Fri, May 26, 12:57pm by Senior Writer
The Group 1 focus of Australian racing remains on Brisbane this week for the running of the Kingsford-Smith Cup, while here in Melbourne, Sandown hosts a rare Saturday meeting, with the running the Australian Steeple and Hurdle.
Our best on the Sandown card comes up in Race 7, No.2 Pedrena.
Pedrena is a filly going places much more exciting than Sandown this Saturday. She’s had six starts for three wins, including an impressive effort when coming off the pace last time at Caulfield. She goes out to the 1600m for the first time and does jump in weight on that win, but there’s nothing here to worry her in terms of her opposition.
She been backed into around $3.10 in early markets, which may be a bit skinny, but she’s very much the class in the race and she just loves winning,
Our best value comes up in Race 6 No.3, an old friend of ours, Jacquinot Bay.
WATCH: Our Preview of Sandown and Eagle Farm
This old guy may be rising ten but back to the 1600m is absolutely suitable after he ventured out to the 2000m in the Wagga Cup last time. The last time we saw him at the mile, he was narrowly beaten by Observational at Bendigo and that horse has made that form look very good since. In 19 career starts over the 1600m, Jacquinot Bay has won six and been placed four times.
He was around the $14 mark, but is now $10 with an in-form Craig Williams in the saddle, who has won on him before.
In terms of the Kingsford Smith, the full preview of our Brisbane writer is available here, but in my opinion, I was on Derryn a couple of weeks ago in the Doomben 10,000 and am on him again here at around $7. That was an excellent run and hopefully he doesn’t get quite so far back here and can get over the top of them late.
Here’s our race by race preview of Sandown on Saturday.
Race 1: Clanbrooke Racing Hcp – 1200m
1st: 6. Cliff’s Edge ($4.20)
2nd: 2. The Consigliere ($6.50)
3rd: 12. Josephine Sea ($8.50)
4th: 1. Star Search ($3.50)
Summary: Pretty even two-year-old race to kick things off. Star Search and Cliff’s Edge fought out the finish at Ballarat, with Star Search getting the bob. But feel Cliff’s Edge will improve off that first-up run and gets a good barrier and a 1kg advantage off that race. The Consigliere was a tough winner at Geelong last time and has a bright future. Josephine Sea missed the kick at Sale but still proved too strong. Off that, she can win this if she gets out well from the inside barrier. Star Search has to be included off that Ballarat win.
Race 2 Elaren Security Services Hcp – 1200m
1st: 1. Staviva ($9.50)
2nd: 6. Nikitas ($6.50)
3rd: 9. Star Stealer ($6.50)
4th: 7. Septamore ($21)
4th: 10. The Card Players ($7)
Summary: This looks a good race for Staviva. He missed the kick got way back and charged late at Ballarat last time. That’s his racing style, and is likely to be suited to this track. This is his level. Nikitas was a very good at Warrnambool first up for Weir and he could go on with it now. Star Stealer was behind him that day and came out and ran a good race at Ballarat next start. Can compete here. While we are on the Weir theme, Septamore is over the odds considering he’s got a good second up record and that he wasn’t too bad first-up.
Race 3 The Australian Steeple – 3400m
1st: 2. Zed Em ($3.60)
2nd: 4. Gold Medals ($4.50)
3rd: 3. Now and Zen ($4.80)
4th: 6. Vatuvei ($4.80)
4th: 5. Lucky Tonight ($13)
Summary: Small but very even Steeple field this. Zed Em was very tough and very impressive in the Brierly having won the Von Doussa before that. He’s got a very impressive jumping record and is hard to get past. Gold Medals made a mistake late in the Brierly, but has bounced back with a good run on the flat and his best can have him competitive here. Now and Zen was a brave second in the Brierly and should be better of here, while Vatuvei makes his season jumping debut and can figure.
