There is a great day of racing ahead at Sandown and Warwick Farm. The overnight rain has brought the obvious change in conditions; however The Horse has factored this in, and in an effort to keep his winning form on-track, he has found a couple of runners worth following.
All but three in this maiden field are having their first starts. As per usual, there are too many unknowns to have a significant degree of confidence, however the Snowden trained runner (1) Mura Mura comes into this with two runs for two third places. On both occasions she wasn’t outgunned by a lot, being overcome in the final stages after looking the likely winner. Those maidens were pretty handy fields, and appeared to be tougher company than she finds today. Those runs were both on soft going which she handled with aplomb. Hugh Bowman should get the lead from the inside gate, and shouldn’t find himself needing luck. The 1000 metres is her suited range, however the Heavy track, may test her. All factors considered, she looks to have a great chance here.
Outside of Mura Mura it’s a tough ask, but the Waller stable’s (4) Ranch Hand trailed well and has the number one jockey on board.
Hugh Bowman has a chance of a race-to-race double to start the day. (4) Overlord is clearly the runner who comes from the highest graded races into this maiden. First-up after 102 day spell, the Waller trained gelding drops in grade after competing in Group 1 & Group 3 company in his last preparations. He has placed second to Peltzer twice, fourth to Rothfire and third to Holyfield. That’s some quality company. He has had 6 starts for 4 places overall, and is arguable only a maiden due to the level at which he has been competing. He gets a handy middle gate which allows him to push up despite the lack of early speed. He has form on Soft and Heavy going, so the conditions should not pose too much of a problem.
Unless there is something in this field that improves sharply, he is simply the best horse in this race, and the best bet on the program. While (3) Captivare is the best of the rest—he has some form on wet ground, and should lead them around here.
This sets up nicely for race favourite (3) Narvaez who won third-up last preparation over the 1600 metres. Following that win the Colt took on tougher company, such as Cherry Tortoni, and failed to take the next step. Today he meets an inferior and smaller field, gets his pet distance, has the conditions to suit (Soft should not prove a problem) and drops back in grade. It all reads pretty well. He should get the easy lead, control the pace, and be extremely tough to get past when it comes to the closing stages.
The Waller-a-thon can continue here with (1) Kutayha well placed here, staying at the bm72 grade in which he has already won and placed three times in during this preparation. Goes up in weight slightly, up in distance, and is yet to win on Soft or Heavy going. Four places on Soft is enough to expect that he should be okay in the Heavy, but it is a query. The favourite (2) Harpo Marx met Kutayha already in this grade and ran second to him. His last run over a distance resulted in a win, albeit in CL1 company.
Not ready to discount the Lee stable here with (3) Notabadidea and (6) Notabadharada both showing Heavy abilities in the past. They are both underrated horses that seem to always offer overs in the market. The Horse still has fond memories of the ‘saver’ on Notabadharada at $151 which got up mid-year beating Madam Legend to the line. Those types of odds are unfortunately well and truly gone! That said, the one at overs looks to be (5) Eaglehawk who ran third at this course, distance and grade last start. He has pretty good form on Soft going like plenty of Canberra horses.
The race is a pretty open affair, and there is a chance that Kutayha could drift to around $3.00 in the market—which would be a good bet.
This looks like a nice race, and a pretty open field, so keen to take on the favourite (11) Super Effort. The Waller runner, heralds from up north, and comes here on the back of a nice trial win. He has had one start on Soft or worse, for one win. I can understand why he is favourite, but he looks vulnerable. The inside draw may see McDonald land in a sticky position, which is not ideal over the 1100, although he does have a knack of finding room. The heavy tracks tend to be tough going for the unfit horses, so he may just need this run, and you cannot imagine the stable wanting to give him a tough run here first-up.
Speaking of fit horses, (7) Invincible Lad is having his seventh run this preparation. Competing in bm72 grade, he has been in better company, and in his last three runs he placed second each time. He does not win out of turn, but three starts on the Heavy for a win and a place provides some confidence here. He gets an acceptable gate, and has the speed to land in a handy spot in running—maybe one out one back. At the price he looks like a good each-way bet.
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