Villardo has been racing in decent form this time and is faced with almost ideal conditions at Sandown today. The Jukebox Jury gelding has been hanging out for a rise in trip and a mile and a half looks ideal this afternoon, particularly with a 5kg drop in weights from his most-recent run for fourth at Warwick Farm. With Craig Williams in the saddle and from a good draw, he can take a position close to the pace before calling on his turn of foot.
Shalwa will take plenty of benefit into her second-up run at Sandown today and will be extremely difficult to run down. The O’reilly filly is beginning to string together a nice record and has missed a place just once in five starts. She was entitled to weaken late on soft going at Echuca first-up and with natural improvement, will take up the running again and will give them something to chase. Claiming apprentice Zac Spain in the saddle and an inside draw are further benefits.
Medovina has been racing in strong and reasonably consistent form this time and finds himself in another very winnable race at Canterbury this afternoon. The son of Exceed And Excel resumed for a tough win over 1200m at Kembla Grange before just missing when second to It’s Time For Magic at Warwick Farm. He didn’t quite see out the trip when fourth at 1400m last time out and a return to a short sprint today looks ideal. He’s drawn ideally and has the added advantage of Brenton Avdulla aboard.
Mr Markou has been a strong and consistent performer this time and is beautifully placed at Ipswich today. The Stryker gelding barrelled home from the tail of the field to finish second at Toowoomba on May 12th, before delivering a decent field a three-length defeat over 1300m a fortnight later. He made a successful step up to City grade when second at Doomben last time out and faces an easier task in this afternoon’s rivals.