Sandown Cup & Guineas Day – full meeting tips & betting preview

Racing Online - Tips - Sandown Cup & Guineas Day – full meeting tips & betting preview


IN THE wake of yet another exciting Melbourne Spring Carnival, the racing rolls on this Saturday at Sandown with the Zipping Classic, Sandown Cup and the Sandown Guineas.

Five Melbourne Cup runners have returned to atone their poor luck in the big race and they will contest the $150,000 Sandown Cup and the $300,000 Zipping Classic where the likes of Who Shot Thebarman and Sertorius are entered.

Plenty of good racing action, especially with the Sandown Guineas which features an even field of Australasian thoroughbreds, and all the best odds can be found at where you can also claim up to $1000 in bonus bets.

The day kicks off with the two-year-old Magical Kingdom Stakes where the talented Missrock holds favouritism with bookmakers.

Race 1 – Santa's Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m)

Sweet Varden is on debut for trainer Tony McEvoy after running fourth and first in two trials. The filly opened up at a short quote of $4.50, but a lack of action has seen that price drift out to $4.80 throughout the week. has been booked to ride which does indicate confidence, but we'll need to see a run before we start backing it.

Missrock was a classy winner at Moonee Valley in October and it was unlucky last time out at Flemington. The Robbie Laing-trained filly won the Listed Debutante Stakes by beating the well-performed Pearl Congenial and the track bias at Flemington last start tripped it up. It settled back in the running and ran on nicely for third which should bode well for the Sandown circuit. It opened at $3.50 and has come in for support to $3.30.

Motown Lil was well fancied in the same Flemington race as Missrock, but it had the easier run and finished behind it. The -trained filly led at the 800 metre-mark, but was unable to sustain the run and dropped out to finish fourth, 1.6 lengths behind the winner. The run wasn't bad on its merits and it will strengthen up from that. Drawing wide in barrier 10 doesn't help its chances, but after opening at $5 it has been specked into $4.80.

Tip: Missrock to win ($3.30) at

Race 2 – City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1400m)

Micondesa was a smart debut winner for Hayes/Dabernig where it won by 1.75 lengths at Ballarat. The well-bred daughter of High Chaparral was the $2 favourite for that race so the support was there and it has been well backed again. Despite drawing wide in barrier 13, it has been backed in from $6 to $5.50 and we expect that price to continue to drop. Looks a strong chance at each way odds.

Indarra has yet to win a race in three attempts, but the Robert Smerdon-trained filly has pushed some good horses close. It ran second behind Micondesa at Ballarat and it followed that effort up with a second behind the highly touted Don't Dont Mamma at Listed level last start. This isn't the easiest field to crack the maiden ranks, but consider at $7.50 in the market.

Queen Of Wands has been very well supported in the market after opening at $6.50. The Clarry Conners-trained filly is now into $4.80 after producing a good finish in the Listed Lexus Hybrid Stakes last start and it has plenty of experience on its side. Last preparation it finished fifth in the VRC Sires' Produce at Flemington behind Jameka and that form has been franked. Should go well in a tough race.

Tip: Indarra to place ($2.60) at

Race 3 – Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m)

Under The Louvre punters are hurting, us included, but we're hopeful the longer Sandown straight and a bit of luck can get us the overdue cash. The Robert Smerdon-trained horse was very unlucky last start at Flemington and it was seen charging late in its starts prior. The increase in distance to 1300 metres is a big assist and, despite rising in weight, it should go very close in this. Punters have come again and backed it from $3.60 to $3.20.

Generalife is a quality thoroughbred for John O'Shea which is ready to strike after two solid runs this campaign. The six-year-old had no luck last time out at Flemington at Group 2 level and it should get a better run from barrier six. It has won and placed on this track in two starts and it has never finished out of the money in seven attempts at this distance. Looks a good winning hope at $3.40.

Smokin' Joey resumes after a poor effort in the Group 2 Lawrence Stakes at and bookmakers are keeping it safe in the market. The Wez Hunter-trained gelding won its only start at Sandown and even though it doesn't have great fresh up form, it has been specked in the market at $5.50 and punters are hoping its class can carry it over the line. We're prepared to risk it at that price.

Tip: Under The Louvre to win ($3.20) at

Race 4 – Sandown Stakes (1500m)

Charmed Harmony has a great winning strike rate and it wasn't disgraced in two runs during the Melbourne Spring Carnival. The John Salder-trained gelding has won 11 from 27 and it always gives itself a winning chance by going forward from the barriers. Increasing in weight to 58kg isn't an ideal situation for punters, but Glen Boss knows how to judge the pace and it could get a soft lead in front. Chance at $5.50 in the betting.

Good Project put in a big finish to run second behind Malaguerra last start and that form should stack up nicely for this. The four-year-old was an easy winner prior at Randwick and even though it hasn't contested any stakes races, it looks a horse on the rise. Chris Waller can do no wrong at the moment and if the track conditions suit, it looks a very strong winning hope at $2.90 after opening at $3.

Hosting is an enigmatic gelding which is coming off a strong effort for third in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes last start. The Greg Eurell-trained gelding doesn't have the best winning strike rate, but it has ability on its day and it won its only start at Sandown. The light weight of 54.5kg makes it a winning chance and punters are getting a handy price at $10.

