It may be overshadowed by The Championships, but there is still some quality racing at Sandown today.
Sandown will be a Soft 6 with the weather predicted to be fine for Saturday’s autumn meeting. The rail will be at 5 metres for the entire circuit with the penetrometer at 5.6.
Race 6: 4, 1, 8, 13
Race 7: 3, 6, 2
Race 8: 1, 3
Race 9: 1, 14, 9, 17
Race 6: 4, 1
Race 7: 3, 6
Race 8: 1
Race 9: 1, 14, 17
R1 12.25pm Ladbrokes Handicap - 1300m
October Tutu was caught deep at his second start, but worked home well over the 1000m at Bendigo to suggest he can be a force here. He is a son of top sire Not A Single Doubt and with two runs under his belt is ready to show. Gets his chance here in a moderate field.
Pryx Chamber was ridden for speed at his last start and given a quieter ride here he can figure. The son of champion sire Street Cry has now had five runs and he was placed third at Randwick last year. He has the race toughness and drawn gate two he should get a cosy run.
Launched is having her first start for her new trainer after her previous trainer was disqualified. The daughter of Smart Missile was having her third start when she ran home late to snatch sixth place over 1000m at Bendigo on March 19. Drawn a bit awkwardly in gate eight but rates well.
SELECTIONS: No2 Smooth Whiskey, No4 October Tutu, No5 Pyx Chamber, No6 Launched.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Smart As You Think.
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R2 1.00pm Ladbrokes.com.au Handicap - 1500m
Lahqa has been a model of consistency, landing three wins and five placings at her 12 starts. She fought hard to go down by a narrow margin to Tarquin in the Mornington Guineas (1500m) on April 2. That was off a 21-day break and you should expect her to strip fitter here.
Miss Cooper was racing in top fettle over the spring and summer last year. She resumes here over 1500m without a trial, but her form around the mile is top shelf. She drops 2kg on her win over 1600m against her own age and sex at Sandown on December 30.
Dane Thunder has been most honest, finishing out of the money just once in his five starts. He didn’t have much luck last start when wide and ran on to snatch second behind Loyalty Man over 1300m at Sandown on March 28. He lumped 59.5kg that day but will carry 53kg here with the three kilo claim of Jake Bayliss.
SELECTIONS: No3 Kerauno, No2 Lahqa, No5 Miss Cooper, No4 Dane Thunder.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 Miss Cooper.
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R3 1.35pm Bet Better Handicap - 1300m
Telopea has been racing well for leading trainer Darren Weir. The five-year-old mare was first-up when peaking to finish fourth over 1200m in this class at Moonee Valley on March 18. She drops 3.5kg with senior jockey Dean Yendall replacing an apprentice. She won four straight last campaign.
She’s Miss Devine was sent down to Melbourne following a most solid first-up effort when she ran third to Suspense over 1200m at Warwick Farm on March 28. The four-year0-old lumped 59.5kg that day and she gets some weight relief here down to 55kg with leading Victorian hoop Ben Melham to ride.
Zanteca will be flashing home late and is worthy of thought. The daughter of champion New Zealand staying sire Zabeel raced in excellent form over the longer distances for her trainer Darren Weir. With apprentice Dylan Dunn’s 2kg claim, her weight on 58kg is okay and stayers can sprint well fresh.
SELECTIONS: No6 French Emotion , No9 Telopea, No7 She’s Miss Devine, No2 Zanteca.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Zanteca.
R4 2.15pm Mega Margin Handicap - 1300m
Manhattan Blues is back to his best and has an ideal draw in two to stretch his winning form. The son of Manhattan Rain lumped 59.5kg to finish strongly to win over 1000m at Bendigo first-up on March 19. With the 1.5kg claim of apprentice Regan Bayliss, he drops to 55.5kg, which is 1.5kg off the limit.
It would pay to draw a line through Catch A Fire’s last start when she ran 10th in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 12. She won the Group 3 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at her prior start in February. She is well drawn in seven and worth respect.
Brockhoff was not suited down the straight-five at Flemington last start and will be better here going around a bend. The Lonhro colt’s prior form at Moonee Valley and Caulfield over the short courses was top class. Take a line on his excellent second to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 3 Zedative Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield two starts ago.
SELECTIONS: No4 Demonstrate, No5 Manhattan Blues, No2 Catch A Fire, No3 Brockhoff.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Cana.
R5 2.55pm Live Play Handicap - 1800m
Tears Of Joy clashes against the males here after an excellent campaign against her own sex. The daughter of defunct stallion Street Cry made Miss Wynette earn her win, fighting all the way to the post over 2000m at Caulfield last start on March 26. She carried 60kg that day and drops to 57.5kg here.
