Tom Gilmore's best bets for Sandown and Canterbury.
Sandown R1 No.13 - HAVILDAR
Really liked his return at Caulfield three weeks ago when getting within 1.3 lengths of what looks to be a very smart filly (G1 Thousand Guineas bound), reckon he was a touch soft late too (easy in betting) so theres clearly good benefit to come physically. Like they progress to 1300m and this is a clear drop in grade, if he handles the soft going he'll be very hard to beat. Anticipate they'll be getting off the fence here this afternoon so like the wide draw!
Havildar - 1pt @ 2.60
Sandown R3 No.6 - ROBBIE'S STAR (x2 NAP)
Win at latest effort at Bendigo two weeks ago over a mile was terrific, settled beautifully mid-race and just trucked through the field under minimal riding for really exploding away from them in the final furlong. Gave every indication 1700m wouldn't be any sort of issue and that was on a bog track (soft no worries!). Think he's got good upside this fella and does look to snag the PR of the race. Interesting to note he beat Walloon Region by 9.5 lengths in that race at Bendigo, that galloper has since come out and been stiff not to win $80,000 race in town!
Robbie's Star - 2pts @ 2.20
Sandown R8 No.3 - HELLBENT
Run was much, much better than what it appeared on paper here two weeks ago over the 1500m. He just got shuffled back into an impossible position on a day that clearly favoured those handy at the bend, but did manage to find the line well (late splits were very sound). Suggest a progression to the mile suits him and the 3kg claim from B.Mertens brings him in well relative weights. Should go very close if he can find some clean galloping room from the 600m.
Legal Hunter - 1pt @ 5.00
Sandown R8 No.3 - HELLBENT
He's got a fair bit of talent this fella, former NSW-based galloper now with D.Weir. Has had the one crack in Melbourne and that was back in January when winning in dominant fashion down the Flemington straight, was then freshened/trialled super before failing in the G2 Arrowfield Stakes at Randwick (prepared to forgive that). In the spring last year he was certainly competing against the top echelon of 3yo's, he was far from disgraced in a G1 Coolmore Stakes and appeared to certainly be on an upward spiral. Fancy Weir will improve him, tongue-tie/blinkers come off for his return but do fancy he'll just be too good for them.
Hellbent - 1pt @ 2.20
Canterbury R1 No.3 - MISTER MCILROY
His debut ten days ago at Kembla Grange over the 1300m (off two quiet trials) was rather good, very, very ordinary ride by C.Lever - he plonked the horse in a spot three pairs back/in traffic and basically didn't move until the final 100m when the race was all over. The way he hit the line though was eye-catching and suggested a progression to 1550m would suit. With any luck in running he clearly wins, and think from barrier 7 today he should find plenty of clear galloping room. They'll be getting off the fence today so keen pattern suits!
Mister McIlroy - 1pt @ 5.50