Today is Sandown’s turn to bask in the sun of the spring carnival with a showcase of feature races for all to enjoy on the mammoth ten-race card.
This year’s Melbourne Cup fourth placed Big Duke and 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin square up in the Zipping Stakes and there are a flurry of other Stakes races on the program.
The track is rated perfect as a Good 3 and with fine weather forecast it should be a fabulous day of competition on the racetrack. The false rail is at the True position.
QUADDIES (races 7,8,9,10)
Skinny Play: 1,2 – 1,2 – 3,6 – 5,8
Wide Play: 1,2,4 – 1,2,3,9 – 1,3,6,8 – 1,5,8,12
BEST BET: R7 – 2. BIG DUKE
Next Best Bet: R10 – 8. PETITION
Best Roughie: R9 – 3. BALF’S CHOICE
No1 LONG LEAF generally find the two-year-olds with exposed racetrack form have the edge over the unraced ones. This bloke won narrowly over 1000m at Morphettville before being brought here. He had to dig deep and was a stiff test to his character. Ace jockey Kerrin McEvoy is the new rider.
No2 SANGLIER is bound to have taken benefit from the debut start down the straight 1000m at Flemington when finishing sixth on October 7. He was backed from $10 into $8.50 that time so has ability and will be better suited here around a bend. Good chance.
No7 OOHOOD is by boom sire I Am Invincible. He makes her debut here following a soft trial over Morphettville on October 26. The stable’s No. 1 jockey Luke Currie has chosen her above stablemate Secret Blaze so would lean to his decision here.
No6 YULONG MONOCEROS will have taken heed from debut run where she chased well to finish 2.5 lengths away in fifth place over 1000m down the straight at Flemington on November 7. Think she is better suited here around the bend and the stable is on fire.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 YULONG MONOCEROS
No4 LADY OF CREBILLY has earned her stripe for this event with excellent wins at Morphettville at her past two starts. She outclassed her rivals to win comfortably by 1.2 lengths over 1400m at Morphettville on November 4. She actually drops 2kg to 55kg and gets top Melbourne rider Mark Zahra.
No3 LUQYAA gave as top performance to run second in 1400m Listed event at Flemington on November 7. That was during Melbourne Cup week where the form was strong and with Damien Oliver the new rider has a case to state here. The barrier in 13 does hurt a bit.
No5 YULONG XINGSHENG finished like a powerhouse to grab fourth behind Our Crown Mistress in Listed 1400m race at Flemington on November 7. The NSW filly will have benefitted from going in the anti-clockwise direction for the first time and she gets to go around a corner here.
No10 BLACK AND TAN went to the line like a Spartan to record a ¾ length win over 1200m against older mares in maiden at Ballarat on October 26. That was only her fifth start and was first-up for this campaign. She faces a test here but room for improvement.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 BLACK AND TAN
No2 GALLIC CHIEFTAIN has the fingerprint of master staying trainer Darren Weir and was finishing with a flourish when running fifth in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2500m) at Flemington last Saturday. His form in the stakes races over the spring has been commendable and hard to beat.
*SCRATCHED* No5 DOUKHAN hails from the in-form stable of Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, He earned his ticket here with a flourishing win over 2400m at Randwick on November 7. He gets top jockey Kerrin McEvoy to ride and actually drops down to 54kg from 58kg last start. Serious threat here.
No1 HAVANA COOLER is a seasoned stayer who ran a solid fifth in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on November 4. Melbourne’s leading jockey Damian Lane is the new rider today and with two runs over the long distances now under his belt is primed for this.
No3 FANATIC was a most inspiring winner over 2800m at Flemington on November 7. He had to balance and then picked himself up and charged home like the Light Brigade to put a 1.25 length gap between himself and the second horse. Carries 55kg again here.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 HAVANA COOLER
No3 ILLUSTRIOUS LAD gave a grand performance to run a narrow second in the Schillaci (1100m) two starts ago at Caulfield. Latest he kept on working home when sixth in Group 3 at Flemington over 1400m on November 4. Feel he is better suited to this track and expect a bold showing.
No8 OCEAN EMBERS emerged as a good chance for this event with an effortless win over 1200m in Listed race at Flemington on November 7. That saw the mare bounce back to her top gear and she won’t be any fancy odds here like last time ($21 into $15). Has the ability to challenge.
No7 THRONUM skipped along nicely in front and kept going to the wire to score a convincing 5 length win over 1100m at Bendigo on November 1. Sure he goes up in class here but hard to ignore a win like that and he does get ace jockey Mark Zahra to ride again here.
No2 KEEN ARRAY has been a model of consistency throughout the spring but did have a glitch last start when a fading ninth in group 2 1`400m race at Flemington on November 4. Take a line on his Gilgai Stakes win three starts ago second over 1200m in Listed race at Caulfield two starts ago.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 KEEN ARRAY
No6 DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR has been racing with all guns ablaze and can retain his unblemished campaign bringing up a fourth straight win today. He had his first start at Flemington and careered away to a 1.5 length win over 1400m on Melbourne Cup day. Down a half-kilo to 54kg here.
