Sandown. Randwick Kensigton.
The Wizard of Odds goes through the midweek preview for the best bets from the Melbourne and Sydney metropolitan meetings.
Sandown Lakeside Race 1
#6 Blazing Lace
We have tipped this filly feverishly this preparation and got it wrong last start when there was much more pace in the race than expected.
From a wide gate on the Pakenham synthetic surface, her jockey Alana Kelly attempted to press forward early but then decided to restrain to the rear half of the field.
The three-year-old filly was never in her comfort zone but gets a much more favourable set up from barrier one despite going up in grade.
She will get a heap of weight relief and only has to carry the featherweight of 51 kilos.
This race looks to be void of early speed and, if Kelly can control the front as predicted, we should be in it for a long way… hopefully all way!
Suggested Bet: Blazing Lace each-way at $19 the win and $6 the win.
Suggested Exotic: Quinella 2 & 6
Sandown Lakeside Race 4
#7 Merle The Pearl
Merle The Pearl started a very heavily backed odds-on favourite at Pakenham over 1400 metres last start and won in a canter.
After settling three wide, the three-year-old filly from the Charlotte Littlefield stable whipped around the outside of the field and put her rivals away in one fell swoop.
She now gets the soft hands of senior jockey Luke Currie who replaces injured apprentice Carleen Hefel.
The way she strode to the line with plenty left in the tank suggests she is way better than maiden grade and stepping up in distance to 1600 metres will be perfect.
We get a nice each-way price to see if she can make the progression to city grade.
Suggested Bet: Merle The Pearl each-way at $10 the win and $3.10 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Boxed Trifecta – 4, 5, 7
Sandown Lakeside Race 6
#12 Lofty Heights
Lofty Heights can run a much improved race on his way to peak fitness this preparation.
His first-up effort was over 1500 metres at Sandown Hillside and it was a good return to finish fourth after carrying 60.5 kilos.
The weight impetus drops significantly for this race and he only has to carry 51 kilos from barrier one.
Expect Madison Lloyd to probe through on the rails, hold the lead in the early part of the race and adopt similar front-running tactics to this galloper’s last win at the track.
If this six-year-old gelding gets an easy time out in front then he will give a big kick at the top of the straight and be hard to run down.
Suggested Bet: Lofty Heights each-way at $21 the win and $5.5 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Boxed First Four – 3, 5, 7, 11 ,12
Randwick Kensington Race 1
#6 Lucky Sun
There are a host of talented first starters lining up in this race but we are siding with the two-year-old who has two runs under his belt in the form of Lucky Sun.
Gets onto a track that really favours those horses who can settle up on the pace and will enjoy a very cosy run from barrier one.
He has the fitness advantage on his side and that is usually a major advantage in these 1100 metre races.
Given there are showers forecast, having a lead-up run into this race looks as though it will be crucial to being able to sustain a strong sprint on rain effected ground.
Mark Newnham has also applied the ear muffs to this gelding in order to settle him and conserve his energy for race time.
Suggested bet: Lucky Sun win at $5
Randwick Kensington Race 4
His form guide reads like an emergency contact phone number but he has raced in a much harder grade in his two most recent preparations than what he faces today.
Jason Deamer has opted to tumble him down in grade in an attempt to get him back to winning ways but he does to have to carry 60.5 kilos in order to do so.
The stable has elected to go for senior jockey Josh Parr to pilot this six-year-old Lope De Vega gelding around the Randwick Kensington track.
There looks to be a bit of pace in the race and that should allow Decroux to slot into a nice spot, midfield with cover.
Happy to have a peanut each-way on him at a long price.
Suggested bet: Decroux each-way at $18 the win and $4.4 the place.