Friday, December 23, 2005

Preview - Sandown 24/12/05

Track – Good
Rail – Out 4 metres

The ridiculous amount of racing during the month of December presents punters with plenty of small fields of questionable depth at Sandown Hillside on Saturday.

Race 1 : 3YO Handicap – 1000m

Small field of 3YO’s which is typical for this time of year. Pinezero takes on the males but is a class act and has earnt her top weight with some top class performances in the spring. Freshened since failing to run out the 1600m in the Manifold. Any give in the track would be a bonus but she is still the one to beat on the dry. Gunpowder is a lightly raced type who can push forward & should be suited by the small field, while Brilliant Lad & Dantage will battle it out for 3rd.

Selections: Pinezero
Gunpowder
Brilliant Lad

Race 2 : 2YO Fillies Handicap – 1000m

Looks a non-betting race. Fun In Flight bolted in on debut but is drawn wide & may start unders, while many of these have not officially trialled.

Race 3 : One Metro Win Last Year Handicap – 1000m

Don’t Tell Tom is the class runner as evidenced by his big weight of 61kg. Hasn’t raced since April due to his preference for bone-dry tracks & his fresh form over 1000m is solid. If the surface is genuinely firm he can win, but the track preparation policy puts a question mark on that so monitor conditions carefully. On face value Call Me Syd was disappointing last start but this is arguably his right grade. This might be a fraction short for him but should be in the finish of this weak affair. Surely You Jest is working through the grades nicely & should be included. Watch the return of Pinstripe for future reference.

Selections : Don’t Tell Tom
Call Me Syd
Surely You Jest

Race 4 : Open Handicap – 1300m

Good race. Tassie visitor Jay Kay Bee ran a terrific race here behind Stratton Place over 1200m a fortnight ago. Rises 1kg but this is easier & is a WFA winner in Tassie over similar trips. Looks well placed. Dismissal wasn’t far away in the same event & did do it tough when ridden forward from a wide gate. Will probably settle back here & unleash a strong finish. Note his close 2nd behind Valedictum over this course 2nd up last time in work. It’s Picnic should improve with the step up in distance, while Chut has failed to live up to earlier promise but his last run was good when ridden cold & can be placed.

Selections : Jay Kee Bee
Dismissal
It’s Picnic

Race 5 : 3YO Fillies Handicap – 1300m

Fanfares strolled home at skinny odds in maiden company at her first racetrack appearance. Is well bred & the fact the stable is bringing her to town suggests she has plenty of ability.
Be Delicious won well on the Lakeside circuit last start when she led & skipped away to a comfortable victory. Rises 2.5kg here but wont find this any tougher. Bronzetta is another to go straight to Saturday class racing after easily winning at a VRC Midweek meeting on debut. Up 200m but looks a smart type & should be included, along with Shan Dian who has been thereabouts of late.

Selections : Fanfares
Be Delicious
Bronzetta

Race 6 : One Metro Win Last Year Handicap – 1600m

Wide open race with Elbrus looking hardest to beat going on his last start win under lights at the Valley when he came from near last. Wasn’t that far away in a strong Wodonga Cup prior to that & if the pace is genuine he should be in the finish. Boulton just failed to hold out Elbrus in that race at the Valley & expect him to settle midfield & put in another honest performance again. The maiden galloper Deign To Dance is entitled to run in much easier races but his form as a 3YO suggests he is not the roughest. Encountered soft tracks during June / July then ran on strongly 1st up at Ballarat to suggest this trip will suit. Include I Do Blue who should be ready to show his best. Caveat Emptor would prefer some give in the ground.

Selections : Elbrus
Boulton
Deign To Dance

Race 7 : Fillies & Mares Handicap – 1600m

Good race. Breezy won in smart style on the Lakeside track against similar opposition after rising through the grades this preparation. Rises 3kg but is well drawn & did have plenty in hand last time. General’s Dynasty was a little unlucky in the same race and flashed home for 4th after being locked away on the turn. The firm track & light weight are the keys to her. Talons Shown has been close up at her last two & is likely to cross to the front. If she is allowed to dictate she will be very tough to beat.

