27 May 2017 (Racing at Sandown Lakeside)






Racing at SANDOWN on the LAKESIDE track with fine weather forecast, hence currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We return to SANDOWN LAKESIDE with the rail in the TRUE position, where we hope for a level playing field (pace dependant), but expect no major disadvantage to those drawn close to the inside. As always, be sure to keep an eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the two year olds over 1200m and looking to have the trusty Darren Weir on our side to open up proceedings with **CLIFF’S EDGE** @ $4.20+ (BET365, LUXBET) who I think can turn the tables on STAR SEARCH with a better run from a better gate and a 1kg swing in the weights. Pretty keen as long as there is not big money for any of the debutants. Main danger is the first starter I’m most wary of in LONE EAGLE while also must respect STAR SEARCH who did beat him last time. Pretty keen! Will actually make a BEST VALUE bet of the day.



Race 2: Next is benchmark 78 over 1200m. Sticking with that mean Weir again, this time in the form of STAR STEALER at $8+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR. Was on the worse part of the track two back when beaten by stablemate and key rival here in NIKITAS and gets extra 1kg swing in the weights. Drawn the inside, which is good, however we might have out heart in our mouth on the turn as we sweat on a run behind what looks a decent tempo up front. Key will be John Allen waiting for the right run, at the right time and hopefully snapping it up and kicking clear. That’s the plan anyways. Main dangers RILLITO, NIKITAS and GALAXY RAIDER.

SUGGEST: STAR STEALER (EACH WAY) @ $8+, FIRST FOUR (6, 13, 15 / F / 6, 13, 15 / 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Next is a steeplechase and have incredibly landed with Weir again to hopefully bring up a hat trick in the first three races (for most trainers, you’d be wary, but this man can do it) in the form of NOW AND ZEN at $4+ with most operators. Rude of me not to acknowledge John Allen also, as he’s also aboard our first three suggestions on the card. Gets weight swing on key rival and current favourite ZED EM and is almost on the minimum with a lazy 64.5kg. Main danger ZED EM for obvious reasons. No third dividend due to lack of numbers.

SUGGEST: NOW AND ZEN (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4+, FIRST FOUR (2 / 1, 4, 5, 7 / 3 / 1, 4, 5, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 4: Now for The Australian Hurdle over 3400m and this all really revolves around how RENEW returns after a lacklustre effort last week. Was personally not surprised (was shocked to see the flood of money for a hurdler in the Andrew Ramsden against a galloper like De Little Engine) but was obviously happy to see it as it meant we all secured a much better price for The Engine. This is obviously more up his alley and although not over the moon with the price, think he will be hard to beat at $2.20+ with most operators, on a WIN only basis. Main dangers ARCH FIRE, URBAN EXPLORER and HONEY STEEL’S GOLD.

SUGGEST: RENEW (WIN) @ $2.20+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 3, 4 / F) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 5: Now for a benchmark 90 over 2400m and finding it hard to split two here in the form of GRAND DREAMER at $7+ (UBET) and GREAT GLEN at $7.50+ with most operators and won for dungeon followers in style two back at Hawkesbury. Both get in nicely at the weights, are racing well (GREAT GLEN had excuses last time when disappointing to the eye) and drawn to get good runs behind the leading pack. Main danger GOATHLAND (right in this but rock bottom price in red figures with most).



Race 6: First leg of the main quaddie is an open event over the mile (1600m). a lot here revolves around PLEIN CIEL but in red figures at the moment I am happy to risk until he hits peak fitness, as I’m thinking just ‘might’ need another run to get there. Keen to play around two here at double figure prices in the form of one of our old favourites in **JACQUINOT BAY** at $12+ (UNIBET) who is as honest as they come and DAN ZEPHYR at $13+ with UNIBET also. Like JACQUINOT BAY back to this trip and importantly finally draws a decent gate. Should get a much better run in transit and be tough late. At the juicy double figure price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. DAN ZEPHYR is returning to form, gets in very nicely at the weights (gets in with 52.5kg after the claim) and from barrier 2 drawn to get a gun run. Main dangers the obvious in PLEIN CIEL, ahead of ONPICALO. Happy to leave it there.

SUGGEST: **JACQUINOT BAY** (EACH WAY) @ $12+, DAN ZEPHYR (EACH WAY) @ $13+, TRIFECTA (boxed 3, 5, 7, 10), FIRST FOUR (5, 10 / 3, 10 / F / 3, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: Next is a benchmark 78 for the three year old fillies over the mile (1600m), with pace/tactics/how track is playing key here with not a great deal of pace on paper. Mick Price looks to have a very strong hand here with three runners including race favourite PEDRENA (who not winning at least removes the need to watch some ‘interesting’ owner celebrations), however the two I actually want to play are the lesser liked here in the form of WINDBERN at $8+ (UBET) and *MAWHOOBA* at $31+ with UBET and BET365. Hoping both take advantage of very good gates (1 and 3 respectively) and take prominent spots (ideally siting 1-2) and on the back of a moderate tempo if that pans out, both could give the rest something to chase. Any advantage towards the fence would only be an added plus. At the price, happy to make *MAWHOOBA* a best longshot bet of the day. Main dangers PEDRENA, LEOTIE and SOHO RUBY.   

SUGGEST: WINDBERN (EACH WAY) @ $8+, *MAWHOOBA* (EACH WAY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 3 / 6, 7 / F / 6, 7) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 8: Penultimate event is for the three year olds over 1400m and simply can’t go past WIDGEE TURF here at $2.90+ with BET365. Pace/tactics again could be key with minimal pace on paper, but simply going with the ‘best horse rule’ and think WIDGEE TURF can defy any lack of pace, be “close enough” from a good gate (3) and be hard to beat. Main danger ZAMZAM who may have finally returned to form after winning well last time. Happy to leave it there in what looks a shallow field.

SUGGEST: WIDGEE TURF (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $2.90+, FIRST FOUR (1 / 4 / F / F), (1 / F / 4 / F) (CONFIDENCE 45%) 


Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 84 over 1400m. Tricky finish but have come up with two plays at differing odds. Firstly, THELBURG @ $4.60+ (most operators) who is going very well and can hopefully offset the wide gate, assisted by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pace on paper. As long as he crosses unscathed, should be hard to run down and can hopefully bring up a hat trick of wins. The other is STRIKE FORCE at $13+ with UBET and SPORTSBET. Loved win two back against the handy War Legend and has never been far away in recent times. Freshen up, back to 1400m, looks well placed at a nice price. Main dangers DATA POINT, CANNYESCENT and NOELA’S CHOICE.

SUGGEST: THELBURG (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.60+, STRIKE FORCE (EACH WAY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (1, 8, 14 / 3, 11 / F / 3, 11) (CONFIDENCE 35%)



Average odds $9.03+ per suggested runner!