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Bowen Says Wet Ground Perfect For Lucap (Ballina Monday)

Lismore trainer Daniel Bowen has been patiently waiting for the rain to arrive and should finally get perfect wet conditions when his mudlark Lucap strives to maintain his outstanding record at Ballina on Monday.

Lucap chases his fifth win from seven starts at the Ballina track when he lines up in the final race of Monday's seven-race program, the Slipway Hotel Benchmark 58 Hcp (1250m).

All four of Lucap's previous Ballina wins were on soft or heavy conditions - his one below-par run at the track was three runs back on October 4 when he struck a good3 surface and finished a 5.4-length seventh behind Carry On Ringo in an Open Hcp (1300m).

The Ballina track on Sunday morning was rated a soft 7 after another 15mm of rain overnight and Bowen expects it will remain wet on Monday.

"The wet track is the key to this horse," said Bowen.

"He's no good at all on good tracks, but is a completely different horse when he strikes wet ground.

"I think he's had 16 runs on good tracks and hasn't run a drum, but on wet tracks he's just about an Open company-class horse.

Lucap wins on a soft track at Ballina in July

"I've just had him ticking over in recent weeks waiting for the rain to arrive, which was predicted. Hopefully, it remains wet now for some time and we strike a few more suitable tracks.

"He also loves it at Ballina, so on Monday I think he's struck the perfect track, the perfect conditions and the perfect race. The 61.5kg he has doesn't worry me at all in wet ground - he's going to be very hard to beat."

Lucap will again be ridden by Nori Masuda who has been the gelding's regular rider recently and partnered him in his two most recent Ballina wins back in July.

Lucap certainly on paper looks to have the edge on most of his rivals on Monday in terms of exposed wet-track form.

Ex-Victorian galloper Sweeping The Board, who looks a real threat, is resuming for his first run for the powerful Matt Dunn stable.

He was placed on a heavy 8 surface at Pakenham back on April 30. Sweeping The Board tuned up for his return to racing with a comfortable Murwillumbah barrier trial win over 900m on October 12.

Entitlement, trained on the Gold Coast by Michael Costa, won his Maiden on a heavy 10 at Nowra in July last year when trained by Bjorn Baker.

Bowen is hoping Flick, his one other runner on Monday, can get through the soft ground and get into the finish of the F&M Maiden Plate (1300m).

The mare has only one placing from her 14 starts, but there has been some improvement in some of her recent efforts and she hasn't been far away in her past two starts at Lismore and Grafton.

Brisbane trainer Chris Anderson and 1.5kg-claiming apprentice Alex Patis could combine with three strong chances on Monday if they all line up at Ballina.

Anderson has accepted with Learning Curve in the Class 1 (1000m), Kaaydeh in the F&M Maiden Plate (1300m), and Penasquito in the Benchmark 66 Hcp (1250m).

Learning Curve, a three-year-old Artie Schiller filly, made an impressive debut over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast on a good 4 on October 23.

Kaaydeh, placed in three of five starts, resumes since June and recently won a 1000m Doomben trial on October 6.

Penasquito resumes since June and aslo won a Doomben trial on October 6.

All the fields, form and replays for Monday's Ballina meeting

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