Today I’m riding at Sandown on the Hillside circuit, which is the longer of the two straights at Sandown. The rail is out 6 metres and the track is rated in the heavy range. After scratchings I am left with one ride for the meeting.
Race 2 is the BM70 IVE > Print Handicap over 1000 metres, my ride here is SAPPHIRE CROWN (NZ) who is trained by Colin Little. This four-year-old gelding by Hallowed Crown is lightly raced and looks to be a progressive talent with a record of two wins and a third placing from three starts. He hasn’t been exposed to heavy ground, with all of his starts being on tracks rated in the soft range. He won his maiden impressively on debut at Werribee and then had a gap between runs. I rode him prior to his second up run in a piece of work at Sandown and he gave me a nice feel when working on rain affected ground, he didn’t feel like he loved the conditions but he still got through the ground nicely. I then rode him again in a jumpout prior to his most recent start and he went impressively. I have jumped him out again since that run in preparation for today’s assignment and he went very well for me in that effort at Caulfield. He is dropping back in distance to the 1000 metres today and this will be his first attempt over the shorter course. If he handles the track conditions under raceday pressure he is the horse they all have to beat.