Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Sandown Lakeside on Sunday, August 2nd.
Sunday racing takes place at Sandown Lakeside, with three jumps races highlighted by the Grand National Hurdle and the Crisp Steeplechase, before six flat races. The track is rated a good 4 and the rail is out 10 metres.
Find Trent Crebbin's preview of all nine races below!
Best Bet: Race 6 - (6) Frondeur
Best Value: Race 7 - (16) Daania
The first of the jumps races is an open bm120 event. (9) Saunter Boy makes his jumps debut. He’s had three trials to prepare and seemed to take to the sticks well. He was a distant 2nd behind (1) Northern Voyage in his second trial, who travelled beautifully and jumped well under a hold. Northern Voyage has topweight today but deserves it. He started $1.60 in this class not long ago, running 2nd to handy jumper Woodsman. Shane Jackson sticks, and I think he’s the one to beat with the experience under his belt. (4) The Statesman made his jumps debut back in the UK, winning as the $1.60 favourite. He was given a quiet time in the same recent trial and Steven Pateman sticks with him. (5) Wolf Tone next best. Tricky opener with plenty of form lines to stack up, so I’ll stick with the experience of Northern Voyage.
The feature of the day is the Grand National Hurdle, and it’s an absolute match race between (1) Tallyho Twinkletoe and (3) Ablaze. The word was that Tallyho Twinkletoe was underdone for his Australian reappearance after missing some work and a run due to NZ restrictions, but he still toughed out the win. He won this race last year by nearly 5L as favourite before going on to win the Steeplechase counterpart at Ballarat. Ablaze put together a picket fence over the jumps before drifting in the market back on the flat and was the first horse beaten, despite it being a 3200m race. Back over the jumps and up to 4200m he looks suited, but I do have a slight leaning to the NZ jumper. It should be a great race with the two favourites fighting it out.
Over the steeples now and I think (5) Felix Bay is the horse to beat. He ran 3rd to (2) Slowpoke Rodriguez last start but was only beaten 2L. Felix Bay did have the SP last start and gets a 4kg weight swing but is slightly longer in the market than Slowpoke, who is an obvious danger. (6) The Dominator is a big chance after an easy win over the Pakenham steeples last start. (1) Shamal was vetted clear after a poor run behind Slowpoke last start when right in the market. He’s an old warrior who should bounce back, but probably struggles to win here.
Over to the flat racing where the odds on favourite is (2) Tigre Royale. He’s won his last three and does look hard to beat, but I’m not sure he should be so short. His form ties in easily with (3) Meteor Light who pulled up lame last start. He hasn’t raced on a good track for a while and it seems he prefers it wet. (1) The Black Leopard was poor last start and is a bit hard to trust but can be in the finish. All three in the market could win without surprising, but these staying races can be a lottery. One that could surprise is (5) Grey Khan. I think he’s better on good ground, so if you ignore his last start failure behind Meteor Light and go off his run three back, he’s a big chance. He was only 1.8L off Tigre Royale and meets that horse 5.5kg better at the weights. In an uninspiring race I wouldn’t be surprised if he improved enough to figure in the finish.
The favourite (7) A Pinch Of Luck couldn’t have been more impressive in her synthetic debut, coasting to a 6L victory. Big step up in grade here over to turf but she looks exciting despite a big step up in grade. Happy to take on (1) Celestial Sol who looks better on wet ground. The jumpouts of (6) Drone Strike have been good. He wasn’t far off 2yo group winner last preparation as a $3.50 chance. (2) Maccabee ties in easily there with a good run in the VRC Sires. Tricky race but do think Drone Strike has improved and is a good enough price.
Keen to see the return of (6) Frondeur here and hoping the early market support is spot on. She kicked off her career with two impressive wins before a very good 7th, beaten 2.2L in the group 3 Kevin Hayes stakes. Hopefully she’s learnt to jump a bit better in her time off because if she’s in striking distance she should be too strong late. (7) Bons Abroad was very good first up over 1000m and will only be suited up to 1200m today with Olly retaining the ride. (2) Lady Loft was solid first up and her form around Sylvia’s Mother last preparation is good, but she doesn’t have the upside of a couple of these. (4) High Excalebration was also very good over 1000m first up and 1200m on a good track will suit. Pretty keen on Frondeur who looks to be an exciting prospect.
Scratchings have decimated this race but it’s still a handy field. I’m not sure why (16) Daania is $14. This 4yo mare has only had two starts, the first a comfortable win as a $1.35 favourite before an excellent run first up over 1400m, only beaten 0.3L in a similar race. Straight up to 1600m here is interesting but she draws perfectly and can only be improved. (10) Legend Of Zorro couldn’t have been more impressive last start at Swan Hill and will come across to sit on speed. (7) Rippa Choice drops in grade for this after going down by a nose at this T/D last start. (2) Regardsmaree was very good behind Mystery Shot last start. They’ve tried to ride him cold recently after usually settling on pace. If they use the inside barrier to sit handy, she goes close.
We should get a good guide on (9) Altimeter who got up to beat Legend Of Zorro at The Valley last start. He’s a chance to keep progressing in an open race. Might be going one early with (14) Vitani but she has a case. She settled outside the leader at Geelong last start and was very good. 2nd up last preparation she was beaten 3.3L by Honey Esprit which is handy form. The draw makes things tricky but if they show a bit of intent and find a nice spot, she’s a big chance, especially back on a good track where both her career wins have come. (2) Hurricane Fighter was good first up and will improve here. His form from last preparation reads well for this. Very tough race but think Vitani is a good chance and Run Walrus Run isn’t hopeless.
I think (14) Wristband is a great bet in the last. First up he ran 2nd to the handy Desert Realm and last start he jumped over 600m in distance and bolted in. The third horse there Fabalot won by over 4L as a $1.50 pop at Geelong on Friday. Wristband’s Sydney form in bm70 grade is also fairly handy, and with the longer distance run under his belt he should be further improved fourth up. Draws barrier 2, Damien Lane jumps on after riding a winner at his first meeting back in Australia yesterday and 4th up for Chris Waller he looks a huge chance. (8) Melarita is obviously a chance and acquitted herself very well jumping in grade and distance last start. She’ll be right on speed and hard to beat. (6) Somerset Maugham jumps in distance too but will be suited up in trip. He was unlucky not to win last start when West Wind (who ran a very good 2nd at The Valley) took him off course. Just needs a bit of luck from the barrier. They do look the 3 progressive stayers in the field and at the odds I have to side with Wristband.
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