Tip: Good Project to win ($2.90) at

Race 5 – Quayclean Zipping Classic (2400m)

Chris Waller lines up Who Shot Thebarman after a luckless run for 11th in the 2015 Melbourne Cup. The seven-year-old was badly hampered in the straight and it was a forgive run. Dropping back in distance isn't ideal as it has won only one from four starts at the 2400 metres, but it should be respected in a field of only eight runners. Look for it settle back and run home nicely. It opened at $4.20 and has since drifted out to $5.50.

Dandino is the current $3.20 favourite after a dominant win in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth at Flemington. The -trained international will take its prize money total to over $2 million with a good run here and that class should be rewarded. It is used to carrying big weights so the 59kg won't be an issue and it's facing a field mostly consisting of Spring Carnival leftovers. Looks the fit runner and should go close.

Rising Romance has come in for support following a great run for second in the Mackinnon Stakes. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained mare finished only half-a-length behind Gailo Chop in a tight finish and it's long overdue a major win. This is its first start at Sandown which is always a concern, but punters are confident and its chances appear good. It opened at $3.50, dropped to $3.20, but has since evened out to $3.40.

Tip: Dandino to win ($3.20) at

Race 6 – Eclipse Stakes (1800m)

Plot The Course has come of age recently with back-to-back wins followed by a strong second behind Berisha last start. The -trained gelding is rising up in grade for this which does make it tough, but it's running very well and it should be respected at a nice each way price. Punters have backed it in from $14 to $11 and its weight of 54kg makes it a winning hope.

Godolphin line up Malice which didn't get the best of luck in behind Awesome Rock at Flemington. The five-year-old has won five from 23 starts and even though it hasn't won this preparation, it has been knocking on the door and it has twice-placed at this distance. Its best form has come on dry tracks with five wins and six placings, so it will need a firm surface to show its best form. Drifting in the market, but is still a solid $5 chance.

Garud has placed in all three runs this campaign and trainer Michael Moroney is on a very good run of late. The eight-year-old isn't getting any younger, but a rare win isn't far away and it has placed in behind the likes of Awesome Rock and Group 1 Emirates Stakes winner Turn Me Loose. That's good form for this and the light weight of 54kg helps. Looks an outside chance at $13 and $4 for the place.

Tip: Garud to place ($4) at

Race 7 – Sandown Guineas (1600m)

The Murray Baker-trained Dal Cielo opened up at $19 in the market and was quickly hammered into $10. The New Zealand three-year-old hasn't won this preparation, but it did finish third in the Group 3 at Caulfield and it has the ability to lead from the outset. Baker is training very well at present and if it can find the lead from barrier 12, it looms as a solid each way hope.

The current favourite is Don't Doubt Mamma at $3.90 after winning well at Flemington last start. The Tony McEvoy-trained filly won easily by two lengths last start and it defied a tough track bias to do so. The three-year-old has already won three from eight with two placings and it is well weighted for this. It opened slightly higher at $4.20 so punters have backed it solidly throughout the week.

Mahuta has looked good winning its last three and it deserves respect in this. The Darren Weir-trained colt has looked a real professional in only five starts and despite drawing wide in barrier 14, it will likely head forward and be tough to run down. It won by six lengths three starts back and has since beaten both Holler and Patch Adams. Those were quality wins and even though it has drifted from $5.50 to $6, it remains well fancied in the market.

Tip: Don't Doubt Mamma to win ($3.90) at

Race 8 – Sandown Cup (3200m)

The Offer covered too much ground in the Melbourne Cup, but it still ran well enough to finish eighth. The Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding won the Group 3 Cup its start prior where it defeated subsequent winner Divan and that form should stack up nicely for this. It does have to carry top weight of 60kg, but it has carried big weights to victory before. Bookmakers have let its price drift out from $5.50 to $6, but it remains a solid winning chance.

Almoonqith has been well supported at $4.60 after getting a bad check in the straight during the Melbourne Cup. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained horse was a stylish winner of the Geelong Cup where it beat Dandino by 1.75 lengths and that form has already been franked. Co-trainer David Hayes said the Melbourne Cup run was a complete forgive and it should run well on the back-up. It looks a strong chance in this and it should start as the favourite.

Grand Marshal has been fluctuating in the market all week and is currently sitting at $6. The Chris Waller-trained gelding was badly checked at the 350-metre mark in the Cup and it almost dislodged jockey Jimmy Cassidy in the process. It had been beautifully prepared for that run, but staying at the 3200 metres will help and James McDonald takes over the riding duties now. It opened at $6, drifted out to $8, but has since come in for support to $6.

Tip: Almoonqith to win ($4.60) at

Race 9 – Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (1500m)

Scarlet Billows was a strong winner last time out when it defeated the talented Wawail by 2.5 lengths. The Darren Weir-trained mare took over at the 100 metre mark and cruised to victory in the Group 3 Maybe Mahal Stakes. It has drawn wide in barrier 10 so it will likely settle back and run home strongly again. Punters haven't forgotten that run and have backed it nicely into $5.

Solicit couldn't quite the speed to win last start, but it went close at Caulfield prior and the Sandown track should suit nicely. The Gerald Ryan-trained mare has won five from 25 with eight placings and it rarely goes a campaign without winning. Drawn wide in barrier 14, but it will likely head forward and be tough to run down in the straight. Place chance at $8.50 and $2.90.

Ballet Suite has been well supported this season, but has yet to reward punters. The Chris Waller-trained runner hasn't been too far away and punters are now getting a much better price. It is currently quoted at $9 after opening at $8 and there should be plenty of each way support as the race draws nearer. Chance in this despite drawing barrier 18.

Tip: Solicit to place ($2.90) at

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