Racing returns to Sandown today, after last they last raced here on January 10. The rail will be at the 10-metre position and the track is rated as a Good 4. The cool weather and showers have returned to Victoria after a scorching week of hot weather. The day is forecast to be mild with a top of 17C after an overnight minimum of 11C.
Four-year-old mare Corrs has a great record of two wins and four placings at nine starts and she looms as a safe bet in Spicer Thoroughbreds handicap (2400m) following her decisive win over 2447m at Geelong last start. Trainer Matt Cumani, the son of Luca Cumani, has the mare sparkling and she strikes only 10 runners in opposition and carries 58kg on a minimum weight on 55.5kg in the handicap.
The eight-race card is a twilight meeting and appears a competitive fixture with the top stables and jockeys riding. An entertaining afternoon of racing.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 8 – 9 – 4 - 15
Wide Play: 4,7,8 – 9,10,11 – 4,7,10 – 3,13,15,16
BEST BET: R5 – 8. CORRS
Next Best Bet: R6 – 9. SAVVY BELLE
Best Roughie: R1– 5. GIANNARELLI
No3 HERMANITO has finished inside the money at all four starts. Latest he was a $3 favourite when finishing a length second over 1600m in a maiden on January 10. The I’m Invincible colt took the lead but was headed that day and with Brad Rawiller to ride will have a strong rider here.
No1 MISSILE STRIKE has the visors coming off and the blinkers going back on. Hails from a top stable and will have stable jockey Dwayne Dunn to steer. Last start he ran sixth in the 1200m Gold Coast maiden on January 13. He has been placed at four of his eight starts and gets his chance here.
No5 GIANNARELLI (BEST ROUGHIE) is a daughter of staying sire High Chaparral and can improve on her debut when running a good second in a 1209m maiden at Yarra Valley on January 9. She has drawn well in gate two and gets stable jockey Corey Paris to ride today. She drops 2kg to 55kg on her debut.
No8 THE QUEEN BEE was caught deep from gate six at her debut when running a sound sixth over 1400m in a maiden at Ballarat on January 14. That was a solid effort and will take benefit from the outing. She was backed from $9 into $6 so the stable expected a bold showing.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 MISSILE STRIKE
No2 WON BALL hails from the prolific winning stable of Darren Weir and shone at debut when posting a 3.75 length win in an 1130m maiden at Geelong on January 11. Was easing in the betting from $2.70 to $3.80 that day, but defied the odds for a strong win. Gets top jockey Damian Lane to guide.
No5 MISS VIXEN was upgraded to Listed class when finishing a 3 length 12th over 1100m down the straight at Flemington on September 16 last start. She is resuming from a spell today and has a great record fresh of a win and a third at three starts. Well drawn in gate six and makes appeal here.
No3 EXPLICITY had to dig deep to score a narrow win in a 1000m maiden at Cranbourne on January 12. That was on a bog track and was backed from $5 into $3.80 that time. Is a son of leading stallion Snitzel and has been gelded since. He was resuming from a 35-week spell last start and had raced in a Listed race at Morphettville at his penultimate start last campaign. Sure to have admirers here.
No4 AS IT LIES she has finished inside the money at three of her four starts. She capped her last campaign in style with a strong 3.25 length win in 1000m fillies maiden at Echuca on August 21. Was placed third first-up at her debut and would expect her to be prominent from gate seven.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 EXPLICITY
No8 HOLY BLADE was at $2.50 when finishing a close third in a busy finish to a 1000m handicap at Ballarat on January 14. That was first-up from a 25-week spell and gets ace rider Damian Lane to steer across from a wide alley in 11. Won his maiden over 975m at Sale four starts ago.
No11 DIVERTENTE raced with the leaders when finishing a strong second over 1000m here on January 10. Was easy in the betting drifting from $5 to $7 that time. Won first-up over 1000m at Yarra Valley and has yet to finish worse than first or second at three starts this campaign.
No3 CASQUE is a four-year-old stallion who was placed third at his penultimate start here. He then went to Sale where he careered away to a 1100m win on January 21. He should get a nice trail from gate six and be finishing off strongly. He does go up 2kg to 60.5kg today.
No6 MAKAHU BOY fought on strongly to drive to a narrow win over in an 1100m maiden at Wodonga on November 24. Then ran a close seventh over 1300m here on December 20. The seven-year-old has a 50 per-cent record at two starts and with Lachlan King’s 3kg claim will carry only 56kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 CASQUE
No1 TAGREEDA with apprentice Chris Caserta’s 3kg claim gets weight relief down to 58.5kg here. Last start she carried 59kg when ridden by Jake Noonan and finished a solid third over 1400m at Flemington on January 13. The daughter of top stallion Fastnet Rock has drawn well in gate six.
