Autumn racing is officially here, with the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes running at Sandown this Saturday. The “A” graders are back, and the race to the autumn features has never looked so good! With nine great races, Saturday is the perfect way to kick off autumn.
Sandown Race 6
#5 Uncommon James
Uncommon James returns after injuries ruled out his spring aspirations. The gelding by Cable Bay put five wins together last preparation, including a memorable victory in the Listed Regal Roller at Caulfield. His trial leading into this event was brilliant, and I expect him to be cherry ripe for a first-up tilt. Damien Lane has options from a middle gate, and if he is 100% sound, he will be too good here. The spring setback is the primary concern.
Chain Of Lightning had a breakthrough spring campaign. From an inside draw, I expect her to jump, lead, and give them something to run down. She is undefeated first up, undefeated at the distance, and the 1100m is advantageous fresh. Her career record speaks for itself.
Despite the price, I expect Kemalpasa to run a decent race. He was great fresh in Adelaide and can be dangerous here from an inside draw. If he can stay out of the early-speed battle, he may be Johhny on the spot.
Suggested Bet: Uncommon James @ $3.20
Sandown RACE 7
Jacquinot is coming off an impressive fresh win at Sandown. Despite carrying 59.5kg and racing over an unproven distance, he sprouted wings late to get the job done. He was awkwardly placed on turning, but the valuable Rubick colt is versatile and resilient. The 1400m is an ideal second up, and he will be fitter for his recent outing. He is ideally placed under weight for age conditions, and I expect him to be attacking the line late with his enormous turn of foot.
Tuvalu is one tough and consistent customer. He was the deserved winner of Group 1 Toorak Handicap during the spring, and he can pinch another feature on Saturday if everything falls into place. He will get the ideal run from barrier one and always runs well fresh. He previously won at the track, and his weight for age form behind Alligator Blood speaks volumes.
I’m Thunderstruck will produce his customary teasing run from the tail. He can draw the carpark, and he always looks unlucky in running. He will be a betting proposition second or third-up from a spell.
Suggested Bet: Jacquinot @ $3.40
Sandown Race 8
Happy to have a throw at the stumps here with Mankayan. The lightly raced seven-year-old always runs fresh, and he should get his chance from an inside draw. The drop in grade is advantageous, and 1600m will suit fresh. The Ben Melham and Ciaron Maher combination is proven, and I am looking forward to seeing the gelding by Galileo lead them a merry dance.
Corner Pocket will start favourite after an impressive preparation to date. He was narrowly beaten last start at Moonee Valley, and he rarely runs a bad race. He is ideally drawn in barrier one, and I expect the genuine Toronado gelding to be there when the whips are cracking on Saturday.
Young Werther is a must for wider exotics and multiples. He will be there to put some miles in the legs, but don’t be surprised to see him flash home to fill a minor placing. His trial leading into this event was teasing.
Suggested Bet: Mankayan @ $13.00
Sandown Race 9
#3 Here To Shock
Here To Shock was too bad to be true second-up at Flemington. The drop back to 1400m is advantageous, and he usually runs well at Sandown. If Damien Oliver can be positive from the wide draw, he will be in this for a long way. Saturday’s result may determine the direction of his autumn preparation.
Savannah Cloud is flying! The Savabeel gelding put four consecutive wins together before having his colours lowered last start at Moonee Valley by Pounding. The apprentice claim could prove a masterstroke, and he will be thereabouts again from an inside draw. He is currently loving his racing despite being up longer than a Big Bash season.
Eagles Crag can run well here fresh. He usually runs well at the track and builds a consistent career record. The Fastnet Rock gelding is lightly raced, and he could be in for a breakout preparation.
Suggested Bet: Here To Shock @ $6.50