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Columbia Fresh and Ready to Fire in the City of Marion

The Will Clarken and Todd Pannell combination has been a sure fire formula in the past and it looks like it could continue in Saturday’s Listed City of Marion at Morphettville.

The lethal combination has claimed three of the last six editions of the race and could very well make it a fourth on Saturday with Columbia.

The five-year-old will head into Saturday’s Listed feature nice and fresh with his last run coming just over six weeks ago at Caulfield.

The strategy of freshening up his runners ahead of the City of Marion has been a winning one in the past for Clarken with all his winners of this race coming into it with at least a month’s break before the Listed feature.

His 2013 winner Addition to Rock was seven weeks between runs, 2016 winner Cavaloce had five weeks off and his 2017 winner Steel Frost had six weeks freshen up.   

Columbia is coming off two successive third placings over in Melbourne and returns to a track he knows and loves. In four starts at Morphettville he’s claimed three wins and a second placing. He looks beautifully weighted and with the in-form Pannell in the saddle he looks very hard to beat.

Clarken and Pannell are not the only ones to have had plenty of previous success in this race. Jockey Paul Gatt has won this race a record four times and will partner one of the other favourites for the race.

Gatt will ride Peter Blanch’s talented sprinter Zalmona on Saturday and tackle the 1200m for the first time since contesting May’s Group 1 Goodwood. The horse is four times Stakes placed and possess plenty of quality but interestingly has a poor second-up record. A return to his favourite distance and only 54kg should see him right in the finish.

The interesting runner in the field is the topweight and Palmerston Sprint winner Captain Punch. The Darwin based horse absolutely flies fresh with four wins and two seconds from nine starts.  Northern Terrioty based jockey Brenan Davis will make the trip south for the race in what will be the horses first run in a Stakes race.

While the above three look the standout chances, there are plenty of other runners who could bob up and nice each way odds. Regalo Di Gaetano is a lightly raced four-year-old who could surprise first up while Aiguilette and Miss Jane have outstanding records over the 1200m.

Selections

  1. Columbia 2. Zalmona 3. Reggalo Di Gaetano 4. Miss Jane

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