Selections : Breezy
General’s Dynasty
Talons Shown


Race 8 : Class 6 Handicap – 2400m

Ordinary stayers event. Jeunique is one of the few horses on the up & has won 4 of 6 this time in albeit in restricted company. This is his test but has been winning well with big weights & has more scope for improvement than any of these. Drumbeater hasn’t won a race for more than 12 months but genuinely gets his chance here. Goes well at Sandown & although he was well beaten last start, the winner did smash them & this will be an easier assignment.
Home Sweet has been in terrific form in slightly weaker grade and should be included. Go wide for the multiples.

Selections : Jeunique
Drumbeater
Home Sweet

Check out Melbourne Track Report for updated details on the Sandown track.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Preview - Flemington 17/12/05

Track – Good
Rail – Out 6 metres

Race 1 : 2YO Handicap – 1100m

Small field of well bred 2YO’s with little racetrack experience. Happy to look on but obviously the Hayes runner, Trictrac will be hard to beat judging by her dominant debut victory.

Race 2 : 3YO Handicap – 1700m

Sonic Quest is being thrown off the deep end, after bolting in on debut at Cranbourne in maiden company. Does look up to it based on that victory & can expect further natural improvement. Reignforest came with a terrific finishing burst to score narrowly at Sandown on slow going. Rises 3 ½ kgs for that victory but only carries 3 over the minimum in this weak lineup & should be hard to beat. Exclusivity has been racing consistently, just failing to hold off Reignforest at Sandown at his most recent start. Yet to win on the dry which is a concern but looks ready for this trip.

Selections: Sonic Quest
Reignforest
Exclusivity

Race 3 : Fillies & Mares Handicap – 1400m

Maxerelle scored a much deserved victory on the Sandown Lakeside circuit last start & suspect she can go on with it here in a similar affair. Drops 1kg in weight, is well drawn & is a winner at this track. Sorenstam resumed with a top win on the slow going at Sandown & has a flawless 2nd up record. Likes Flemington & looks well in after the claim. Bella Chelle is very underrated & looks a top chance again. She handles all conditions & has a great record over 1400m.

Selections : Maxerelle
Sorenstam
Bella Chelle

Race 4 : 3YO Fillies Handicap – 1100m

Very good race for this time of year. Leveller is a lightly raced filly who had just the one run in the spring when she ran on well behind Queen Of The Hill & Megadeal over this course. Beat the ill-fated Jadescent at her only other run at Flemington and looks to have plenty of ability.
Dinkum Star built on her impressive record with a brave 1st up win on the slow at Sandown. Best form has been on the wet but has plenty of class & the claim helps. Langness showed a return to her best on Cup Day, giving plenty of cheek & just failing to hold out the talented Bel Danoro over 1000m. Last 100m might test her but she is too smart to dismiss. Ambouli drops 2kg after winning under lights last month in good style & should be included.

Selections : Leveller
Dinkum Star
Langness

Race 5 : Open Handicap – 1400m

Looks a good race for Rokocoko who got up on the fence to score impressively on Cup Day, then got a long way back when 3rd behind Forest Spy at Sandown. Well placed here & has a terrific record at the 1400m trip. Redoutable finally broke his maiden status at the Valley and should get a cosy run in a race which doesn’t look much harder, while Mushroom ran a nice race 1st up & will appreciate the trip. Keep an eye on Threedee who resumes for a new stable.

Selections : Rokocoko
Redoutable
Mushroom

Race 6 : Open Handicap – 2500m

Nice stayer’s race with many of these preparing for the Bagot. Sight Seeker is on the up, having rising from maiden class to city winner this preparation. Bred to go the journey & is drawn to get a nice run just off the speed. Diamond Jake returned to the winners stall in fine style last Saturday. Has his share of weight but is built to handle it & a dry Flemington track would suit, while Danalaga has been knocking on the door of late & should be in the finish again. Include Jose Amigo.

Selections : Sight Seeker
Diamond Jake
Danalaga

Race 7 : Open Handicap – 1700m

Tricky race with many chances. Newton struggled on the slow track at Sandown when dropping back to the 1400m last time. This trip suits better & must be included based on his previous strong form. Forest Spy rises 300m & 1½kg here but really knows how to win & has more ability than most of these. Botero looks the likely leader & if he strikes a firm surface he can show his best. Ulysses, Meridian Star & Tuareg all have chances but their poor strike rate counts against them.

