The Mounting Yard heads to Sandown, as per usual, for the Melbourne metro meeting.
We have an eight-race program in store for the punters with some very progressive horses using races on this program to launch onto bigger and better things.
The track is likely to be in the soft range for a large majority of the day, and the rail is in the true position, which should make for some fair racing. Let’s find some winners!
We kick off the program with a small, six-horse field for the juveniles. The race isn’t lacking chances, but I think Ain’tnodeeldun is a promising type who should go well here. He’s a Colt out of the Anthony Freedman yard who has been airborne for basically the last 12 months, and he’s sired by Dundeel, which is a big positive. I really liked his debut run when coming from last to make up plenty of ground in the straight to finish 1.5 lengths off two horses that he faces again here. They had slightly more experience than he did last time out, and I think with the run under his belt and stepping out to 1400 metres he should be hard to beat. Mark Zahra taking the ride is a big plus.
Flying Award seems to be the main danger. He ran on very strongly on debut at Ballarat to finish a neck away from Lunar Fox, who subsequently won the Sires Produce at Flemington. He has plenty of scope for improvement, and Damien Oliver taking the ride there is a plus.
Chart Buster narrowly missed at the Hillside track last start and can’t be underestimated, while it’s worth watching the market on the two debutants.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 2 Ain’tnodeeldun at $5.
It’s a really open race here with plenty of chances. It’s not a race I’m overly keen to invest in, but it could be worth having something small on Cuban Toonite. His form from last preparation when running second to Revlis and then third to Twinspier doesn’t read too badly for this. He hit the line well at Moonee Valley on resumption behind Ancestry, who has franked that form and he had excuses last start at Bendigo in a stronger race than this after being caught three-wide and without cover. He should be fitter for those two runs, maps well from a relatively good gate (7) and should be hard to run down.
Golden Gorge is the obvious danger. He showed plenty of ability in his first preparation when smacking them on debut at Bendigo before having no luck at the Valley behind How Womantic. He resumed when running on strongly at the Lakeside track before having excuses when being caught wide last start at Pakenham. He maps to get the run of the race and should be at peak fitness.
Sign of Ussuri finished last preparation with two very gallant seconds behind Holy Dancer and Aussie Nugget. That’s a very good form line for this race, but he might need the run here.
Recommended bet: Leaving this one alone. Play wide in any early quaddie!
This is a good little maiden here over the mile. I’m keen to invest in this one. I want to be on the favourite in Hasseltoff. He’s a very promising type. He flew home on debut over 1200 metres behind Lunakorn, who seems like a very talented horse, before rising to 1400 metres at Pakenham and again flying home to run a neck away from Whittington Stone, who had run second to Zousonic the start previous. That form reads very well for a maiden anywhere, and he will appreciate rising to the mile. He will be very hard to hold out.
I want to save on Jimmy Witha Dash, as he is the only danger. He jumped favourite on debut before putting in a shocker and being sent for a spell. He’s come back and been very strong to the line both times out at Gawler and then Morphettville over 1100 and 1300 metres. He looks like a horse crying out for the mile, and he gets it today. Will Clarken doesn’t bring them over for nothing.
Outside of those two, The Mockingbird has been running on well in recent starts, and Alcides is always thereabouts.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 2 Hasseltoff at $2.70 with a saver on NO. 3 Jimmy witha Dash at $10.
This is potentially the best race on the program, with some progressive types going around in it. I’m still convinced Done By Me is above average, and she is the one I want to be with. She beat Astraeus last preparation at Bendigo, who won at this track last week, before running two lengths off Banquo at Listed level. She then had absolutely no luck on the Hillside circuit at listed level when running three lengths off Xilong, who has since franked that form. She resumed at Mornington on their cup day and finished brilliantly to run less than a length off Jamaican Hurry. She’s generally strong second up and should only need even luck from the rail to be right in it. The claim from Stockdale helps.
Foxy Lady is the main danger. She was a brilliant winner at Seymour last preparation before bleeding at Caulfield at listed Level. She had a five-month break and resumed an impressive winner over Hidden Legend at the Valley before running on strongly behind Ancestry who franked that form on Saturday. She will be flashing home.
