We’ll be treated to another enormous Saturday of metropolitan racing this weekend, but the action doesn’t stop there!
On Sunday, all focus will be on Sandown for one of the season’s most highly anticipated jumps programs: Australian Hurdle & Steeplechase Day!
I’ve run the rule over every race, and you can find my 2021 Australian Hurdle & Steeplechase Day tips below.
Mawaany Machine was a pretty impressive winner in his first crack of over the jumps, and I can’t find a reason why he won’t be able to replicate that on Sunday.
The Teofilo gelding returned some pleasing efforts on the flat throughout the bulk of his career, and returned this time to fill the minors in a 2600m quality at Flemington before jogging in at The ‘Bool last time.
Fitter third-up, I’m happy to stick with him.
The Statesman was very impressive in the Galleywood at The ‘Bool and a repeat of that effort would find him extremely difficult to beat again in then Australian Hurdle.
The seven-year-old son of Zoffany was reasonably inconsistent throughout his last few preps on the flat, but he looks to have found a home on the jumps circuit this time, and finished second behind Saunter Boy at Pakenham prior to his Galleywood performance.
He is at peak fitness and can win again.
Michelin comfortably beat a few of his Australian Steeplechase rivals at The ‘Bool last time out, and I am happy to stick with him on Sunday.
The Pentire gelding has noticeably improved with each of his three starts back this time, culminating in a comfortable three-length triumph over 3450m last time out.
The rise in trip shouldn’t prove to be anything of an issue and with appropriate luck, he can fight out the finish again.
Cardigan Queen has returned two competitive efforts since debuting and on exposed form, she looks the runner to beat in the fourth at Sandown on Sunday.
The Sebring filly raced home well to finish second, beaten less than a length by I Am In The Mood at Bendigo on debut before finishing second behind New York Baby in the Gold Strike during the Warrnambool Carnival.
Fitter third-up, she’s ready to win.
This obviously isn’t a Country Cup, but Country Cups specialist Patch Adams will take his place in the field, and it shapes as a very winnable race for him.
The Dane Shadow gelding returned from a short spell to win over 1700m at Warrnambool, and he was last seen finishing eighth in the Casterton Cup.
There probably isn’t as much depth in this race and I think that getting out to 2100m will prove ideal.
He has drawn awkwardly, but Corner Pocket has been outstanding this prep and certainly the ability to record another win at Sandown this afternoon.
The Toronado gelding ended his prep with consecutive wins at Hamilton and The Valley, and picked up where he left off with a couple more wins at Ballarat and Warrnambool.
Fitter third-up, he needs only even luck to be in the finish again.
Logan Street Lion is unlucky not have carry an unbeaten record into the penultimate race at Sandown on Sunday, but I’m confident that he can return to winning form.
The Tavistock gelding stamped himself as a runner to follow when winning by more than two lengths on debut at Geelong, and he flashed late to finish within half a length of the winner in Class 1 company last time out.
He harbours plenty of upside and can get a nice run in behind the pace under Damien Thornton.
This is a tough way to end the day from a betting perspective, but I think that a horse like Condo’s Express has claims on winning at a price.
Once a Listed winner, the Rubick gelding hasn’t quite been able to return to those peaks throughout his last couple of preparations, but he has typically contested tougher races than this one.
I think he’ll take plenty of improvement from his fresh run behind the talented Ocular, and I’m happy to give him another chance.