Racing at Sandown today will again be a twilight meeting with the first race to start at 4pm and the last race run at 7.30pm. The meeting has attracted full fields with two maidens to kick off the proceedings.
Winners don’t look too easy to find with a lot of depth in most races and plenty of good recent form.
Former Hong Kong galloper Call Me Handsome has yet to put a hoof wrong since at his four starts in Victoria for new trainer Peter Gelagotis.
Gelagotis has booked the talented young apprentice Stephanie Thornton who is carving an impressive record and her 3kg claim will reduce his weight down to a comfortable 57.5kg in the first heat of the Mitavite Summer Challenge (1300m). The track will be rated a Good 3 with the false rail to be at the three-metre position after it was stretched out to 10 metres last time they raced here on January 31.
The weather will be warm with a top of 33C.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 7 – 2,4 – 2,5 – 5,9
Wide Play: 3,7,10 – 2,3,4,9 – 2,5,10 – 1,5,8,9
BEST BET: R7 – 2. CALL ME HANDSOME
Next Best Bet: R5 – 7. FREEHEARTED
Best Roughie: R8 – 1. GO DOWN
No4 MASUTA is a staying bred three-year-old who made an impression at his debut when finishing second over an 1100m maiden at Caulfield on January 17. He has drawn well in gate two in a competitive maiden today.
No1 SNIPES has finished inside the money at his three starts last campaign. He will have a bit lifter on again and has been gelded since he last raced when running a good second over 1350m in a maiden at Wyong in October 2016.
No3 COME ON CARL showed improvement at his second start when running a close second in an 1100m maiden at sale on January 21. Accomplished jockey Michael Walker replaces Jamie Mott to aid him crossing from eight.
No5 OVER AND ABOVE fought hard all the way to the line when finishing a close second over an 1100m maiden at Ballarat on January 24. He was the $2.35 favourite at his debut and is nicely drawn in gate six to move forward.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 COME ON CARL
No14 SEMARI faces plenty of depth in this maiden but she made a nice debut to run a strong second in a 1400m maiden at Ballarat on October 14. Regan Bayliss replaces Linda Meech to guide her across from barrier 10.
No6 ICE HUNT is a son of leading sire Commands who showed plenty of grit to run a close second over 1200m in a maiden at Ballarat on January 16. Gets a red hot Craig Williams to ride from a wide alley in 12.
No12 SILVERHAWK resumed from a 36-week spell with a strong fourth over 1200m in a maiden at Terang on January 23. He gain faces his own age after being plunged into a $1.95 favourite first-up. Well drawn in six.
No3 BROO BOSS has been placed at his past two starts. Latest he ran a strong third over 1500m in a maiden at Mornington on December 13. Ryan Maloney keeps the ride and he is drawn perfectly to go forward in gate two.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 BROO BOSS
No2 TWILGHT SONG looked impressive at her debut when sitting three deep on the pace to finish strongly for a good win over an 1100m maiden at Caulfield on January 17. Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim will see her carry 58kg.
No6 SEE ME EXCEED was a smart winner over 1000m at her debut at Bairnsdale three starts ago. She returns from a three-week break following a solid fifth over 1100m down the straight at Flemington on January 20. Good chance.
No1 STYLISH MISSILE has won twice and been placed third at her four career starts. She bounced back into the winner’s stall with a close victory over 1200m at Caulfield on January 17. She had to work hard that day when caught deep.
No4 BLUE WONDER is having her first start for new trainer Nic Ryan after her previous trainer was stood down because of a stewards’ inquiry. Was impressive at winning at her debut in an 1115m maiden at Werribee on January 13.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 BLUE WONDER
No8 MONTEVIDEO faces a competitive field here, but did win his maiden well over 1462m at Kilmore on January 18. He was at $2.80 that day and showed excellent accelerate to scoot away and hold on to a .75 length victory. Blinkers come off and visors go on.