Excused is a bit of a bridesmaid but is always thereabouts, while Lunakorn and Lady D’oro can’t be discounted after good wins last start.
Recommended bet: No. 1 Done by Me each way at $6.50.
Race 5: three-year-olds and up, benchmark 70, handicap, 1300 metres
Another wide-open race awaits the punters here. Nearly every horse in the race is a chance, which makes it hard from a punting perspective. However, I thought Kent Street represented some value. He ran well last preparation when finishing a neck away from Nordic Symphony and a length behind Diplomac Jack. He resumed after a near-six-month break at Pakenham when winning a benchmark 64 after having to get through some traffic in the straight. His condition failed him somewhat late, which is why they got so close to him in the end. He has won two from three second-up, so he should be fitter here, and he maps to get a nice run off a genuine speed which will give him every chance. The claim from Campbell Rawiller means he is extremely well-weighted as well.
Fallen Empire can measure up well. He finished last preparation with a commanding win at Flemington over Cash Affair and Cincinnati Red, which reads well for this. He hit the line nicely on resumption at the Valley and should be fitter for that run.
Viral flashed home for second in that race and should be at peak fitness, while Search Squad isn’t the worst at a price.
Recommended bet: No. 6 Kent Street each way at $9.
Another wide-open race without a lack of chances. Moscow Red has struck a good vein of form of late and is well overs in the current market. She finished alongside the chasing pack at Ballarat behind the talented Zoulah three back before going to Pakenham and winning in very convincing fashion over Fudged at this trip. She then went to Sale in a similar race to this and really flashed home late to run a length off the winner in Honey Esprit. She draws out (11) but has great tactical speed, so Regan Bayliss should be able to make a quick decision to get her into the best spot possible, and she loves the give in the ground, which she will get today.
The favourite, Zayydani, is the main threat. She was a brilliant debut winner last preparation at Seymour when winning by three lengths before beating Petruchio in her second start, who has since won in the city. She was spelled after that and resumed at the Valley in a glorified trial, where she hit the line well. She will get back but be storming home.
Naivasha was good on resumption and can’t be discounted, while Influential Girl will love the give in the ground.
Recommended bet: No. 5 Moscow Red each way at $17.
In a race devoid of much talent – with all due respect – the favourite, Aussie Nugget, should just be winning. He showed plenty of ability last preparation when winning three in a row, which included wins over Sign of Ussuri and Midas Prince, which reads very well for this type of a race. He was then spelled for four months and resumed at Geelong three weeks ago, when he narrowly missed against Black Sail and beat home Ammoudi Bay. He should be fitter for that run, draws perfectly (2) and only needs even luck to be winning.
I can’t find too many dangers, but So He Rules is racing well and should be able to dictate out in front. He led all the way at this track two back when beating Ammoudi Bay and Killavally, and he had excuses when being trapped four wide and without cover last start to run four lengths off Beehunter. He can bounce back here, at least into the placings.
Rock Dove and Jenkins are the best of the rest, but it seems unlikely they will be good enough to win.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 4 Aussie Nugget at $3.
An intriguing race closes off the program for some progressive stayers. Declares War has a ton of potential, and if he’s ever going to show it, it has to be soon. He only ran a length off Vow and Declare last preparation, which obviously reads very well for this race, before beating Igniter, who has been racing very consistently since. He went out for a nearly ten-month break and resumed in good fashion when rattling home to finish two lengths off Jumbo Ozaki and Polanco. He was strong again second up over a mile behind the talented Nudge Bar. He draws wide (16) but was going to get a long way back regardless. Stepping up to 2100 metres when third up seems like the perfect preparation. He will be hard to hold out.
War Tiger hit the line nicely when resuming on the Hillside circuit over 1800 metres before leading all the way at Morphettville to win by a length. He draws perfectly (2) to try and repeat the dose. I think one of those two will win the race, but Classic Weiwei and The Black Leopard are the best of the rest at good prices.
Recommended bet: No. 1 Declares War each way at $5.
Best bet: Race 7, No. 4: Aussie Nugget.
Next-best bet: Race 3, No. 2: Hasseltoff.
Best value: Race 5, No. 6: Kent Street; Race 6, No. 5: Moscow Red.