The storm in Melbourne is threatening to derail this Saturday’s meeting at Sandown, but the fields have remained intact.
Punters also get a quality meeting at Rosehill which features the Festival Stakes and many other great betting races.
Both meetings will serve as a nice entrée to the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes meeting at Ascot later in the day.
Rosehill free tips & form
Race 1. (12:35) Book Summer Hospitality Plate (1100m)
#7 – Colombina @ $4.40 – BET NOW
Punters should always take notice of a well-backed juvenile from the Godolphin stables and Colombina fits the bill.
The two-year-old filly by Lonhro ran third in a recent trial and the James Cummings stable typically gives them an easy time of it.
The stablemate Rheingau looks talented, but the big betting move has come for this runner and that’s a telling sign.
Race 3. (13:50) R85 Handicap (2400m)
#3 – Imperial Aviator @ $3.80 – BET NOW
Team Waterhouse/Bott line up Imperial Aviator, which has had two runs in Australia for one placing.
The well-bred son of Paco Boy ran against some quality types overseas, including Idaho and Bayday in England.
He was out-paced first up in Australia when running ninth on a heavy track at Randwick, but he improved significantly when running second at Rosehill last start.
The rise in distance looks ideal for this and he won’t have to spend a penny from the inside draw.
We’re expecting his current odds to shorten.
Race 5. (15:00) Boxing Day At Royal Randwick Handicap (1500m)
#6 – Redouble @ $4.80 – BET NOW
This four-year-old has been nothing but a punters’ friend his last two starts and we’re sticking with him.
The Bjorn Baker-trained son of Redoute’s Choice suffered a heart problem three starts back at Randwick where he finished a distant last, but that problem has been sorted and he’s now flying.
Consecutive wins coming into this holds him in good stead and there’s no reason why he can’t make it three straight.
Bookmakers are keeping him safe in the market which gives punters good value.
Race 6. (15:40) ATC Cup (2000m)
#4 – Savapinski @ $2.15 – BET NOW
Savapinski has some great form lines coming into this and they’re going to find it tough to beat her.
A daughter of Savabeel, the four-year-old mare is backing up after winning the Matriarch Stakes at Flemington against a hot field and she was simply too strong over this distance.
Gai Waterhouse is a master at stepping her runners up over the staying distances and this natural front-runner is going to be tough to run down with only 55kg on her back.
Money is coming for Black on Gold, but Savapinski remains one of the shortest favourites of the day.
Race 7. (16:20) Festival Stakes (1500m)
#4 – Cabeza de Vaca @ $2.70 – BET NOW
The Waterhouse/Bott team lines up another star thoroughbred with Cabeza de Vaca.
Searching for its sixth straight win, the underrated six-year-old has been on fire this campaign and he has beaten some nice types along the way.
He won the Filante Stakes two starts back at Randwick before kicking away for a tidy win on this track last start.
There’s no doubting its race tactics – he will be sent forward and asked to kick in the straight, but jockey Rachel King is the ideal jockey for this and we’re expecting another strong showing.
Race 8. (17:00) Starlight Stakes (1100m)
#12 – Glenall @ $4.40 – BET NOW
Glenall showed its real ability last start and he’s paying nice odds to do it again.
The Hawkes-trained sprinter returned from a break during the winter to score a narrow win against a similar field and he gets in well on the weights here.
He carries only 53kg on his back, like most of the field, but the other main chances have drawn wide and he has drawn ideally in barrier three.
That should make him tough to beat.
Sandown form & free tips
Race 1. (12:55) Cameron Thurley’s Bucks Day Plate (1000m)
#5 – Logan River @ $2.70 – BET NOW
The softer track conditions should suit Logan River, which scored a good trial win coming into this.
Tony McEvoy is on an incredible run with his juveniles and this son of Snitzel looks to have ability after winning its trial by two lengths on a slow surface.
With the track expected to be extremely wet this will help Logan River, which might need to swim over the concluding stages.
Race 2. (13:30) Chandler MacLeod Handicap (1300m)
#4 – Bellegano @ $7.50 – BET NOW
Bellegano is another which should appreciate the soft track conditions.
The Robert Smerdon-trained filly has won and placed on a slow surface, which included a good win last time out at Sandown.
After winning on a synthetic track on debut, Bellegano has since finished second in the Donald Classic and although not the strongest form guide for Saturday grade, it has been looking impressive.
The form in this race is questionable and punters are getting good each way value with this runner.
Race 4. (14:40) Spicer Thoroughbreds Handicap (1600m)
#6 – Vinland @ $2.15 – BET NOW
Vinland was a touch disappointing at Sandown last start, but we’re prepared to give him another chance.
The McEvoy-trained three-year-old colt was a tidy winner two starts back at Bendigo in maiden grade, but he has always shown the ability to run at higher levels.
He didn’t get much luck in behind the likes of She Will Reign as a two-year-old and we’ll put his defeat last start down to second-up syndrome.
There’s no denying he has more class than most of these.
Race 6. (16:00) Sheen Group Handicap (1000m)
#8 – Sprightly Lass @ $2.60 – BET NOW
Unbeaten from three starts, Sprightly Lass looks a strong winning chance again.
The Hawkes-trained mare was a 1.2-length winner on a slow track on debut before narrowly winning at Gosford second up.
She transferred to Melbourne last start when winning by three lengths at Moonee Valley and although she didn’t run a quick 1000m time, it was a classy win.
She was wide throughout most of that run, but still proved too good and she might be too good for them again.
Race 7. (16:40) Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1000m)
#1 – Jungle Edge @ $2.70 – BET NOW
We thought Jungle Edge would be an odds-on chance here.
The 12-time race winner simply loves a wet track with all 12 wins coming on a rain-affected surface.
He scored a narrow win in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes last start at Sandown and his form earlier this year came behind the likes of She Will Reign and In Her Time.
He does have a big weight, but that won’t matter over this distance and his odds will surely drop.