Crown Lager R70 Handicap Tips & Betting Preview

The Crown Lager R70 Handicap is the best field on display at Sandown this Wednesday. The field of nine stayers will run over 2400m with many trainers opting to use apprentice jockeys to lessen the big weights allotted.

In Summary: There isn’t a lot of winning form to recommend in this race, but these stayers are on the rise and there’s some handy types. Included among the nine runners is Thunder Connection which scored a good win two starts back and he gets the inside draw to work with. Skyfire won consecutive races earlier this campaign before the Amy Johnston-trained gelding finished third in back-to-back efforts recently. It looks a good chance with an apprentice on its back, but the bookmakers are favouring SWEET MELODY and we find it hard to disagree. The Darren Weir-trained runner finished second behind Crocodile Rock last start, which is great form moving forward, and she should appreciate running in this class.

1 Renew – Darren Weir-trained gelding which has taken on much better company than this, but that came a long time ago. The seven-year-old is well past his best after running seventh at Flemington last start, but he has won three times at this distance and he’s dropping back from rating 90 to rating 70 for this. Likely to be at each way odds, but he shouldn’t be discounted on his recent form.

2 Thunder Connection – The five-year-old gelding has the breeding to suggest he will enjoy having his first run over this staying distance. The son of Pins won well at Cranbourne two starts back before running fourth last start when dropping back in distance. He gets the inside draw which means he won’t have to expend any energy in the run and the 3kg claim from apprentice Jack Martin is ideal. He will push the favourite close.

3 It’s A Silvertail – Weir-trained gelding who isn’t providing much bite at the moment. The seven-year-old European import finished over 15 lengths behind Crocodile Rock at Sandown last start and it’s hard to see a big form reversal. Having senior rider Brad Rawiller in the saddle will help, but he looks outclassed at this level.

4 Sweet Melody – The third Weir-trained runner in the field and she’s by far the best. The five-year-old mare finished off well behind Crocodile Rock last start for second and she looked good in behind some nice types prior to that. The daughter of Tavistock has won three from 11 with five placings, so she’s rarely far away from the mark and she’s having her third consecutive run at this distance. That will ensure she has the fitness in her legs and be tough to beat in the concluding stages.

5 Jimivag – Winner of only three from 24, but he did run best over this distance last start. The Irish-bred five-year-old ran fourth at Geelong over 2400m and he should be in fit order for this. He doesn’t have much form to recommend prior to that run and he should find this too tough of an assignment.

7 Uncle Buck – Nicely bred type by Host which ran very well at Moonee Valley when fresh up, but he didn’t fire last start. The Tony McEvoy-trained gelding was a winner at Geelong before being sent out for a spell and he resumed with a good run for second at The Valley, albeit six lengths from the winner. He failed to show anything last start when down in grade which isn’t a good sign for this.

8 Skyfire – The Amy Johnston stable is going well and she lines up Skyfire here which has been in top form all season. The son of Testa Rossa won back-to-back races to end 2016 and he has since finished close in behind the winners in two subsequent starts. He carries only 52.5kg in this, which is a light weight over this distance, and he should feature in the money.

9 Forever True – Experienced runner with 49 starts and five wins. She made late ground over 2500m last time out which suggests this distance will be suited and she drops from rating 90 to rating 70 for this. It did pay 100/1 on that occasion and whilst punters shouldn’t expect the same odds, she will be starting at high double-figure odds.

10 Golden Gee – Last ran over 3000m and the drop back in distance doesn’t look ideal. He finished seventh over this distance at Sandown where he ran seven lengths behind the winner and he would need to produce a season best to compete at this level. Looks well held.

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