Check out my preview of all the action.
Best bet – Duke Of Plumpton $2.20 (Race 2)
Won convincingly on his Australian debut for the Patrick Payne stable, which saw him put three lengths on the field. Although stepping up in class, his form in New Zealand suggests he’ll be the superior galloper here again. Proven wet track record with six placings from eight starts and with the in-form Billy Egan in the saddle I expect him to take a power of beating.
Back me – Masked Crusader $2.80 (Race 7)
Showed his ability with an impressive victory first up at Bendigo, which saw him caught in a tricky position from the inside draw before letting down with an explosive turn of foot over the concluding stages. Now second up and rising to 1200 metres will see him prove extremely hard to beat. The only knock is the inside draw and the wet track but if he can find clear air and handle the going, I expect him to show his class.
Best of the rest – Buffalo River $2.20 (Race 9)
I’m confident he can run them into the ground again now second up and staying at 1400 metres. Although rising in class, he gets a significant weight relief and from Barrier 1 the jockey can roll forward on a Sandown track that I expect to play to the leaders. His 1400-metre and wet-track form is flawless and if he’s on song it’s his race to lose. Harbour Views is the only likely danger.
Save on – Harbour Views $5
This is a classy type who burst onto the scene last winter, stringing together five wins on the trot, although he’ll be improved second and third up. Stepping out to 1600 metres, I expect him to be the most likely challenger to Buffalo River if he can handle the heavy going. Class could see him prevail the better.
Best value – Shamino $6/2.15 (Race 9)
1.5-unit win by 1.5-unit win
Should be shooting for seven in a row if it wasn’t for bad luck two starts back when beaten by half a length. Has since proven his ability in a strong-from races with a strong victory over the classy Garner, who has gone on with the task at listed level. Although finding a field with group-performed gallopers such as Jungle Edge and Home Of The Brave, the Stokes-trained gelding thrives over 1100 metres and has a significant weight relief on the key dangers.
Back me – Forever Free $4.20 (Race 1)
Classy filly who’s yet to taste defeat. Her most recent performance over 1100 metres saw her roll forward and put away a field of capable two-year-olds on heavy ground. From the midfield draw, watch her press forward and take a power of beating third up back in trip, against what looks to be inferior opposition.
Next best – Hilo $3.30 (Race 7)
I’m bullish about his chances here. Presents fourth off the back of a solid third behind the talented Indy Car over 1400 metres. Now stepping back to 1250 metres and getting onto the Kensington track, it looks like the perfect recipe for success, although facing the older horses he’ll be able to roll forward from the midfield draw and with 55 kilos on his back, he will prove hard to catch.
Back me – Outrageous $8.50/2.80 (Race 8)
0.5-unit win by 0.5-unit win
I expect him to be ready to peak here second up and rising to 1400 metres off the back of a superb first-up effort, which saw him posted three wide over the trip and run on strongly from the rear, subsequently posting the race-fastest last 600 metres. Although a notorious non-winner, two of his three career wins have come second up. Will need a good ride from the draw but I expect the jockey to assume a more prominent position in the run with a lack of tempo in the race.
Back me – Word For Word $7/2.60 (Race 9)
0.5-unit win by 0.5-unit win
Super consistent type who’s yet to miss the top four from 12 career starts. Although a genuine non-winner, he’s knocking on the door to break through for the first time in 12 months, where he saluted on this track. Third up off the quick back-up is generally a winning formula for Chris Waller-trained horses and I expect him to put in another strong showing at odds.
Multi – $5 (1 unit)
Sandown: Rose Of Sebring (win) – Race 1, Too Good Too Hard (place) – Race 4
Ascot: Fabergino (win) – Race 6
Multi – $12 (0.5 unit)
Morphettville: La Croft (win) – Race 2
Ascot: Flirtini (win) – Race 6