No3 SO YOU LEICA made an impression at her debut when striding away to a 1.25 length win in an F&M maiden over 1400m at Warrnambool on January 7. Brad Rawiller replaces Dean Yendall and she does rise sharply in weight from 56.5kg to 59.5kg, but she strikes her own age and sex here.
No2 KAIMU was a fighting winner over 1600m in a maiden at Mornington on January 1. She then ran a top second over 1600m against her own sex at Caulfield on January 17. She gets a weight reprieve with Lachlan King’s 3kg claim dropping her down to 56.5kg and has barrier three.
No4 ARUNDEL STAR broke her maiden status with a smart win over 1530m in a maiden at Geelong on January 11. She does jump 3kg today to 58kg but Chris Symons keeps the ride and she did have to work hard before coasting home last start. The barrier is a drawback in 10 but would respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 ARUNDEL STAR
No8 CORRS (BEST BET) is a New Zealand import who has had races spaced of late. She did stride home a strong winner 2447m at Geelong on January 11 when carrying 56kg. The four-year-old mare goes up to 58kg today and regular jockey Jordan Childs keeps the ride. She won five starts ago at Cranbourne over 2080m and has been consistent. She is bred to stay, being by Mastercraftsman and from barrier she should get a nice run in transit. This is her second start at this track and last time was caught wide when running 10th over this trip two starts ago.
No7 CHARLIE CHEVAL has been placed at two of past five starts this campaign and should be on the pace.
No10 BONVILLE missed the major money by a neck over 2200m at Ballarat last start. Good chance.
No5 EATON gets Damien Oliver replacing a 3kg apprentice and has been in good form.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 CHARLIE CHEVAL
No9 SAVVY BELLE (NEXT BEST BET) kept on digging deep but could not pass the leader when finishing a tenacious second over 1800m here on January 10. She has been placed at her past four starts and went within a neck of winning last start. Ace jockey Damian Lane replaces apprentice Ben Allen today and she drops a kilo down to the limit on 54kg. Looks a very serious player in this field of mares.
No11 ISLE OF CAPRI won at Newcastle two starts ago and last start at Caulfield was rock solid.
No6 MANNING ROAD has a rotten gate in 13 but she has the speed to overcome the wide alley.
No10 DIVINE COMMAND with the 3kg claim of the apprentice had no weight on 51kg and is trained by Darren Weir.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 DIVINE COMMAND
No4 DOWNHEARTED is from the top stable of Mick Price and ran a cracking second over 1500m here on January 10 as a $4.40 favourite. He carries the same weight on 59.5kg and Damien Oliver again rides, but he is not as well drawn in gate nine. He is sure to box seat and gets his chance to win.
No5 KHARTOUM was an eye-catching second in the Pakenham Cup (2500m) as a rank outsider at $31. But he was specked that day in from $61 on December 9. He has changed stables and gets senior jockey Rhys McLeod replacing an apprentice. Drawn wide in gate 11 but does have some appeal.
No7 WHAT A SHOCK with apprentice Stephanie Thornton’s 3kg claim will carry 56.5kg. Was a $3.10 favourite when finishing a good third over 1600m last start at Ballarat on January 14. The four-year-old is likely to race on the speed from gate four and has his chances here.
No10 DEVILISHLY was having her third start back from a long spell when breaking through for a clever win over 1504m at Gawler on January 7. Apprentice Lachlan King’s 3kg claim reduces her handicap to only 54.5kg and she is from the top stable of Team Hayes. Looks in the picture here.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 DEVILISHLY
No15 WEAPON has won and been placed third at three starts. Looks to have plenty of upside on his last start 2.5 length win over 1200m in a maiden at Ballarat on January 16 as a $2 favourite. He only goes up a half-kilo to 57.5kg for the effort but he has a wide alley in 14 to cross.
No13 OUR CHIQUILLA was charging home late when capturing second over 1200m against her own sex here on January 3. She carried 57.5kg that day with the 2kg claim of the apprentice and she gets ace senior rider Damian Lane today. She carries the same weight and looks a good chance.
No3 HE EKSCELS was a tear-away 3.25 length winner at Caulfield over 1800m two starts ago last April. He was turned out for a spell after running unplaced in the SA Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 13. He does have a big weight on 61kg but goes well fresh and has Damien Oliver to negate the draw.
No11 VIN FIZ faced a bog track when running a strong second over 1300m at Cranbourne on January 12. Nikita Beriman keeps the ride and he remains on the same weight on 58.5kg but has a bad alley in gate 16. This is his third start from a spell and is capable of further improvement.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 VIN FIZ