We finish January in style at Sandown and Kensington this Wednesday. With the official autumn carnivals kicking off in the coming weeks, find out who our experts are expecting to announce themselves!
Sandown Race 5
Unthinkable was great without winning first-up from a spell. The Churchill mare strips fitter, and her second-up record must be respected. From the middle gate, she will roll forward and pilot the field, and if she can run out a strong mile, I expect her to figure in the finish. Big watch!
Charisse has shown signs of improvement this campaign. The enigmatic four-year-old is always thereabouts, and the 1600m looks ideal at this stage of her preparation. From barrier four, she will drift back and watch the race unfold, and if she is presented with her run at the right time, she can figure out when the whips are cracking. Her racing style and pattern will always require an element of luck.
Fine Rebel will start the race favourite after producing a consistent spell to date. The Rebel Raider mare was finally rewarded for her effort with a well-deserved victory at Pakenham last start, and with even luck in transit, she can continue on her winning ways on Wednesday. The 3kg apprentice claim could prove a training masterstroke, and the flood of early money indicates another bold performance.
Suggested Bet: Unthinkable @ $3.20
Sandown RACE 6
#6 The Devil In Her
The Devil In Her was an impressive last-start Sandown winner. The step out in distance is advantageous, and she looks well placed second-up in this company. The Sebring mare possesses a huge engine, and if she can reproduce her first-up late sizzling sectionals, I expect her to win again. Hard to toss!
Podente looks over the odds. The Redente gelding savaged the line at Flemington at his latest outing, and he meets easier opposition here. He should be rock-hard fit at this stage of his preparation, and he should get the run of the race from barrier three. If the consistent five-year-old doesn’t get too far out of his ground during the race’s middle stages, he can figure at a decent price.
Vinnie’s Spirit is knocking on the door! The I Am Invincible gelding is coming off a string of narrow losses, and I suspect his next win is just around the corner. A change of states may prove fruitful, and extending out over the mile for the first time could prove the winning difference. He will look the winner on straightening.
Suggested Bet: The Devil In Her @ $2.35
Kensington Race 5
#1 Morning Sun
Morning Sun looked the winner fresh at Warwick Farm. The Muhaarar gelding was only grabbed in the shadows, and I suspect the camp will be looking for redemption on Wednesday. After his gutsy performance, he strips fitter, and the 1800m looks ideal second-up from a spell. From the middle gate, he will roll forward and dictate the terms, and with the 2kg apprentice claim in play, he can lead them to a merry dance.
Oakfield Wallaby is flying. The Dissident mare has won four on the bounce and looks dangerous jumping from an enviable barrier. Her latest victory at the track and distance was stunning to watch, and she is no stranger to the Benchmark 72 company. She will be presented with her barnstorming run late, and if the leaders leave the kettle on early, she can gobble them up in the shadows.
Tympanist is overdue for a win. The Belardo gelding rarely misses a top-four finish and the form around him this campaign has repeatedly stood up. I suspect he has the fitness edge on the majority of his rivals, and if he can manage to produce another peak performance for the campaign, he can win.
Suggested Bet: Morning Sun @ $3.20
Kensington Race 6
#4 Salute Again
Salute Again looks excellent, each value at a price. His last start victory was dominant, and he gets his opportunity to record a city victory on Wednesday. His second-up record is outrageous, and he looks ready for the longer trip. If he can stay within striking distance of the peloton as they run for the doctor, he can blouse his rivals late. Over the odds!
Time For Victory is a model of consistency. He was an impressive last-start winner at Gosford and looks well placed meeting similar opposition. From the awkward gate, he will drift back and find his hooves, and if he doesn’t get too far out of his ground during the race’s early stages, he can threaten late. This is his acid test.
Whinchat has been smashed in early betting. The Russian Revolution gelding has trialled well leading into his first-up assignment, and he looks dangerous jumping from an inside draw. The 1250m is in his wheelhouse, and I suspect he will get the perfect cart into the race. With even luck in transit, I expect him to feature in the finish.
Suggested Bet: Salute Again @ $11.00