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Raiment back to fillies grade in P J Bell Stakes

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The John O’Shea trained Raiment has a great chance to keep her winning momentum going when she drops back to fillies grade in the Group 3 $200,000 The Green Guys P J Bell Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.

Raiment, above, is chasing a hat trick of wins in the B J Bell Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Raiment, above, is chasing a hat trick of wins in the B J Bell Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Raiment is chasing a hat trick following her wins in a 1200m Fillies and Mares BenchMark 78 Handicap at Randwick on January 14 and in the Group 3 $150,000 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18.

The Street Cry filly has beaten the older mares at her last two starts and O’Shea is confident she can continue on her winning ways dropping back to her own age group against the fillies.

“Raiment was dominant against the older mares last start and the set weights and penalties against her own age and sex here is a big advantage,” O’Shea said.

“She’s also very effective in this ground.”

The prospect of another rain affected track at Randwick on Saturday doesn’t worry O’Shea after Raiment was very effective on a Heavy 10 rated track in her Birthday Card Stakes win.

The Randwick track was rated a Soft 6 on Wednesday after but it could kick back into the heavy range  if the forecast rain arrives in Sydney in the lead up to the weekend.

Raiment has drawn around the middle of the field at barrier ten in the eighteen horse field and could move in one spot if the second emergency Diddmus, who has drawn barrier two, doesn’t gain a start.

English jockey James Doyle was aboard Raiment for her Randwick win two starts back and is back on board this week replacing Craig Williams who rode the Street Cry filly to victory in the Birthday Card Stakes.

Raiment has been installed as the $3.90 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to keep her winning run going in the P J Bell Stakes while Samantha, Prompt Response and Zumbelina all share the next line of betting at $8.

O’Shea will also saddle up $26 chance Medaille who has drawn wide at barrier sixteen with ‘The Magic Man’ Joao Moreira to ride.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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