This afternoon I’m riding at Sandown for the twilight meeting. The rail is out eight metres on the Hillside circuit and the track is rated in the good range.
Race 1 is the Ladbrokes Switch Maiden Handicap over 1600 metres, my ride here is YULONG PREMIER who is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes. This three-year-old gelding by Pierro is raced by Yu Long Investments. He’s had three starts with all of those being this preparation and placed second at his most recent run at Benalla over 1400 metres. He now steps up to the 1600 metres for the first time and he looks well placed to be one of the main chances in this.
Race 2 is the IVE > Print Maiden Handicap over 1300 metres for three-year-old’s, my ride here is AIN’T SHE CUTE who is trained by Charlotte Littlefield. This daughter of No Nay Never is raced by Grand Syndicates. She’s had four career starts for three second placings and the only time she missed a placing was first-up this preparation when she finished fourth. She is a very consistent and honest filly and has drawn a favourable barrier today for her first attempt over the 1300 metres. If we can utilise the low barrier draw she will have a very economical run in transit. I’m looking forward to having my first ride on her and she comes into this competitive maiden with the right form.
Race 3 is the Clanbrooke Racing Handicap over 1000 metres for two-year-old fillies, my ride here is VANDOULA LASS who is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes. This daughter of Vancouver is raced by Orbis Bloodstock. Like all of her opposition today she is having her first race start. I have ridden her in a recent jumpout in preparation for today and was very impressed with how professional she was and the feel she gave me. If she runs up to her recent work and handles the raceday conditions and pressure she will take a lot of beating in this.
Race 4 is the BM64 Thoroughbred Club Handicap over 1000 metres, my ride here is MR BROWN FOX who is trained by Phil Sweeney. This six-year-old gelding by Myboycharlie has had 27 starts for a record of five wins and four placings. He has drawn an outside barrier today but is in his right grade of race, and what gives me confidence is that he’s had one run at this course and distance for a second placing and most of his winning and place form has been over this distance range. He is a horse that runs well when his races are spaced out and he comes into this almost four weeks between runs. If he runs up to his best form he will make his presence felt in this very competitive field.
Race 5 is The Big Screen Company BM64 Handicap over 1400 metres for three-year-old fillies, my ride here is SURFACING who is trained by Matt Laurie. This daughter of Akeed Mofeed is raced by Yu Long Investments. She’s had one start for one win, which was at Dunkeld over 1200 metres where she was dominant in her winning effort on soft ground. She settled in the second half of the field on debut and her margin was decisive at the end of the race. I’m looking forward to having my first ride on her and she comes into this with experience and confidence from her last outing. It looks like the step up in distance will really suit her and she will start from an inside barrier draw to give her every opportunity. If she has trained-on well there is no reason why she can’t make it two from two today.
Race 8 is the BM70 Ladbrokes Handicap over 1400 metres, my ride here is LARRIKIN who is trained by Brian McGrath. This seven-year-old gelding by Poet’s Voice has had 41 starts for a record of eight wins and three placings. He resumes today after not having raced since April this year. He was very consistent and well-placed last campaign and was able to put a series of wins together. His first-up record is five starts for one win and he’s had seven runs at this distance for one win. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he returns this preparation after his layoff and if he returns to his best form he can make his presence felt.