Selections : Newton
Forest Spy
Botero

Race 8 : Open Handicap – 1100m

Another open affair. Watchyerback was very impressive winning 1st up & looks to have come back in terrific style. Drawn the grandstand side & provided that’s the place to be, he will be hard to beat again. Don’t Tell Tom has plenty of class and has a super record when fresh. Needs it genuinely firm but if conditions suit he is capable of giving this a shake. Via De Lago has taken on some hot fields during the spring & generally goes well here. Will be storming home if the pace is hot. Include Lucky Diva.

Selections : Watchyerback
Don’t Tell Tom
Via De Lago


Race 9 : Open Handicap – 2000m

Looks to be plenty of pace in this. My Gibreel is a bit of a non-winner but he showed a return to form with the blinkers on over this trip last start. Nikolic takes the ride & should be ready. Mc Lir is the likely improver, with the prospect of a firm surface & a return to a trip where he enjoyed success in the St Arnaud & Ararat Cups. Well drawn & comes in on the minimum weight. Pure Velocity should be ready to fire at this trip, having hit the line ok over shorter journeys. Wide draw makes it tricky but can figure in the finish. Include Whittier Miss who has been in great form against her own sex.

Selections : My Gibreel
Mc Lir
Pure Velocity

Check out Melbourne Track Report for updated details on the Flemington track.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Preview - Sandown 10/12/05

Track – Dead (Upgrade likely)
Rail – Out 6 metres

Race 1 : 2YO Handicap – 1000m

Looks a no-bet race given only one of these 2YO’s has had racetrack experience. Much interest will focus on the Hayes-trained Churchill Downs, who fetched just shy of $1 million at the yearling sales. Note that Fasliyaire & Danger Tom are also engaged at Ballarat on Sunday.


Race 2 : 3YO Fillies Handicap – 1400m

Tricky little race with just 7 runners. Wildcoast is racing well this time in, just missing out behind the smart Point Of Call when taking on the older horses at Cranbourne & then hitting the line well to win in restricted class at the recent VRC meeting at Ballarat. This is not much harder & should go well again. Duel Command led & was just collared in that same race at Ballarat. Has a slight weight turnaround on Wildcoast & should be in the finish again, while Diamond Masque must be included on her excellent efforts during the spring.

Selections: Wildcoast
Duel Command
Diamond Masque

Race 3 : Mares Handicap – 1200m

Another small field here. Shades Of Laughter is a very tough, underrated mare who resumed with a typically honest effort when 2nd to Living Hell on this circuit. Her 2nd up record is good & she carries only ½ kg over the minimum. Sojustrememberthis has been costly since her debut victory but suspect she prefers a genuinely dry surface which she should strike here. If you go on her excellent 3rd behind Freeroller on Caulfield Cup Day she will be tough to beat. Nuclear Free resumes here, aiming to build on her amazing winning streak. Will give it her all but has her share of weight.

Selections : Shades Of Laughter
Sojustrememberthis
Nuclear Free

Race 4 : 3YO Handicap – 1200m

Mr Frick could be value, after he hit the line well 1st up on the Hillside track. Showed plenty of promise as a 2YO, will be fitter & the extra 200m should suit. Readyforcatherine has to rate highly again, following 2 comprehensive victories over this trip. Giving away plenty of weight to the boys but this is not a strong field. Million dollar colt Apologia has a long way to go before he pays for himself but is improving with racing & can be placed while Black Cat is one for the multiples.

Selections : Mr Frick
Readyforcatherine
Apologia

Race 5 : Open Handicap – 2100m

Expunge looks the winner in this. Won his first three this time in including the Kyneton Cup before stepping up to WFA class, where he battled on bravely to finish 3rd. Will obviously find this much easier. Won’t have all the favours from gate 10 but is good enough to overcome it. Our Spur looks the likely leader & his form over similar trips earlier in the year was terrific, while Youth’s Edge finally draws a barrier & the likelihood of a firm track is in his favour.
Include My Gibreel who has the blinkers on for the first time here.