The Bandit broke through for his first win on Australian soil over 1800m at Sandown on March 28. The Japanese import carried 56kg that day and with apprentice Thomas Sadler keeping the ride drops to 54.5kg here. Expect him to be finishing strongly.
Mr Journeyman broke a frustrating streak of second with a narrow win as a $2.90 favourite in the Tatura Cup (1600m) on March 20. The win was off a 43-day break and would expect him to strip fitter for this clash. The seven-year-old has drawn in 15, but apprentice Jake Bayliss’ 3kg offsets his 61.5kg impost.
SELECTIONS: No9 Zahspeed, No14 Tears Of Joy, No16 The Bandit, No4 Mr Journeyman.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Mr Journeyman.
R6 3.35pm Galilee Series Final - 2400m
Cool Chap has not missed returning prize-money at his past four starts. The son of staying sire High Chaparral proved too good for his rivals at his last start, winning by a length over 2000m at Caulfield on March 26. He rises 2.5kg for that win to 57kg here, but has a good draw in four.
Laser Sight gave a good sight when working home steadily to snatch sixth place at Bendigo over 2200m on March 30. He is a son of noted staying sire High Chaparral and although a maiden at five starts will strip fitter for having a run over a distance. He drops 2kg to 56kg.
Meru hails from a noted stable for stayers. The filly has now had two runs over 2000m and 2400m under her belt so she is rock solid for this. Senior jockey Kattelyn Mallyon replaces an apprentice Michael Dee on her here. Expect her to be grinding home.
SELECTIONS: No4 Charlevoix, No1 Cool Chap, No13 Meru, No8 Laser Sight.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 Laser Sight.
R7 4.15pm Infohub Handicap - 1000m
Beau Rada faces-off against Sheidel again here after beating the Western Australian mare at her debut over 955m at Moonee Valley on March 27. Sheidel is the $3.70 favourite this time and he is at $6 to retain his dominance. The four-year-old will again be on the speed and despite having been up a long time he continues to race consistently.
Hard Romp has had two good trials in preparation for his debut. The six-year-old has an excellent record of two wins and three seconds at five starts over this trip. He hails from the leading yard of Ciaron Maher and with Michael Dee’s 1.5kg claim will carry 55.5kg. He has won twice and been placed second three times at his six starts first-up.
Miss Seton Sands could not have been more impressive at her Australian debut than when winning against her own sex over 1100m down the straight at Flemington on March 5. This four-year-old ran second in the Group 1 Telegraph back in New Zealand in January. She only goes up half a kilo on her win on 55.5kg.
SELECTIONS: No3 Sheidel, No6 Beau Rada, No2 Hard Romp, No7 Miss Seton Sands.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 It Is Written.
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R8 4.55pm Cash In Handicap - 1600m
Labdien has been racing well for her leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller in Victoria. The daughter of Styker worked home well to claim second to Thames Court in the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 24. She is lumped on 59kg but she did win with 59.5kg at the Valley three starts ago over 1200m.
Jacqui’s Joy will wear a tongue-tie this time. That may explain her disappointing effort last start when finishing fourth (4 ¾lens) to Thames Court in the Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 24. Her prior form was rock solid, winning a hat-trick over last December and January.
Street Spun has no weight with Jessica Payne’s 3kg claim reducing her impost to 51kg. She capped two placings at her first two starts with a tearaway 4 ½ length win over 1600m at Echuca on April 1. This is a rise in class but she is drawn on the rail and will be prominent in running.
SELECTIONS: No1 Silent Sedition, No2 Labdien, No3 Jacqui’s Joy, No14 Street Spun.
VALUE RUNNER: No14 Street Spun.
R9 5.30pm Odds Boost Handicap - 1600m
Hijack Hussy is capable of living up to her name if she gets a run here as a first emergency. The former Queensland mare is now with premier Victorian trainer Darren Weir and with two Victorian runs over 1100m and 1400m under her belt she is primed for this race. She has no weight on the limit on 54kg.
Nevis is an Irish import who struck gold to land good bets when backed from $12 into $9 to nail the smart Big Memory in the Golden Mile at Bendigo on March 19. The son of Dansili won over 1600m at Morphettville four starts ago and is well weighted on 55.5kg.
Survived was a good effort when chasing hard down the home stretch to claim third to Nevis in the Golden Mile at Bendigo on March 19. He carried 57.5kg that day and drops a kilo to 56.5kg here. The six-year-old came off a 70-day break last time so he will be fitter.
SELECTIONS: No1 Kenjorwood, No17 Hijack Hussy, No14 Nevis, No9 Survived.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 Kourkam.