Race 7 at Ararat (Australia A) on Wednesday night is a handicap for Benchmark 58-rated horses going 5 1/2 furlongs around one left-hand turn. The track designation is “Soft 5,” so it should favor horses with experience with some give in the ground.

#6 Skilled Artist won her well-bet career debut and paid $6 going a similar distance at Stony Creek about three weeks ago. She picks up seven pounds off that win, but based on her superior speed rating earned that day, she should be able to handle the move up to modest winners with ease. The daughter of Skilled switches to Harry Coffey, who is winning 16% this season, and trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have been red-hot all year. Sophomore filly should progress nicely up the condition ladder.

#7 Wasabi is a speedy mare that should be able to beat this group into the turn. She gets in with 123 pounds due to the apprentice rider Campbell Rawiller who has 21 wins this season. After trying better two starts back, she returned against this handicap level last out and led to the last 50 yards before succumbing. What I like is that she is a prolific winner at the age of six and there is always the chance that she might forget to stop.

#9 Lucy Mac was an even third two starts back going shorter two starts back when heavily bet then she came back two weeks ago to break her maiden at Stalwell. She faces a bit better company by virtue of the track change but Jarrod Fry returns in the irons – 12% the past 12 months. The daughter of Testa Rossa shows some form on soft going so the track condition today could be perfect. Post position 12 does not help.

Dick Powell’s Pick

Skilled Artist looks to be able to move right up and handle winners. Key her over the other two in exactas.