SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2017
Racing at SANDOWN HILLSIDE with rain coming down Friday (13+mm) but surprisingly we have awoken to a GOOD (4) surface so they must have anticipated it coming and thankfully it did.
RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to SANDOWN with the rail in the TRUE position. If we woke to a SOFT (6, or even 5) would have been very confident that they would be swooping from off the pace down the middle of the track, but not as confident now, although given the rail position, hopefully will still be the case. ‘Hopefully’ as summary has been based on this being the case for the most part. Hoping for an even track at the very least, where all get their chance, pace dependant. As always, be sure to keep an eye on early races for best guide.
Race 1: We start with the two year olds and plenty of guesswork given limited race day experience with most. Obviously the danger of a debutante being too good first up, but think they’ll need to be above average to beat FAKE who has the race day experience including a debut win and a second start third in what looked a good lead up to this at Caulfield. Happy to play there at $3.30+ (CROWNBET) but be wary considering, and be sure to respect significant market movements for any of the debutantes in particular.
SUGGEST: FAKE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.30+ (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 2: Next is a benchmark 64 over 1800m. Tricky race, but going to lean towards the very consistent RED CHOUX’S at $4.80+ (TOPBETTA, CROWNBET) for the trusty Darren Weir stable. Sticky gate so will be important the track is giving those potentially wider with cover their chance as chances are we’ll be wide with cover here. Important claim and will actually be used to the 59kg on its back. Main danger DOMESTICATED.
SUGGEST: RED CHOUX’S (EACH WAY) @ $4.80+, FIRST FOUR (F / 4 / F / 1) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 3: Next is a benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares over 1400m. Have always had an opinion of top weight ZASORCERESS and although it was a while back, remember backing her first up last time over this very distance when she flew home from the rear to just miss the placings at a price. Hoping for similar here at a tidy $10+ with most operators. Happy to play there in addition to a saving WIN only play on SINGLE NOTE at a respectable $9+ with CENTREBET. Was near impossible to make ground at Caulfield last time and actually hit the line well despite the 10th placing. Was never suited dropping to 1100m. 1400m suits much better here. Main dangers the obvious in terms of the two shortest in the betting in LIFE ON THE WIRE and MOONLOVER.
SUGGEST: ZASORCERESS (EACH WAY) @ $10+, SINGLE NOTE (WIN) @ $9+, FIRST FOUR (5, 6 / 1, 2 / F / 1, 2, 5, 6) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 4: Next is a benchmark 70 for the three year old fillies to be run over 1300m. Tricky, competitive race, however have come out with **LIGHT ROMANCE** on top at a tidy $9+ (CENTREBET) for the white hot Ellerton and Zahra stable. Gate (10) should be okay given how I expect track to race, and can hopefully settle in the 1/1 or even three wide with cover, which should be okay. We were keen on Bella Martini last time who brained then on Boxing Day so the form from most recent race looks very good for this. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, can have something on a secondary basis on TAN TAT FLAME for the Tony McEvoy stable at a juicy $21+ with most operators. Genuine, consistent, but needs to lift to get into the winners’ stalls. Query on softer ground (unknown) but at the price, happy to take the punt. Main dangers TWITCHY FRANK and MAWZOONA.
SUGGEST: **LIGHT ROMANCE** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $9+, TAN TAT FLAME (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $21+, FIRST FOUR (F / 2, 4 / F / 6, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 5: Final leg of the early quaddie is a benchmark 70 over 1000m. Tough race as illustrated by the fact that we have $6+ the field in current markets. Many legitimate winning hopes, but have landed with a slight lean on EL SICARIO at $6+ with most operators. Looks very well suited in this grade and loved the way he returned at the Valley. Hasn’t quite lived up to some early expectations and as a result surprised to see with a handicap rating of only 71. 58.5kg a nice weight after the 2kg claim, an important 2.5kg swing in the weights v last start winner and main danger here in KAKANUI for only a 0.95L defeat. Primary play ahead of DAM READY at $9+ with most operators. Similarly, very nice return first up and similar to top pick, one who hasn’t quite lived up to expectations to date but has been competitive in some much better quality races than this. Happy to play around the two, with main dangers KAKANUI and SOVEREIGN DUKE who was not far behind Crystal Dreamer last time which is very good form for this.
