The current time difference between Ireland and the east of Australia (currently nine hours) makes it difficult to consistently follow Australian racing unless you are a total night owl or you sleep for two hours a night.
However, Thursday and Friday sees floodlit racing from two of Victoria’s most popular tracks, Pakenham and Cranbourne.
Both are are notable training centres and located within one hour from the heart of Melbourne. Pakenham is first up on Thursday with a nine race card on its synthetic surface. All races can be streamed on PaddyPower.com from 8am, Thursday morning.
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No need to get up too early as the first selection does not run until 9am. A Lone Hero was second last time up and was incredibly unlucky not to win. He lost out by a nose on that occasion to Our Musketeer. The eventual winner was afforded an easy lead up front and A Lone Hero was the only runner to emerge from the pack to give a relentless chase to the line.
He steps up from 1000 to 1200 metres which should be in his favour. I’d imagine Daniel Stackhouse will ride this gelding prominently and that should allow A Lone Hero to atone for that recent defeat.
Luke Nolen is best known for riding wonder mare Black Caviar to 22 of her 25 wins. This included Group 1 glory at Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee in what is one of the most controversial winning rides you will ever see. Nolen seemed to either lose track of the winning post’s location that day or he just had ice in his veins.
? Royal Ascot
? Black Caviar
? June 23, 2012
? Diamond Jubilee Stakes
? 1-6 favourite
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) June 23, 2018
Either way, I hope there is no such stress at Pakenham tomorrow. Nolen rides the consistent Edinburgh who drops in grade here after failing in her hat trick bid at Group 3 level last time up. The filly looked upwardly mobile before this and she can resume winning ways.
Danawi has his second start for Clinton Mcdonald and I expect him to improve a lot from that first run which was on the back of a 33-week break.
This son of Exceed And Excel showed great early speed at Cranbourne and made most of the running before tiring late on. He was just over a length and a half back in fifth in what was a bunched finish.
He drops in back to 1200 from 1300 metres which is no bad thing and a reproduction of that early speed should see him counteracting an awkward barrier draw in 13. If Jye McNeil can get a good position early, then the 10/1 currently on offer could be a steal.
*Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change