Today I’m riding at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The rail is out 5 metres and the track is rated in the soft range. I haven’t ridden here for a very long time and I’m looking forward to arriving on course and walking the track.

Race 6 is the WIMMERS PREMIUM SOFT DRINKS BENCHMARK 70 Handicap over 2200 metres. My ride here is RAPTURES who is trained by Kris Lees. This four-year-old mare by Fastnet Rock is raced by Ron Dufficy and Robert De Courcy. She’s had 16 starts for a record of three wins and five placings and is racing in really good form. From her past four starts she hasn’t missed a top three placing, with one of those being a win. She looks very well placed in today’s race to continue her consistent record. She is a mare that races well on all racing surfaces having won on good and soft ground and has placed on a heavy track. The last time she raced beyond 1900 metres was when she was a three-year-old, finishing fourth over 2200 metres before then being unplaced behind Realm Of Flowers at her next start, with the winner going on to win this year’s Andrew Ramsden, so that is strong staying form at her two runs over the extended distance. She will start from a favourable barrier draw and is a mare that tends to make her own luck by racing in the first half of the field. I’m looking forward to riding her for the first time and if she runs up to her recent form she will take a lot of beating in this.

Race 7 is the BUTLER MCDERMOTT LAWYERS Fillies and Mares Class 1 Plate over 1200 metres. My ride here is REDOUTE’S IMAGE who is trained by Kris Lees. This three-year-old filly by Redoute’s Choice is raced by Australian Bloodstock and partners. She’s had 13 starts for a record of one win and six placings. I’ve had one ride on her which was three starts ago at the Gold Coast in January, where we finished third in a strong Class 3&4 race for fillies and mares over 1300 metres. She then contested the Magic Millions Guineas over 1400 metres where she was unplaced finishing just over seven lengths from the winner. She was then sent for a break from training and has had two official trials before her first up run this preparation. Both of her trials looked very good and she looked sharp in both. She resumed to be beaten by just over three lengths in F&M BM78 grade in her first up run at Rosehill where she closed the race off strongly and ran fairly. She races here second up today and has placed twice from three attempts when racing second up. She has drawn a low barrier draw that will give me plenty of options in running and afford her every chance. She is very well placed in this race under the Class 1 set weight conditions for fillies and mares as with the highest rating in the field, she carries the minimum weight of 58.5 kgs. If she runs up to her best form today she should be winning this.

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