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Flemington Saturday and Sandown Sunday – Preview and Best Bets

Fri, Aug 4, 8:42am by Staff Writer

After being abandoned due to extreme winds last Saturday the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) joins the Sandown Card on Sunday as part of Grand National Hurdle Day. A field of 12 will run in Sunday’s edition of the Bletchingly with last week’s favourite for the race, Supido, a notable omission.

Lankan Rupee ($3.90) will sport the number one saddle cloth as he returns to racing for the first time since the Flemington Carnival. Once rated amongst the country’s best sprinters, the eight-year-old gelding was last seen when fourth to Malaguerra in the G1 Darley Classic (1200m).

His last win was in the Group 1 Lightning (1000m) back in February 2015 although because of injuries, he’s been sparingly raced since. He might be lacking race fitness but many race goers would love to see a bold showing from the old boy.

Ability ($6.50) has been working through the grades nicely with three wins from his three runs this campaign. A BM78 winner when first-up his most recent victory was in the Listed Vic Sprint (1200m) at Flemington. A winner of six from 15 career starts in total, he’ll jump from barrier four.

Keen Array ($7.50) is first-up from a break and first-up last campaign it took a freakish run by Voodoo Lad to beat him. He then went on to win two Listed events with his two most recent runs before a break being in Group 1 company where he finished mid-field. He’ll be joined by stable mate Tashbeeh ($27) who won the Listed Straight Six (1200m) two starts back before a ninth of ten – beaten 5.2L – behind Ability at his most recent run.

Savannah Armour ($5.50) ended her summer campaign with a narrow Group 2 Armanasco (1400m) win before popping up in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) during the QLD Carnival and winning that by a nose. Santa Ana Lane ($9) was an impressive winner of the Wagga Town Plate three starts back and has finished within 2L of the winner at his next two runs since – one being a G1 Goodwood.

Chocolate Holic ($9.50) has seven wins from 11 career starts in WA, and he makes his Victorian debut for Darren Weir while Divine Ten ($41) is having his fourth start since returning from Hong Kong. His first two back he didn’t beat a runner home but his most recent run was when fourth to Supido in the G3 Monash (1100m) at Caulfield beaten less than 2L.

There’s no black-type racing on a bumper ten-race card at Flemington on Saturday but a few spring hopefuls throw a bit of intrigue into the day. Team Williams will roll out three of their spring stable with Bondi Beach ($7), Aloft ($4.60) – both race four – and Amralah ($8) – race 8 – set to race, the latter having not raced since his big G2 Herbert Power (2400m) win back in 2015.

Bondi Beach’s only run in Australia was in the G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) when tenth to stable mate Almandin while Aloft’s four Aussie runs have netted him one win and two placings.

Azazel, who’s been an early market mover in the first race, is into $4.40. Wait for No One ($4.20), Cao Cao ($4.80) and Indian Thunder ($5.50) are all in the market for that race. In Race Three, which is a 1000m event for the 3YO fillies, Madeenaty has been backed into $3.10 and Chateau Griffo is fighting it out for favouritism, at $3.50.

Suggested Bet: Sandown race seven, number 3 Keen Array. If he runs as well as he did last time when first-up, he should be in the finish, have an each way play at $7.50.

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