SUGGEST: EL SICARIO (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $6+, DAM READY (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $9+, FIRST FOUR (F / 1, 4 / F / 5, 12) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 6: First leg of the quaddie is an open handicap over 1400m. Have come out with **THELBURG** on top at $5.50+ with CENTREBET. Hit the line well last time behind key rival here OZI CHOICE and just think the Sandown track might suit the gelding’s style better to assist with reeling in the leaders such as OZI CHOICE. Stays at the featherweight of 51kg after the 3kg claim for the in-form Chris Casterta. Happy to play there on an each way basis and at the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers the Weir duo of OZI CHOICE and BURNING FRONT.
SUGGEST: **THELBURG** (EACH WAY) @ $5.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 7 / F / F / 11), (F / 1, 7 / F / 11) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 7: Next is a benchmark 78 over the mile (1600m) and another wide open and competitive race. Pace/tactics and most importantly how track is playing, set to be key. Like LAMBORGHINI here at a tidy $10+ with CENTREBET. Expect to get back and run on, and hoping that is the preferred pattern of the day, although not as confident now that we’ve landed on a GOOD (4). We’ll know by race 7 if backmarkers are getting their chance, given my vested interest in Race 8, I’m damn hoping so. Also, want something on ORIENT LINE at $13+ (UBET, BET365, CENTREBET) and *AURUM SPIRIT* at $21+ also with most operators. The same situation applies here, hence the faster they go up front the better. At the price, happy to make *AURUM SPIRIT* a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers LIGHT ‘N’ FIRE and GUIZOT.
SUGGEST: LAMBORGHINI (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $10+, ORIENT LINE (WIN / EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $13+, *AURUM SPIRIT* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $21+, FIRST FOUR (F / 1, 14 / 2, 7, 11 / 2, 7, 11) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 8: Penultimate event is a benchmark 70 for the fillies and mares over 1000m which sees IF NOT NOW WHEN back after being ridden upside down first up at Caulfield. Just hoping there are no ill-effects of what was a much tougher run than was expected/wanted first up. Conditions suit much better here, but ideal state is we have a track where those off the pace are better suited running down towards the middle of the track. Would have been confident of that being the case had we woken up to a SOFT (5) or worse surface, but we start on a GOOD (4) so will be interesting how the track plays with the rail TRUE. The good thing is we’ll know how it’s playing by race 8. There looks to be plenty of pace which should only suit, but time will tell. Actually think one right at the bottom of the list looks a nice play in the form of LA RENARDE at $11+ with CENTREBET. Actually met IF NOT NOW WHEN before break when good from the rear and meets us 0.5kg better at the weights for a 0.5L deficit. And as much as I’m normally quite pessimistic and risk adverse when it comes to IF NOT NOW WHEN, do think she is a legitimate play here at $6.50+ with CENTREBET. I do think she looks the one to beat as long as you can make ground down the outside and she has taken no ill effects from a tough than expected first up run. The first we’ll know by race time, the second we won’t know until the race is run and won. Fingers crossed.
SUGGEST: LA RENARDE (EACH WAY) @ $11+, IF NOT NOW WHEN (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (F / 7, 16 / F / 7, 16) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 70 over 1400m and another open, competitive affair which looks to be the theme of the day. Disappointed by the scratching of THE AVENGER who I though was the one to beat here, however not here hence have now come out with DOWNHEARTED on top at $10+ with CENTREBET. Pace/tactics/any notable pattern will be key as I’ve run with off pace runners for the most part, however here have gone on pace with little pace evident on paper. Has never won on turf, which is an obvious concern, but 7 placings from 12 starts on a good track which we get here. Primary play, ahead of *LANNISTER* at a juicy $41+ with CENTREBET. Somewhat speculative, but saw enough last time to think improvement is near and for the same “pace” reasoning as mentioned above, expect to make own luck out in front. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers SOHOOL and BON ROCKET, but race doesn’t end there, with plenty of legitimate winning hopes.
SUGGEST: DOWNHEARTED (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $10+, *LANNISTER* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (F / 5, 17 / F / 10, 13) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Average odds $11.88+ per suggested runner!
** BEST VALUE **: LIGHT ROMANCE @ $9+, THELBURG @ $5.50+
*BEST LONGSHOTS*: AURUM SPIRIT @ $21+, LANNISTER @ $41+