Today I’m riding at Sandown on the Hillside circuit. The rail is out three metres and the track is rated in the good range.
Race 3 is the BM70 Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap over 1600 metres for three-year-old’s, my ride here is NARVAEZ who is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. This colt by Vancouver has had 11 starts for two wins and three minor placings. I rode him to win his maiden at Bendigo last year on soft ground and his other win came on the Sandown Lakeside circuit two starts ago in 3YO BM64 grade, with both wins being over the 1600 metres of today’s event. Last start he stepped up to 2000 metres at Flemington with the blinkers removed from his head gear and put in a disappointing effort. He now drops back in distance and has the blinkers re-applied to his head gear for this race. He is horse that makes his own luck by racing on-speed and on his overall form is the horse they all have to beat.
Race 7 is the BM64 Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap over 1600 metres, my ride here is LARRIKIN who is trained by Brian McGrath. This seven-year-old gelding by Poet’s Voice has had 44 starts for a record of eight wins and three minor placings. He races here fourth-up this preparation and is racing in the same class and distance as last start, but he drops half a kilo in weight today. He is racing very consistently without winning this preparation and seems to race best over this distance range. Looking back through his record, he is a horse that once he strikes winning form can put a couple of wins together. If he finds his best form today he will be one of the main chances.