No7 DRY BISCUIT showed plenty of true grit to score a good win over 1462m at Kilmore on January 18. He carried 60kg and drops a kilo to 59kg, but does have to cross from a wide alley in 11. Gets new rider Chris Symons to steer.
No2 KAPTIVE HERO capped three consecutive placings with a strong 2.5 length win over 1400m at Pakenham on January 25. He jumps 1.5kg to 60kg today, but with the 3kg claim of the apprentice will carry 57kg. Looks each-way value.
No12 FOXLAGO scored a nail-biting win over 1400m in a maiden at Hamilton at his debut on January 12 before finishing a solid third over 1500m at Geelong on January 28. She is on the quick back up, but drops a kilo to 57kg here.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 FOXLAGO
No7 FREEHEARTED (NEXT BEST BET) showed she was close to a win with a strong second over 1300m at Morphettville on January 20. She carried 57.5kg with Dean Yendall that day and will carry the same weight here with the 2kg claim of apprentice Ethan Brown. She has an unblemished record at this track of one start for a win and has won twice and been placed third at her four career starts.
No3 CASQUE comes to the city off an imposing g win over 1100m at Sale on January 21. Is the danger.
No10 PATIENT was a strong winner at Mornington last start and should do no work from gate two.
No5 LORD LAURIE with the 3kg claim will carry 57kg and is chasing a hat-trick today. Country form is rock solid.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 LORD LAURIE
No4 CHARLTON appears to be out to the right distance range following a big run when finishing second over 1600m at Ballarat on January 24. The four-year-old was running off a four-week break that time and will be fitter for the effort.
No9 MANNING ROAD won two in a row over 1650m and 1800m at Bendigo and Kyneton this campaign. Last start resumed off a seven-week break when finishing a solid ninth over 1800m here on January 31. Carries 55.5kg with the claim.
No3 MR FERGUS has a record of two wins and two placings at six starts. Latest scored a smart win over 1600m at Albury on January 18. That was the four-year-old’s second win at the track and gets the experienced Noel Callow to ride.
No2 BUBBA’S CALL has been in splendid form on the outer provincial tracks with three straight wins and a second at past four starts. Latest he fought hard before being overhauled to run second over 1717m at sale on January 21.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 MR FERGUS
No2 CALL ME HANDSOME (BEST BET) is a former Hong Kong galloper who has yet to put a hoof wrong at his four Victorian starts back. He was plunged into a $1.80 favourite before claiming a hard fought win over 1200m at Sale on January 21. He carried 58.5kg that day and will carry 57.5kg today with the 3kg claim of the hot apprentice Stephanie Thornton to ride. The Irish-bred galloper is drawn perfectly in gate five to be prominent in the running again. Looks a nice bet on a difficult day to find stand-outs.
No5 PEACEFUL STATE is a three-year-old colt who has yet to finish outside of a placing at his three starts. Narrowly beaten here last start and respect.
No11 CRITICAL THINKING has won twice and been placed second once at six starts. Comes here off a narrow win at Ballarat.
No10 BOORADLEY has won twice and been placed at other five starts. Has an impeccable record at this track.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 BOORADLEY
No9 LIPSTICK LOVER can give leading trainer Darren Weir and leading jockey Damian Lane a win in the final race. She showed plenty of resolve first up to finish third over 1200m against her own sex at Pakenham on January 25.
No8 ELLE O’LOVE followed a clever win at Bendigo over 1600m against her own sex at her last start last prep on September 28, with a strong finishing sixth over 1300m at Ballarat first up on January 16. Top jockey Ben Melham is to ride.
No5 DUECOURSE is chasing a hat-trick here following smart wins over 1200m at Warrnambool and Terang. She started a short-priced favourite both times and won with plenty in hand at her two starts back from a long spell. Can repeat.
No1 GO DOWN (BEST ROUGHIE) has finished inside the money at four of her past five starts. Latest she ran home solidly to run third over 1400m at Ballarat on January 24. With the in-form Stephanie Thornton’s 3kg claim will carry 58.5kg today.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 DUECOURSE