No3 MOSS ‘N’ DALE strode away to a 1.5 length win in the Sale Cup (1600m) on October 29. That was an imposing victory and he has won three of his past four starts so he is on fire. He again has no weight on the limit on 54kg and gets stable rider Anthony Darmanin to ride from barrier eight.
No2 HELLOVA STREET looms as a serious threat here on his last start ¾ length win over 1400m in a Group 3 at Flemington on November 9. He has finished inside the money at all of his three starts this campaign and he gets hot jockey Luke Currie as his new rider.
No8 LAND OF PLENTY showed the benefit of a freshener when he ran home well to claim second over 1400m at Flemington on November 7. He gets ace rider Kerrin McEvoy as his new pilot and drops a kilo to the limit on 54kg here. Capable of slogging it out here in the finish.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 LAND OF PLENTY
No2 GUN CASE flew the gates like a bird and chased the leader before firing home full throttle to post a convincing ¾ length win over 955m at Moonee Valley on October 28. Loves this track as much with a ratio of two wins and a placing at three starts at Sandown. Strong case here.
No3 CRYSTAL DREAMER ran a top second to noted speedster Ball Of Muscle in the Listed Mumm Stakes down the straight 1000m at Flemington on November 9. No speedball here and with Damian Lane to ride and dropping a kilo to 55kg is a striking chance.
No1 DERRYN returns home after a faulted foray to Sydney where he ran 13th in the Listed Sydney Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on October 14. Team Hayes has freshened him up for this assault with a five-week break. He looms as an each-way chance with top rider Mark Zahra on board.
No6 CONCEALER was right in the thick of the action in a three-way battle for honours when third in the Group 3 Belle Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on November 4. No. 1 stable rider Luke Currie rides today and she boasts a clean slate over this distance. Menacing chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 DERRYN
No2 BIG DUKE (BEST BET) gave a steely performance to loom momentarily as the winner of the Melbourne Cup but the run took its toll and he finished fourth to Rekindle in Australia’s most famous 3200m handicap. He is back to his pet distance here and the ATC St Leger winner looks suited in a small field after competing against 24 opponents. Damian Lane is back on top.
No1 ALMANDIN was the $7 favourite for the Melbourne Cup but only battled to the line when finishing 12th to Rekindled over the 3200m on November 7.
No4 BERISHA finished like a bullet last start and is at each-way odds in stronger field.
No8 THE TAJ MAHAL has changed trainers from Aiden O’Brien to Robert Hickmott. Keep safe.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 BERISHA
No2 BEAU GESTE has a powerful finishing burst and will be motoring home here after his driving finish to run fourth to Levendi in the Group 3 Carbine (1600m) at Flemington on November 4. The extra 200m looks idea for this Godolphin-trained three-year-old.
No3 BLACK SAIL the stock of Savabeel have been flying and this fellow gets his chance to sail into glory with a powerful second in Listed 1800m race at Flemington on November 9. Has not finished further back than in fourth place at his past five starts. Would not leave out here.
No10 PEACEFUL STATE has only faced the starter twice for a win and a third. Produced a courageous run to narrowly beat Captain Harry in a ding dong go for the major prize over 1400m maiden at Ballarat on November 6. The son of Animal Kingdom is raised in class but would respect.
No1 SNITZEPEG was engaged in a whirlwind of a finish when a close fourth to Levendi in Group 3 Carbine (1600m) at Flemington on November 4. Dean Yendall replaces Craig Williams here on the Darren Weir-trained colt. Capable again here.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 PEACEFUL STATE
No3 BALF’S CHOICE (BEST ROUGHIE) has been in striking hot form and can hit back into the winner’s list following a brave fourth over 1800m at Flemington on November 7. He won the Seymour Cup (1600m) and the Balaklava Cup (1600m) this spring and gets comeback jockey Damien Oliver to ride the Adelaide galloper. Appeals at good odds.
No6 RAW IMPULSE ran a distant third in the Sale Cup before finishing an unlucky second over 1600m at Flemington last Saturday. He is on the seven-day back up but with Darren Weir and Damian Lane to team he looms as an imposing threat.
No10 PAYROLL was at her best when finishing a hard second in the Group 2 Matriach (2000m) at Flemington on November 11. That was first-up from a break and she is on the quick butter up here with only a seven-day gap between starts. Smart mare and respect.
No13 RAGHU returned from a break on a high note with a fighting win over 1600m at Mornington on November 5. That was a grand performance and he drops 2kg to the limit on 54kg and gets leading apprentice Ben Thompson to ride.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 BALF’S CHOICE
No8 PETITION (NEXT BEST BET) went within an ace of claiming the Group 2 Tristarc (1400m) at Caulfield when running a close fourth on October 21. She again faces her own sex but in a milder race and should get a nice run from barrier five to be a leading contender again. Mark Zahra retains the ride on the four-year-old mare.
No5 INVINCIBELLA form has been too good to knock and must have claims here again.
*SCRATCHED* No1 RAVI won at Rosehill three starts ago in great style. Recent form in Melbourne rock solid.
No12 RED IS THE ROSE was a dominant 2 length winner at Moonee Valley last time out.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 RED IS THE ROSE