Selections : Expunge
Our Spur
Youth’s Edge

Race 6 : Open Handicap – 1200m

Tricky race. Call Me Syd is getting on in years but appears to have everything in his favour here. Forget his 1st up effort with 60.5kg on dead going over a shorter trip. Is a winner this track & trip, his best form is on the dry and he has a terrific record coming off a slight freshen up. Should be good value. Dismissal resumes here and has a terrific 1st up record. His previous fresh appearance resulted in a win on the Hillside circuit in a similar field & should give this a shake despite the tricky draw. Ruben gets a nice 4kg turnaround on Stratton Place after they finished ½ length from each other at the Valley. He gets his preferred dry surface & the Symons stable is in form. Definitely include Stratton Place in your multiples.

Selections : Call Me Syd
Dismissal
Ruben

Race 7 : Mares Handicap – 1500m

Looks a wide open race. General’s Dynasty will appreciate the likelihood of a solid tempo & a dry track here. Just died on her run behind Charmed Lady but should be ready to fire and drops 2½ kg here on a track where she is a winner. Charmed Lady weaved a passage through from last to score at the Valley in a similar race & was a winner at Sandown earlier in the year while Di’s Angel has a good record in Tasmania, placing at WFA level. She handles all conditions & looks a solid each way chance. Talons Shown will give a good sight despite the wide gate & must be included.

Selections : General’s Dynasty
Charmed Lady
Di’s Angel

Race 8 : Open Handicap – 1600m

Good race with many chances. Butten Shaw ran a huge race 2nd up on Emirates Day when he flashed home from near last but then struggled on the dead going last time. A drier track would suit and with some pace up front will be hard to beat. Forest Spy is firing, winning his last two in good style at Sandown. Will find this harder but the apprentice claim will help & is a strong chance again. Forget Botero’s effort last week on unsuitably soft ground. He is a genuine dry-tracker who should get his preferred surface here and 1600m is his trip. Include Landloper, who runs his best races on bigger tracks such as Sandown.

Selections : Butten Shaw
Forest Spy
Botero

Check out Melbourne Track Report for updated details on the Sandown track.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Preview - Sandown 3/12/05

Track – Good (Rain Forecast)
Rail – Out 6 metres

Racing hits Sandown yet again on Saturday, this time on the Hillside Circuit.
The plethora of metropolitan racing has led to some small fields in recent times, with numbers in all eight races falling below the field limit.

Race 1 : 3YO Fillies Handicap – 1000m

Small field of 6 fillies, with the speedy Langness expected to go forward & give them something to catch. She was disappointing after her “debut victory” in the famous non-race at Caulfield earlier in the year but showed a return to form with a gutsy 2nd on Cup Day against the males. Topweight Dinkum Star is another flying machine who performed admirably through the winter in some top races before reaching the end of her tether in a strong William Crockett back in August. Expensively is the knockout chance in this. Is first up since August when she fought on well on a heavy track against some smart types & the top two are giving away some weight to her. If she is forward enough she can win.

Selections: Langness
Dinkum Star
Expensively

Race 2 : 3YO Handicap – 1400m

Another small field of 6. I Command has had his runs well spaced this time in & won nicely here last start when he got away with murder up front & sprinted clear. Traditionally gets back in his races but showed versatility with that win & can go on with it. Davout had the tough job of chasing home California Dane at the Valley last week & gets his chance with some weight relief here.Storm Action is getting fitter & won nicely at Terang. Gives the impression that this trip will suit. Exclusivity was too bad to be true at Ballarat last start & should be included based on his previous efforts.

Selections: I Command
Davout
Storm Action

Race 3 : Mares Handicap – 1300m

Interesting race. Loyal Lauren won in terrific style last start but will lump the biggest weight of her career here. However she does hold her form well once she strikes it & still could be too good for them. Bella Chelle meets Loyal Lauren far better at the weights here with the claim for Guthrie, and she did run the 2nd fastest last 600m in the race apart from the winner last start. The 1300m should suit & if she can avoid giving them a big start she will be in the finish. Sorenstam looked like being a star in the making last preparation but struggled towards the end of her campaign. Resumes here and generally puts in a big run fresh so expect her to be charging home late.

Selections : Bella Chelle
Loyal Lauren
Sorenstam

Race 4 : Fillies & Mares Handicap – 1800m

Surprised to see Scarlet Scene take a sit at the Valley, particularly given the slow tempo up front. This trip suits & the change of jockey probably indicates that she will go forward here. Can improve sharply. Whittier Miss is a mare on the up, & was not far away in a strong race at the Valley last week. Endorphin is another improving type who hasn’t been far away in some strong country showcase races of late. Vintner will find this easier than her latest effort but is very hard to follow.

