 and was a good third behind Le’s Get Animal last start over the 1400m and the extra furlong looks like it will suit.
Gate five won’t cause Souquet any issues and the Wagga runner will be well in the market in this very open 1600m Benchmark 58 event.
The popular Southern District hoop will also jump on board Tippler for Mitchell Beer in race five, Nevada Dane for Rob Wellington in race seven and Stryke A Star for Ron Stubbs in race eight.