Racing heads to Sandown this Sunday for the running of the Grand National Hurdle. With great weather predicted, and a sensational program on offer, a healthy crowd will be front and centre to see our jumpers fly!
Sandown Race 5
Bedford has a new lease on life as a jumper! The evergreen ten-year-old Tavistock gelding is building an impressive resume over the fences, and he is chasing a hattrick of wins in the feature event. His last-start win was gutsy, and he is ready for the ultimate test over the 4200m. He can sit in the box seat from barrier two, and if he comes to the last jump in good order, I expect him to win.
Wil John can bounce back after an indifferent campaign to date. The Reset gelding has an exceptional record at the distance and always races well at Sandown. A recent barrier trial turned heads and broke clocks, and I suspect a little freshen-up is just what the doctor ordered. He can figure in the finish if the popular Maher and Eustace-trained galloper can stay in touch with the peloton during the race’s middle stages.
Blandford Lad is too consistent to dismiss. The Savabeel gelding has been thereabouts all preparation, showing no signs of slowing down. The eight-year-old has an enviable record over the jumps, and if he can find an extra gear on Sunday, he can surprise his more fancied rivals.
Suggested Bet: Bedford @ $3.10
Bet Now: Bedford
Sandown RACE 6
#10 Diddley Squat
Diddley Squat looks dangerous, jumping from the perfect inside barrier. The Mikki Isle gelding is undefeated first-up, and the 1200m is in his wheelhouse. I expect him to push forward and take control of the race, and if he is still in front as they go through Corrigan’s Dip, he may prove hard to run down. This is his acid test! Bews will start favourite after an eye-catching performance at Flemington. The I Am Invincible gelding caught the eye of punters, and he will appreciate the significant class drop on Sunday. The appointment of Melbourne’s Premier jockey Blake Shinn could prove the winning difference, and he has been well-supported since markets opened. The carpark draw is his biggest challenge. Jet Jitsu is over the odds. The Ajaya gelding is coming off a luckless first-up performance, and his form is better than it reads in the guide. From barrier five, Harry Coffey can sit the big boy midfield with cover, and if he is presented to the middle of the track at the right time, he can figure in the finish. His recent winning record is the biggest deterrent. Suggested Bet: Diddley Squat @ $8.00
Bet Now: Diddley Squat
Sandown Race 7
#5 Eye Of The Eagle
Eye Of The Eagle is knocking on the door! Alpine Eagle gelding has hardly missed a drum all preparation, and he finds a very winnable assignment on Sunday. He meets easier opposition, and the 1500m looks ideal at this stage of his campaign. From barrier eight, he will drift back and find his feet, and if he is within striking distance of the leaders on straightening, he can greet the judge before his rivals.
Colombe D’or will start favourite after a dominant fresh victory at Werribee. The Rubick mare showed a massive turn of foot to score, and I suspect she has a large and powerful engine under the hood. The 2kg apprentice claim is advantageous; she looks well-placed in this company. The horror barrier draw is the primary concern.
Gargantuan is ready to win. The Wayed Zain gelding was grabbed in the shadows at his latest outing, and he can go one better on Sunday with the right run in transit. From barrier six, he will roll forward in search of the pole position, and if he can find the front uncontested, he can lead his rivals a merry dance. Over the odds!
Suggested Bet: Eye Of The Eagle @ $8.00
Bet Now: Eye Of The Eagle
Sandown Race 8
#1 Monarch Of Egypt
Monarch Of Egypt looks poised to strike, dropping significantly in grade. The American Pharoah gelding will appreciate the 1.5kg apprentice claim, and he finds his favourite distance. From barrier six, he can sit one out, one back, and if Matthew Cartwright presses the go button at the right time, I expect him to gobble up his rivals late. The Hayes polish must be respected and may pay dividends to watch for any significant market support. Hard to toss!
Crestani can run a drum at cricket score odds. The Nicconi gelding has been good without threatening this campaign, and the form around him has repeatedly stood up. His effort at Flemington was rock-solid in a hot-form race, and he should be cherry ripe after a bit of freshen-up. His record at the distance doesn’t read well.
Brereton looked the winner at his latest outing. The Zoustar gelding was only nabbed late by a smart one, and he was game in defeat. The step out to 1400m is ideal at this stage of his preparation, and he has been well-supported since markets opened. From barrier two, he will ping and control the tempo, and if he is left to his own devices on top of the speed, it could be curtains a long way from home.
Suggested Bet: Monarch Of Egypt @ $5.50
Bet Now: Monarch Of Egypt
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