Selections : Scarlet Scene
Whittier Miss
Endorphin

Race 5 : Open Handicap – 1000m

Plenty of speed in this. What’s The Mail is a big raw type who is still learning what it’s all about. Ran on ok behind Watchyerback here last start & if allowed to take a sit, will be hard to beat. Paris Zero is the interesting runner. She generally prefers it further than this but gets some weight relief here after recent efforts in mares grade. That may be the key to her & she could surprise. Don’t Tell Tom resumes in this after a long break where he took on some hot fields. Expect him to push forward from his wide gate & give a good sight. Always Flying struggled at his Australian debut in a strong race at Flemington but may have improved & is a must for multiples.

Selections : What’s The Mail
Paris Zero
Don’t Tell Tom

Race 6 : Open Handicap – 1400m

Very good field. Newton might be ready to break through here. Was very unlucky in the Seymour Cup when never got a crack at them, then fought on well behind the talented Zipping on Cup Day when giving that galloper 3kg. Drawn a bit awkwardly, but the claim helps & gets his chance. Forest Spy is building a terrific record over this trip, particularly here at Sandown where he was a last start winner after jumping from the widest gate & proving too smart. Probably prefers some give in the track but is a horse on the up & should get a good run from barrier 5. Murcielago is very lightly raced & resumes here following a brief & unsuccessful spring campaign. His 3YO form was good & is reported to be working well.
Include Speedy King who will need luck from his wide draw but has the talent.

Selections : Newton
Forest Spy
Murcielago

Race 7 : Open Handicap – 1800m

Tara’s Halls is very fit and ready for this 1800m trip, after running on well behind Triggered on a day when backmarkers generally struggled. Drops 2kg for that & senior jockey goes on here. 9YO Meridian Star is slowing finding his best form, finishing just out of the placings behind the in form Fifeshire here and prior to that was far from disgraced in the Sandown Stakes. This is arguably the weakest bunch his encountered since arriving in Australia so gets his chance. Botero will roll forward & fight on in his usual fashion, but he certainly wants the rain to stay away & may find others such as Triggered pushing up on his inside. Include if dry.
Triggered is an on-pace galloper who is very fit & racing well judging by his dominant win in a weaker race at Ballarat.

Selections : Tara’s Halls
Meridian Star
Botero

Race 8 : Open Handicap – 2400m

One for the stayers. Steelworker ran a very good race in the Ballarat Cup when led & was only grabbed very late. Gets in on the minimum again, is drawn well and this is much weaker. Definite chance. Charnwood Green is an honest stayer who came from near last in Ballarat Cup to finish 4th. Has his share of weight & would prefer soft going but is better than most of these & must be included. Danalaga is as one-paced as they come, so she will appreciate the step up to a trip she has performed well at. Only carries ½ kg over the minimum but may need some luck from her wide draw. Diamond Jake steps up to this trip quickly but is a winner over this course & is one for the multiples.

Selections : Steelworker
Charnwood Green
Danalaga

Check out Melbourne Track Report for updated details on the Sandown track.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Preview - Sandown 26/11/05

Track – Good
Rail – True

The carnival is over and the quality of races has dropped away, with a mediocre summer race meeting presented at the Valley on Saturday. Begs the question why they have opted for a nine race card.

Race 1 : Fillies & Mares Handicap – 2040m

Not much speed in this with Scarlet Scene the likely leader. She represents the class in the race & if allowed to dictate, she will take some running down. Opio Miss has built up a very good record at the Valley & she won’t find this much harder than her last start win here under lights. The well bred Londo is starting to put it together as she steps up in distance. She is a filly taking on the mares but is one for multiples along with Kingston Bird who will get back & need luck but is racing well.

Selections: Scarlet Scene
Opio Miss
Kingston Bird

Race 2 : 2YO SWP – 1000m

Take your pick of the five unraced 2YOs here. David Hayes has dominated the 2YO events since his return so Aurelio & Twist Contest must be included. Happy to look on.

