It is an outstanding day’s racing set to take place at Ladbrokes Park (Sandown) in Melbourne on Saturday and two jumps features headline the impressive nine race card.
All nine races have drawn strong fields and we have analysed every horse in each, to help you find a winner at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday.
The Australian Steeplechase (3400m) will be run at 12:45pm, while The Australian Hurdle (3400m) will be contested the following race at 1:25pm.
Race 1 (11:30am) Clanbrooke Racing Handicap (1200m)
Twelve two-year-olds have been confirmed in the final field for Race 1 at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday and four of those will make their competitive debuts. The Team Hawkes-trained Star Search (barrier 8) returned to the races for a smart win in the City Of Ballarat Maiden Plate (1000m) on May 14th and should be right in the finish of this race. Godolphin runner Sedition (barrier 12) ran a good third on debut before being sent to the paddock, but has trialled well in the lead-up to this race. Drawn ideally in barrier 2, the Darren Weir-trained Cliff’s Edge debuted for second behind Star Search and has plenty of upside.
Tip: No. 6 Cliff’s Edge ($4)
Race 2 (12:05pm) Elaren Security Services Handicap (1200m)
An open and capacity field will step out in Race 2 at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday, including Nikitas (barrier 12). The former Brisbane and Sydney-based runner made a successful debut for Darren Weir at Warrnambool and should carry improvement into this race. Rapid Asset (barrier 8) faces a big step up in class into this field, but has won each of his three most-recent starts and is worthy of a position in a Saturday grade race. Galaxy Raider (barrier 13) will contest the race first-up, but is undoubtedly one of the field’s class horses and should prove extremely tough to beat. Star Stealer (barrier 1) has found good form recently and appears as though he is ready to peak on Staurday.
Tip: No. 9 Star Stealer – Each Way ($8.50/$3.40)
Race 3 (12:45pm) The Australian Steeplechase (3400m)
One of the two feature races at Sandown on Saturday, the Australian Steeplechase has drawn eight talented jumpers this year. Wells (barrier 4) has been charged with carrying topweight of 72kgs, but has worked well towards the Australian Steeplechase and was last seen finishing a credible fourth in the Vintage Crop Handicap (2800m) on May 6th. Darren Weir knows how to have a horse peak for jumps features and the master trainer will saddle Now And Zen (barrier 3) in the Australian Steeplechase. Marlo Man (barrier 7) is seeking a third-consecutive race win when he takes his position in this field, while Gold Medals (barrier 8) will back-up after last weekend’s second in the Casterton Cup (2000m).
Tip: No. 4 Gold Medals ($4.50)
Race 4 (1:25pm) The Australian Hurdle (3400m)
Only nine jumpers have been confirmed in The Australian Hurdle field, but there is a case to be made for nearly every runner and it is an open betting race. Renew failed to fire when seventh in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) last time out, but he was outstanding over the hurdles in the Galleywood Hurdle (3200m) at Warrnambool and should prove extremely hard to beat. Honey Steel’s Gold (barrier 7) ran second in the same race and will carry improvement into this race, while Arch Fire (barrier 2) is always a threat over the jumps. Abebe (barrier 1) carries winning form into The Australian Hurdle and is not without a chance of repeating that effort at double-figure odds.
Tip: No. 2 Renew ($2.40)
Race 5 (2:05pm) Chandler Macleod Handicap (2400m)
Fourteen talented stayers will contest the Chandler Macleod Handicap, including a smart two-pronged attack from trainer Darren Weir; Dubai Escapade (barrier 12) and Try Four (barrier 2). Dubai Escapade is yet to make much of an impression through his three campaign starts, but will relish a mile and a half and should find a handy position off the pace from a wide draw. Try Four is weighted well at only 56kgs, is drawn ideally and carries winning form into this race. Consistent performers Castle Hackett (barrier 14), Epsom Hill (barrier 3) and Raindrops On Roses (barrier 11) are all live chance of winning with light weights.
Tip: No. 5 Try Four – Each Way ($19/$5.30)
Race 6 (2:44pm) Ladbrokes Handicap (1600m)
The Ladbrokes Handicap has drawn on of the best fields of the day at Sandown on Saturday and this is another example of a race in which a case can be made for a number of runners. Kenjorwood (barrier 1) has been charged with carrying 60kgs, but has the class to win a race like this and should find a good position on pace from the rails draw. Jacquinot Bay (barrier 6) could receive the run of the race from his draw and has the notable advantage of Craig Williams in the saddle. Onpicalo (barrier 11) carries winning form into the race and will be partnered by Damien Oliver, whole Petrology (barrier 10) and Inspector (barrier 12) are also capable in the company.
Tip: No. 3 Jacquinot Bay – Each Way ($12/$3.50)
Race 7 (3:24pm) Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1600m)
Pedrena (barrier 8) defeat several of her major rivals in this race a fortnight ago and should again prove extremely tough to beat on Saturday afternoon. Resuming this time for a smart win in a Pakenham minor over 1200m on April 6th, the Mossman filly ran second in a Sandown sprint over 1300m on April 17th, before storming the line for a half-length win last time. She appears as though she will only improve at a mile and is drawn well in the middle of the field. Leotie (barrier 5) worked to the line well to finish third behind Pedrena last start and will also improve at a mile, but has been charged with carrying topweight. Windbern (barrier 1) and Iheartpoppy (barrier 6) both look set to run big races.
Tip: No. 2 Pedrena ($3)
Race 8 (4:04pm) Samson Handicap (1400m)
A smart field of eleven three-year-olds is set to contest Race 8 at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday, including Zamzam. A Group 1 placegetter in 2016, the Redoute’s Choice filly returned to winning form with a dominant performance in the Primacy Handicap (1400m) on May 6th and is the horse to beat on Saturday. Widgee Turf (barrier 3) has put in two smart performances without luck this time and will enjoy running amongst this company and under the conditions of the race. Valliano (barrier 8) worked to the line well at his last start and is over the odds at his current quote for this race, while What A Shock (barrier 6) carries winning form into the Samson Handicap and would not look out of place in the winner’s circle.
Tip: No. 1 Zamzam ($4.60)
Race 9 (4:40pm) Le Pine Funerals Plate (1400m)
Cannyescent (barrier 7) has undoubtedly improved since transferring to the care of the Lindsay Park operation and should prove tough to beat in the final race at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday. Having posted three wins through five starts this time in, the Canny Lad gelding does step up in weights noticeably, but his form suggests he’ll again be right in the finish of this race. Chamois Road (barrier 6) has been outstanding amongst lighter company this season and is more than worthy of a shot at this race. Act Of Valour (barrier 13) and Data Point (barrier 3) are both live chances to win this race.
Tip: No. 5 Chamois Road – Each Way ($17/$4.50)