Before heading to the sunny Gold Coast for the Magic Millions this Saturday, Sandown and Warwick Farm are front and centre this Wednesday! With the new year in full swing, find out who our experts are expecting to take home the cash!
Sandown Race 6
#2 Northern Barrage
Northern Barrage is ready to win! Both runs this preparation have been full of merit, and the Churchill gelding will appreciate the drop in class. The step out in distance looks ideal at this stage of his campaign, and he should get the run of the race from barrier four. His overall winning record is the primary concern.
Pittsburgh Pirate is racing fine style. The Pierro gelding has been winning for fun this preparation, and this assignment is well within his means and ability. After a lengthy campaign, the 2400m will suit, and the 1.5kg apprentice claim could prove the winning difference. The carpark draw is his biggest obstacle.
Piercing Sky has made an impressive start to his career. The Almanzor gelding was a brilliant last-start winner at Seymour, and with even luck in transit, he can continue on his winning way. The longer trip is in his wheelhouse, and he should save every inch of ground jumping from the perfect inside alley. His racing pattern and style always requires an element of luck.
Suggested Bet: Northern Barrage @ $4.00
Sandown RACE 8
#1 Lang Park
Lang Park was brave and showed resilience first-up at Moonee Valley. The Flying Artie was only nabbed late, sitting on top of a frenetic speed, and he has been rewarded since with a little freshen-up. The talented four-year-old is undefeated second-up, and he finds his pet distance. If he can avoid an early-speed battle, I expect him to be fighting out the finish.
Doogan’s Design is looking to make it a hatrick of victories on Wednesday. The Master Of Design mare put her rivals to the sword a long way from home at Wagga, and she looks poised to extend the picket fence next her name. The 3kg apprentice claim could prove a training masterstroke, and the step out to 1300m at this stage of her campaign plays into her favour. The awkward barrier may determine her fate during the first furlong.
Walter Spur is ready to peak. The Fighting Sun gelding has been ultra-consistent this spell, and he may have found his perfect third-up assignment. From barrier three he will get the perfect cart into the race, and if the peloton leave the kettle on early, I expect him to prove too strong late. The class rise is the primary concern.
Suggested Bet: Lang Park @ $3.00
Warwick Farm Race 5
Handsome can resume a winner! His best form reads well for this event, and his recent barrier trials should have him cherry-ripe for a first-up tilt. From barrier two, he can drift back and watch the race unfold, and if the gaps appear as they run for the doctor, I expect him to make his presence felt late. The Dylan Gibbons and Kris Lees combination should always be considered.
Morning Sun is the intriguing runner of the field. The Muhaarar gelding makes his Australian debut for the Annabel Neasham camp, and his international form looks delicious. Two recent jumpouts should have him poised for a fresh assault, and the mile won’t pose any problems. I’d prefer to see him deeper into his preparation over a longer journey before pushing the chips in. Big watch!
Age Of Sail is another imported galloper making his Australian debut. The Frankel gelding finished his last preparation with back-to-back victories and has been crunched in early betting. Nash Rawiller takes the ride, and if he is fully wound up for a crack at the mile fresh, he will get his chance from the perfect inside draw. He may need further.
Suggested Bet: Handsome @ $6.50
Warwick Farm Race 7
Shines can run a big race at cricket score odds! He wasn’t disgraced first-up at Canterbury, and the 2kg apprentice claim puts him into all winning conversations. His second-up form must be respected, and he traditionally performs well over the 1200m. He is no stranger to Benchmark 72 company, and if he can overcome the carpark draw, he can upstage his more fancied rivals.
Jambalaya will start as the favourite after turning heads at both career starts. The Shooting To Win gelding contested a hot form race at Caulfield at his latest outing, and he will appreciate the significant drop in class on Wednesday. He looks like a six-furlong specialist, and I expect him to pilot the field if he can jump away cleanly from barrier five. If he is allowed to control the clock throughout, the fat lady could be signing a long way from home.
Sweysive is a must for broader multiples and exotics. The Sweynesse gelding traditionally performs well first-up, and he has trialled exceptionally well leading into this event. From barrier two, he can camp on the leader’s back, and if he sees oxygen before the final furlong, I expect him to be savaging the line late. The Bjorn Baker factor must be respected, and it may pay dividends to look for any significant market support.
Suggested Bet: Shines @ $23.00