A field of seven runners has accepted for the Dream Thoroughbreds National Apprentice Riders Rating 64 and a quality field has turned up. There is form at all levels lining up in this 1200m sprint at Sandown and it has already attracted plenty of attention in the betting place.
In Summary: Ionlythinkofyou is a five-year-old who is an experienced customer with four wins from 29 starts, but three of those wins have come in his last five starts. The son of Denman is forced to carry top weight, but he looks to have a solid winning chance and has been respected in the market. El Rada is an up-and-coming mare who has won twice from six starts. She scored a nice win two starts back at Ballarat before going down by a neck last start. Betting suggests she’s a winning hope, but our top pick BASTILLE looks to have more scope. The Lindsay Park-trained colt was a stylish 5.25-length winner on debut at Ballina and although he’s expected to contest against better fields, punters are getting a nice price for the son of Snitzel.
1 Ionlythinkofyou – Robbie Laing-trained gelding who is in career-best form after three wins and two placings from his last five starts. The son of Denman is forced to carry 62.5kg, but drops down 3kg after the apprentice claim of Raquel Clark. He has won twice and placed three times at this distance and he can handle all track conditions. He has been well-backed at each way odds in the betting so consider as a winning hope.
2 Astro Castro – NON RUNNER
3 El Rada – The four-year-old mare is only lightly tried, having had just six starts for two wins and two placings, but they have all come this preparation. The fit runner does her best racing at this distance and although she’s having her first start on this track, Sandown isn’t a tricky track for newcomers. She has beaten some nice horses this campaign including Deecember and Our Vidia, so we wouldn’t be ruling her out of chance and the punters are confident.
4 Bastille – Couldn’t have been more impressive on debut when winning by over five lengths. The well-bred colt by Snitzel is trained by the in-form Hayes/Dabernig team and he looks a colt going places. He ran as an odds-on favourite on debut and gave his rivals a galloping lesson. The price on offer from the bookmakers is generous given the time he ran on debut and another strong showing is expected.
5 Theycallmethehoff – Four-time winner who has progressed well this campaign. The Shane Bottomley-trained gelding finished second at Sandown last start behind a nice type and he was closing off well in the concluding stages. Another run on this track will certainly hold him in good stead and he gets the inside draw to work with. The 3kg claim also helps and he could make a run at them late with some luck in running.
6 Absolute Treasure – Out of form seven-year-old who is expected to struggle. He has finished last on his last three starts, which included a disappointing 41.45-length defeat at Mornington in June. He is a past winner on this track, but that’s clutching at straws and we’re not predicting a great result.
7 Invincible Joy – The three-year-old gelding has come in for each way support following a last start third at Sale. The Clinton McDonald-trained runner has mixed form throughout his six-start career, which included a maiden win at Geelong last August. He’s facing some talented types in this which is the concern, but he should be winning a race soon enough.
8 Roldana – Fresh up here after putting back-to-back wins together last campaign. She’s a stayer which has won over 2000m and she usually takes awhile to warm up in her campaigns. We can’t completely rule it out, but there are better winning chances over this distance.