24 December 2016 (Racing at Sandown Hillside)






Saturday racing returns to SANDOWN HILLSIDE with the penetrometer TBC, hence currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface, with warm weather forecast.

RAIL: +4M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to SANDOWN HILLSIDE on the quick backup after racing here on Wednesday when the rail was in the TRUE position. Big advantage to be on speed/close to the fence Wednesday, hence with the rail coming out +4M no reason to think it will be any different Saturday. As a result, predicting an on pace bias favouring those on pace / closer to the fence and summary has been provided based on this. If for any reason this doesn’t eventuate, then tread with extreme caution. As always, be sure to keep an eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with a benchmark 70 for the three year old fillies over 1400m and don’t see any reason why **INVICTUM DOMINA** doesn’t win again @ $3.90+ with SPORTSBET. Actually drops 1kg from last start win at this track and distance and just needs to repeat that to be extremely hard to beat here. Keen and despite the shorter odds than usual, will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers FILLE CHAMPAGNE and LOVANI who may lead giving her a chance.

SUGGEST: **INVICTUM DOMINA** (EACH WAY) @ $3.90+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 3, 4 / F) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 2: Next is another benchmark 70, this time for the three year olds over the short 1000m distance. Pace/tactics set to be key with several here capable of going forward, but given they are in different situations in terms of their preparation, a bit of guesswork is required. Slight lean PEARL CONGENIAL @ $7+ (most operators) who I’m hoping takes full advantage of gate 1 and is ridden positively, ideally just behind the leader. Main dangers MR SNEAKY and CAPANELLO, while the unknown is debutante SHOT AT THE REWARD, so keep safe and monitor betting for best guide.

SUGGEST: PEARL CONGENIAL (EACH WAY) @ $7, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 5 / 2, 3, 5 / 2, 3, 5 / 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Next is another event over 1000m, this time a benchmark 78 and finding it hard to go past the extremely well weighted AMADEUS @ $3.50+ (BET365) who meets key rival CRYSTAL DREAMER a massive 6kg better at the weights for a 1L defeat….and they are similar odds??? Given the prediction with the track, just hoping Beau Mertens takes full advantage of gate 2 which should be a strong advantage given track bias prediction….assuming it eventuates. Main dangers CRYSTAL DREAMER (despite the poor weight situation) and DANCE WITH FONTEIN.

SUGGEST: AMADEUS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.50+, FIRST FOUR (4, 5 / 9 / F / F) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 4: Now for a benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares over 1800m and this looks a very open and competitive affair. Looking to play around two here at juicy odds, led by ASHLEE MARIE @ $11+ with most operators. Actually gets in slightly better at the weights compared to key rival VANDANCER despite beating him by a length last start. Looks to have found form and importantly will be right up there in first couple. Also, want something on longshot *ROKEBY RED* @ $41+ with SPORTSBET. Given the price, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers DOMINO VITALE and VANDANCER despite the negative weight swing compared with top pick ASHLEE MARIE. Doesn’t end there, deep race. Pace/tactics and how track is playing key.

SUGGEST: ASHLEE MARIE (EACH WAY) @ $11+, *ROKEBY RED* (EACH WAY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (3, 9 / F / F / 10, 13) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 5: Next is an open event over 1400m and BURNING FRONT looks very hard to beat here @ $2.65+ (CROWNBET, UNIBET) after being scratched last week and saved for this. Another drawn an important inside gate (1), so once again key McNeil takes advantage of the gate and ideally leads in a race that doesn’t look to have a great deal of pace on paper. Want to play on a WIN only basis, however also want to have a saver on AIRALIGN @ $7+ with most operators, also on a WIN only basis. Main danger BASSETT.



Race 6 (updated post scratchings Saturday 10.40am AEDT): Now for a benchmark 78 over the mile (1600m) with pace/tactics and how track is playing key. Following the scratching of BALLYBRIT, will upgrade DUBAI KING at a tidy $13+ with SPORTSBET. Also, want a play on longshot WALLOON REGION at a juicy $31+ with most operators. Very consistent galloper who flies under the radar, was good first up and normally improves second up. Main dangers BLACK SHEEP (the class), REWARDING EFFORT and DUBAI KING.  

SUGGEST: WALLOON REGION (EACH WAY) @ $31+, DUBAI KING (EACH WAY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (1, 6 / 1, 2, 6, 9 / F / 6, 9) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 7: Penultimate event is another benchmark 78 over 2400m and this looks a wide, open affair. Slight lean **SHIKARPOUR** @ $4.80+ (BET365, LUXBET) after the handy 2kg claim from Ben Allen which gets the seven year old gelding in nicely at the weights, at this level. Should get a gun run just behind the leaders and be in a position to take advantage of any better ground in the straight. Given the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Also, want something on longshot *ALROUZ* @ $51+ (most operators), his best is definitely behind him, but might just get conditions to suit here and simply won’t know himself with a featherweight of 51kg after the claim. Given the price, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. The big unknown GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY but very even elsewhere.     

SUGGEST: **SHIKARPOUR** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.80+, *ALROUZ* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $51+, FIRST FOUR (F / 2, 4 / F / 2, 9), (roving 2, 4, 9 / F) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 8 (updated post scratchings Saturday 10.40am AEDT): And we finish with a benchmark 70 over 1300m and a tough couple of races to finish things off. Very open and competitive affair, however slight lean to DOWNHEARTED @ $17+ (SPORTSBET, LUXBET), drawn to get the gun run from barrier 2 and can improve back in town second up. Given the scratching of RICH LUCK will replace with TOP ME UP at $10+ (most operators) another who should put himself right there and given them something to catch. Throw a blanket over the rest in a tough finish. Wide end to the quaddie for mine.

SUGGEST: DOWNHEARTED (EACH WAY) @ $17+, TOP ME UP (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, FIRST FOUR (F / 5, 13 / F / 5, 13) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 



Average odds $15.60+ per suggested runner!