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Veteran Upper House to peak at the mile

He has been racing without luck this preparation and Trainer Norm Gardner thinks the mile of Saturday's TAB Federal at Thoroughbred Park is exactly what Upper House has been yearning for.  

A rising nine-year-old, Upper House is a veteran of 70 starts that has yielded 10 wins, 14 placings and over $300,000 in prizemoney. He’s yet to finish in the placings in four starts this time in but Gardner thinks he’s not far away. 

“He’s been unlucky in three of his four starts this preparation.” Gardner said. “He was super first up at Kembla where I think he wins with luck before not handling the wet second up.” 

“He was great at Moruya last start when fourth and I think he could have won there if he found clear air at the right time.” 

“He’s definitely looking for the mile now and he finds that here on Saturday, he’ll be very competitive in a small field having drawn barrier four.” 

Apprentice Coriah Keatings will take the ride on Upper House meaning the gelding will carry 58.5kg after the claim. The TAB Federal is Race Five on the program.   

A couple of races later, in a strong Walsco Electrical and Data Open Handicap (1200m), Gardner’s Miss Ostend will look to break through for her fourth career victory. 

The daughter of Zoustar finished 11 of 14 last start in a strong Randwick race but Gardner is happy to forgive the effort.  

“It was a quality race.” Gardner said. “But she missed the kick and lost momentum at a key stage so I think she should have finished a lot closer. 

“She was desperately unlucky the start before here on her home track, she’s going really well and I think she’s going to be hard to beat on Saturday.” 

It’s a rare Saturday race meeting in Canberra with the Canberra Racing Club expecting to host around 4,000 at the Hops & Hooves Festival, a showcase of the best breweries, wineries, distilleries and food vans in the region.  

Racing begins at 12:35pm with tickets available via Ticketek or on race day at the gate.