Race 4 The Australian Hurdle – 3400m
1st: 2. Renew ($2.25)
2nd: 1. Arch Fire ($6.50)
3rd: 5. Honey Steel’s Gold ($4.80)
4th: 3. Urban Explorer ($7.50)
Summary: Renew might be a star at this jumping caper having trashed them in the Galleywood. He’s short but is on the upward spiral over the jumps and should win again here. Arch Fire, Honey’s Steel’s Gold and Urban Explorer were all behind him that day. Arch Fire was poor, but can improve having had a recent jumps trial. The other two will be thereabouts again.
Race 5 Chandler McLeod Handicap – 2400m
1st: 1. Kilimanjaro ($8)
1st: 4. Dubai Escapade ($26)
2nd: 6. Goathland ($2.70)
3rd: 8. Grand Dreamer ($5.50)
4th: 11. Transfer Allowance ($21)
Kilimanjaro is a very, very interesting runner in this. Comes off runs in the English and Irish Derby at his previous two runs into a benchmark 90 race. He may just be too classy for these. Dubai Escapade gets up to a suitable distance fourth-up into this. His last 2400m run was a close-up sixth in a Perth Cup, with the form out of that race proving quite strong. Goathland was a big winner when he stepped up to this distance range last campaign and is well found in the market. Grand Dreamer gets to the 2400m, with a light weight and can figure as well.
Race 6 Ladbrokes Hcp – 1600m
1st: 3. Jacquinot Bay ($10)
2nd: 2. Kenjorwood ($6)
2nd: 10. Plein Ciel ($2.50)
3rd: 5. Onpicalo ($5.50)
4th: 7. Dan Zephyr ($12)
4th: 12. Guizot ($15)
Summary: Interesting race to kick off the quaddie. We’ve found our value for the day here in Jacquinot Bay, who loved the 1600m and has a good record at Sandown. He’s at really nice odds for a horse who wins as often as he does.
Kenjorwood has run a couple of poor ones, but if he can get across and dictate here, might prove hard to toss. Stablemate Plein Ciel has obvious ability, but I was a touch disappointed with him at Warrnambool. He may take another run to find his best. He was tipped out of second by Guizot that day, who is also lightly weighted here and represents good value at $15.
Race 7 Le Pine Funerals Hcp – 1600m
1st: 2. Pedrena ($3.10)
2nd: 1. Leotie ($6.50)
3rd: 3. Soho Ruby ($3.90)
4th: 7. Windbern ($7.50)
Summary: As mentioned earlier, Pedrena is going places based on that win at Caulfield. She was very good there, can improve going into this and the quality of the field is not any stronger in my opinion. Leotie gets the weight turnaround on last start, but she is proving a little one dimensional and will likely have to come from behind Pedrena in the run again. Soho Ruby has been in good nick without winning. Will be in the finish again, while Windbern is drawn to sit closer this time, which could see him in the fight.
Race 8 Samson Hcp – 1400m
1st: 3. Valliano ($8.50)
2nd: 4. Widgee Turf ($2.60)
3rd: 2. Royal Ace ($12)
4th: 1. Zamzam ($4.80)
Summary: Plenty of these even three-year-old races at this time of year. Have plucked Valliano as the top pick off his solid run when up against the older horses last time. A more aggressive ride put him in the race last time and he is building to winning a race like this. Widgee Turf was left flat footed last time at Flemingtoin, but feel this race could pan out better for him if he settles closer. Zamzam was impressive winning that Flemington race but does go up in weight. Still on that last start win, she has to be considered.
Race 9 Le Pine Funerals Hcp – 1400m
1st: 1. Cannyescent ($6.50)
2nd: 15. Give Us A Go ($11)
3rd: 8. Noela’s Choice ($18)
4th: 5. Chamois Road ($18)
4th: 14. Data Point ($4)
Summary: Tough race to finish off with. Cannyescent was a good tough winner in Sydney last time and this looks a suitable race again, even with the top weight. Damien Oliver doesn’t ride often for David Hayes, but they have a 20% combination record. Give Us A Go was a very good run at Flemington and stays in similar class here. Noela’s Choice was a ripper run in the Wangoom at huge odds and will appreciate the rise in distance. Sticking with the big odds, Chamois Road has been in really consistent form and doesn’t know how to run a bad race.
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