Peter Cornish's Athena's Voice will continue her busy preparation on Sunday as she's set to mix it up in the $29,000 Parkes Cup (1600m).
The five-year-old mare's coming off an eighth-placed run in a Benchmark 72 event at Warwick Farm and after eluding to a possible spell in the near future, trainer Peter Cornish will send her out again in the Central West.
The field was tough at Sydney but the mare was well in the mix from start to finish. After being thrilled with her work in the lead-up to Warwick Farm, Cornish will hope the positive signs translate into positive results at Parkes Jockey Club.
Athena's Voice hasn't placed since her win at Dubbo in February but the track should suit this weekend even though the field's tough and the distance looks to be a little shorter than what she's used to.
Rodney Robb's A Magic Zariz looks like the horse to beat in the field as the seven-year-old gelding's coming off a win at Narromine last-start and boasts an 87 benchmark ahead of Sunday. Also in the mix will be Michael Mulholland's Steamin'.
Smith's action at Parkes
Alison Smith's set for another busy weekend at the races as she's got four from her stables nominated to run around on Sunday.
Leading the way for Smith will be Cotton on George who's coming off a seven-day turnaround in the wake of his maiden win at Wellington on Sunday and will race in the $20,000 Class 2 Plate (1200m).
The four-year-old gelding has looked in fine touch since coming back from a spell in April and after grabbing third at Narromine on April 27, wasn't going to be stopped in a comprehensive gallop at Wello.
The question mark surrounding this event for Cotton on George is the distance as Smith's product has only ran a journey this long once before, a sixth-placed finish at Mudgee on December 6.
Almost Alice, Ay Bee Are and Electrostep have all been nominated in the $20,000 Maiden Handicap (1200m), the latter being the only one not returning from a spell.
Electrostep hasn't hit his straps since his spell at the start of the year as he's finished eighth and ninth in his last two events since returning from a rest. He's also nominated at Dubbo on Monday in the $12,000 Maiden Plate (1200m).
Fanny Chenal's name is in the hat for Smith at Monday's Dubbo event as she's been nominated in the $12,000 Benchmark 50 Handicap (1300m).
Seawatch set for short turnaround
Brad Draper's Seawatch was one of the most backed prospects in the lead-up to Sunday's $20,000 Australian Racing Trophies GG & E Benchmark 58 Handicap (1100m) but after almost firming into favouritism, the Mathew Cahill-ridden gelding couldn't live up to the expectations, running last in a race that looked good on paper for the five-year-old.
The Orange trainer's nominated his horse for three events across Sunday and Monday (two at Parkes, one at Dubbo) and will be hoping he can return to the form that saw him win a trial event at the nation's capital on April 24.
Outside that Canberra event, Seawatch hasn't tasted victory since September 2, 2019 and Draper will hope a good track and draw at Parkes will put him in a position to strike.
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