Horse Betting: Coming around the Bender
Royal Bender, in particular, looks hard to beat on her honest recent form and should be hard to hold out in this RB78 over 1000m
Timeform's Gary Crispe likes leading trainer Darren Weir chances at Sandown Hillside, including the impressive fresh-up winner and former French galloper Puissance De Lune, but has his eye on a few other of Weir's runners today.
The imported grey recorded an impressive win at his Australian debut over 1700m at Warrnambool recently and after being scratched from Flemington last Saturday is likely to dominate the market in today's easier midweek grade.
Royal Bender, in particular, looks hard to beat on her honest recent form and should be hard to hold out in this RB78 over 1000m. She has raced five times this campaign, and although yet to break through has run some excellent races in tougher grade.
She resumed over this trip with a fast-finishing fourth at Mornington, then was a little disappointing second-up over 1200m at Moonee Valley when covering ground but failing to come on, finishing fifth.
She headed over to Adelaide and contested an 1100m race at Morphettville next, settling back before running on hard to finish runner up to Star Of Giselle. She then returned to South Australian to contest the Listed Oakbank Stakes at Oakbank over the Easter long weekend. Drifting back to worse than midfield, she made steady ground in the straight to finish fifth, beaten 2.3 lengths behind Basil Da Man.
Last start, back to Melbourne for a 1200m RB89 at Caulfield, she drew wide and settled fifth, was held up on the bend but worked home steadily in the straight to finish a 2.5-length fourth behind Bonnie Mac. That has already turned out a handy form race.
The mare has been freshened and today drops back to 1000m where she has three wins and placing from six runs. While most of her recent racing has been on good to dead tracks she has a great record on slow ground of three wins and a second from five runs. She has drawn ideally and should be hard to hold out up the long stretch here.
Stablemate Shiny And New will be an each-way chance in the market but does have a solid hope on her sound fresh-up record.
The mare has raced just 15 times for five wins and a few minors and fresh-up she was won two of three starts. Last campaign she scored over 1000m at Ballarat two back in slightly easier grade before finishing 10th on firm ground at Bendigo so was tipped out.
She has raced here twice and won both times, both at this journey, and from gate two should give a big sight on the speed.
The John Salanitri-trained MIdnight Express is a consistent type with a good fresh-up record and looks the biggest danger to the Weir duo.
The gelding raced nine times last campaign and won a couple of times, including a fresh-up success that took his stats to two wins from three tries.
He has placed in both runs here, has won both starts at the 1000m trip and from a good gate will be camped just off the speed and hard to hold out. He is yet to miss a placing in soft ground.
The topweight Navillus Superman resumes in easier grade and should give a bold sight fresh.
The lightly-raced gelding won four races last campaign including his fresh-up run. He eventually stepped up to 1600m towards the end of his campaign but his earlier form was hard to knock, winning his first three starts in the preparation. He handles all conditions and despite the big weight will be running on hard.
GARY'S TOP TIPS for RACE 6@SANDOWN
(1) Royal Bender
(2) Shiny and New
(3) MIdnight Express