Race 3 : 3YO Handicap – 1600m

Precious Future is coming off back to back victories this preparation & while this is harder, she is the fresh horse on the scene & has more scope for improvement than most of these. Handled the Valley well when winning here at a recent night meeting & should be hard to beat again. Strata Title has had a big spring campaign & gives away weight to the males here but she certainly is a classy filly as evidenced by her unlucky 2nds at her previous two runs while Tagine took on some top class fillies races during the spring & will be in the finish here.

Selections : Precious Future
Strata Title
Tagine

Race 4 : 3YO Handicap – 1200m

Another small field of disappointing quality. Top 3 are the only ones to have broken out of maiden ranks so happy to focus on them. Brilliant Lad made his first appearance as a 3YO at Bendigo where he easily accounted for the capable Kiltanon. Likely to have improved further & should be very hard to beat. California Dane looks the main danger, after he walked in at the Valley in a restricted 3YO event. Has 57kg but is only 2kg over the minimum. Davout showed great talents as an early 2YO but hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. Despite that, he won’t find it much easier than this & the stable is flying.

Selections : Brilliant Lad
California Dane
Davout

Race 5 : 3YO Fillies Handicap – 1200m

Readyforcatherine appreciated the drop in class last start, beating a weak bunch of fillies at Sandown. Won’t find this any harder & should be hard to beat again with the claim for Hinton. Will not be rushing in to take silly odds though. Sarkha has plenty of ability, racking up 3 consecutive victories in restricted grade before failing in a hot field on Oaks Day. Looks well placed here, while Strabedient is having just her 3rd start here & is likely to press forward & give some cheek.

Selections : Readyforcatherine
Sarkha
Strabedient

Race 6 : 1 Metro Win Last Year Handicap – 1500m
Plenty of “gunnas” in this bunch. Donbodine was narrowly beaten in the Euroa Cup when he did a bit of work to lead & was caught late. Has plenty of ability, will be nearing peak fitness & has run well at the Valley previously without winning. His conqueror in the Euroa Cup - Stick’emuptom is one of the few in this who is on the improve & has built up an impressive record on the provincial circuit. Drawn wide but must be included. Storm Attack hasn’t taken on a field this weak for a long time & gets his last chance to show something. Redoutable has had plenty of chances but is a must for multiples, as is Peace Ruler who is always running on.

Selections : Donbodine
Stick’emuptom
Storm Attack

Race 7 : Open Handicap – 1200m

Lord Braemar should be ready to break through here following a good effort behind Ruben at Ballarat. Top record over 1200m, drawn the inside & Nikolic sticks with him again. Has had one try here for a 3rd behind Our Smoking Joe in July. Poet’s Voice has not been far away in some smart fields of late & gets some weight relief following his run in the WFA Heffernan Stakes, while Valley legend Dandy Kid returns to his favourite track & looks well in after the claim. Would probably prefer some more give in the ground but cannot be underestimated.

Selections : Lord Braemar
Poet’s Voice
Dandy Kid

Race 8 : Mares Handicap – 1600m

Interesting race. Talons Shown can make amends for her defeat in the Summoned when she pushed forward & fought on ok behind Umber. Blinkers off & Winkers on & the prospect of a dry track will help her. Whittier Miss is in great form this preparation, graduating to city class & winning under lights here last start. Should get a cosy run just behind the leaders & expect her to go well again. Miss Debonair is getting closer to a win, chasing home the talented Maxerelle last week. Drawn the inside & carries just 1kg over the minimum here. Brom Felinity ran the best race of career in the Summoned but will be giving them a start on a tricky track & may be under the odds.

Selections : Talons Shown
Whittier Miss
Miss Debonair

Race 9 : Open Handicap – 2040m

Looking for value here with Many Are Called. Has raced much more dour this campaign so the step up to 2040m looks ideal & he has placed at his only try here behind Refute in February. Significant jockey change with Blake Shinn replacing Nifty Wilson. Lord Erin is another who should be at healthy odds & is capable of giving this a shake. Steps up to 2040m quickly following his good fresh effort in the grey’s plate on Oaks Day but his best is very good as evidenced by his close up effort in the Easter Cup earlier in the year. Fifeshire is racing in terrific form & must be included, along with Drumbeater.

Selections : Many Are Called
Lord Erin
Fifeshire

Check out Melbourne Track Report for updated details on the Moonee Valley track.

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