This afternoon I’m riding at Sandown for the twilight meeting. The rail is in the true position on the Lakeside circuit and the track is rated in the good range.
Race 1 is the Ladbrokes Switch Handicap over 1200 metres for two-year-old’s, my ride here is MONTANA FLASH who is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes. This colt by Star Turn is raced by Rupert Legh and partners. He’s had three lifetime starts in Sydney and this will be his first run in Victoria. He has been competing in strong form races in Sydney and comes into this at peak fitness having had two runs this campaign. If he runs up to his recent form he will be the horse they all have to beat.
Race 4 is the BM64 Clanbrooke Racing Handicap over 1200 metres, my ride here is BIANCONI MAGIC who is trained by Jerome Hunter. This five-year-old gelding by Bianconi has had 22 starts for a record of four wins and five placings. I rode him last start at Sandown on the Hillside track where we finished unplaced but only three lengths from the winner over 1300 metres in the same grade of race, and he drops half-a-kilo in weight from that run. He’s had five runs at this distance for three wins, so this is definitely his most preferred racing distance. There looks to be a good amount of speed on paper and when racing on the Lakeside track it can be hard to make ground, which would be a disadvantage to his run style in this race from his wide barrier draw. If horses are able to close off and make ground from back in the field today, then he has the ability to win this.
Race 7 is the BM84 Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap over 1600 metres, my ride here is RULE THE WORLD who is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. This four-year-old gelding by Hallowed Crown is raced by Gooree Stud. He is lightly raced and has a consistent record of four wins and two placings from 11 starts. I’ve had two rides on him, winning at Caulfield in BM78 grade over 1400 metres in January in what has proven to be a strong form race. He’s had three subsequent runs since that win and I rode him again last start at Flemington over 1600 metres where he started from a wide barrier and after settling back in the field produced a solid effort to finish third and less than a length from the winner. He will start from a wide barrier again today and provided the track is racing fairly and allowing horses to make ground, and he runs up to his consistent form, he will take a lot of beating in this.
Race 8 is the BM78 MRC Members Handicap over 1400 metres, my ride here is BARBIE’S FOX who is trained by Louise Bonella. This four-year-old mare by Foxwedge is lightly raced having had 14 starts for a record of two wins and four placings. She won first-up last preparation and in doing so beat horses that went on to be very competitive at stakes level. She races here fourth-up this preparation and is racing at the same distance as her past two runs. She is a horse that appreciates give in the tracks, with her wins being on soft and heavy ground, but she has placed on tracks rated as good. She has been racing really consistently of late and if she holds that form she will be very competitive today if the race is run to suit her racing pattern of settling back in the field.