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The biggest raceday at Ladbrokes Park comes around on Saturday where it is Zipping Classic Day. The weather is overcast, the track is soft (5) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Race 1. (12:25) Thoroughbred Club Merson Cooper Stakes 1000m

Back Me

1 Long Leaf (Bet Now: $4.20) is a beautifully bred colt for Coolmore and the Hayes/Dabernig team who debuted at Morphettville three weeks back in a two year old race. He looked to be going sweetly behind the speed but when asked for the effort, there wasn’t really an instant response, but he surged hard the final 75m and lunged to win. He has the race experience and looks to have a touch of class.


6 Yulong Monoceros (Bet Now: $7.50) had market support when debuting down the straight on Cup Day and she had a nice run behind the tempo. Peeled and threatened but her condition just gave way late behind Setsuna. Much better suited here I think and with the run under the belt, she’ll be much better off.

Long Shot

5 Secret Blaze (Bet Now: $9.50) is a son of Sebring having his first start for the Tony McEvoy stable. This bloke trialled last week at Gawler and won it impressively to my eye despite the narrow margin. Looked to do everything right, won with a bit in hand and when asked for an effort, he responded. Confident he’ll measure up.

Race 2. (13:00) Twilight Glow Stakes 1400m

Back Me

Looks a nice race for 13 Shagra (Bet Now: $12.00) at the odds. Loved the way she won her maiden at Geelong two back before being transferred to David Briedoake where she ran on Bendigo Cup day and she was a real eye catcher, launching late to just miss when fourth to Tamasa, who franked the form last Saturday. This looks ideal for her and she’ll be strong late.


1 Split Lip (Bet Now: $9.50) has had a mixed Spring prep in Melbourne. She has run well but a couple of times, it’s been a case of ‘What If?’ given she has had certain things go against. Liked her effort down the straight on Oaks Day behind Jorda and I think up to 1400m and back around a bend should help her winning claims.

Long Shot

4 Lady Of Crebilly (Bet Now: $8.00) is a filly in ripping form for the Stokes team. Slaughtered first up at Gawler but has made amends big time with a couple of sharp wins in town on the Parks track. Admittedly she hasn’t beaten much but I’ve loved the way she has attacked the line to win both times, and stable doesn’t bring them over for nothing.

Race 3. (13:35) Ladbrokes Sandown Cup 3200m

Back Me

1 Havana Cooler (Bet Now: $9.50) is the fresh blood here with the strong form lines next to his name, so he has to rate highly here. He stuck to the task very gamely in the Lexus behind Cismontane. Lacked the turn of foot due to the strong tempo, but stayed on and was far from disgraced, with that form franked via Vengeur Masque. Two miles and the drop in depth looks ideal.


4 Swacadelic (Bet Now: $3.80) ran a beauty in this race last year and he looks on target to go close again. He too comes through the 2800m contest on Cup Day and he was another that made good ground from the back, working home with purpose to run third to Fanatic, beaten 2.5L. Did something similar last year before running a close second in this race. Looks spot on.

Long Shot

The best of the two long shots is 7 O’Counney (Bet Now: $23.00). Thought she closed off okay last time out under the lights at Cranbourne when third to the tough on pace stayer, Almalita. Lightly raced mare with upside, I doubt the two miles will be an issue, and she can add some spice to exotics for sure with the right run.

Race 4. (14:10) Kevin Heffernan Stakes 1300m

Back Me

6 Bassett (Bet Now: $13.00) on top in a very tough race. This bloke is on the seven day back up after racing at Flemington last Saturday over 1400m where he didn’t have the best of luck behind them when appearing to travel well and it was another forget run behind Moher. He hasn’t had much good luck go his way this campaign, but if it does go his way here, he’ll go close.


7 Thronum (Bet Now: $5.50) is a talented son of Snitzel that was having his first run for the Hayes/Dabenig team after nearly 13 months off when resuming on Bendigo Cup Day and he gave them an absolute galloping lesson in leading throughout and spanking them. He has shown blacktype quality before, so the rise in grade here is no worry.

Long Shot

5 Casino Wizard (Bet Now: $20.00) is a Mount Gambier raider for Lee Creek who has performed very well in blacktype company in Adelaide this Spring and continued that on Cup Day down the straight when far from disgraced behind Ocean Embers. Go back to the Autumn and he was a length off Vega Magic in the Goodwood…how well does that read for this?

Race 5. (14:45) Chandler Macleod Recruitment Stakes 1500m

Back Me

2 Hellova Street (Bet Now: $4.40) looks the safe play here. He is just a beauty for the Scott Brunton team and should take some beating here. Brilliant ride from Avdulla got him the win over 1400m on Oaks Day when controlling things in front and giving a tremendous kick in front to get the win. Extra 100m is no issue and maps well again.


6 Dollar For Dollar (Bet Now: $3.50) is a gelding absolutely low flying at the moment for the Tony McEvoy yard and he deserves a crack at this level. He ran over 1400m on Cup Day at Flemington and aided by an absolute gem from Jamie Kah, the gelding got clear air at the right time and pounced hard to take the lead and draw clear. 1500m is no issue and he has to be included.

Long Shot

8 Land Of Plenty (Bet Now: $7.00) is a Grahame Begg traiend gelding who produced one of the better runs of the day on Cup Day I thought, working home strongly from the back to run second to Dollar For Dollar. Has run well over a trip so the extra 100m should suit him and he does get McEvoy steering, so he has a few things going for him to run well.

Race 6. (15:25) Clanbrooke Racing Doveton Stakes 1000m

Back Me

Was really keen to see the resumption of 10 Thelburg (Bet Now: $7.50) on Cox Plate Day in the 955m race. What I saw in the end was a barrier trial. Williams had nowhere to go on the horse, who looked to be absolutely bolting in behind them. He has been set for this race since the start of the prep and the 1000m at Sandown suits him perfectly.


1 Derryn (Bet Now: $8.00) is the big improver here for mine. Two runs back from a break and he has just had no luck at all. Forget he went around fresh in the Moir before going to the Everest Consolation where he was back near last on a track with bias. He can be a bit hit and miss at times, but when he is right, he is a Group l class sprinter.

Long Shot

7 Olivier (Bet Now: $31.00) is a talented gelding that is first up for the Weir camp. This bloke had an overall solid Summer/Autumn prep, with his lone win coming over in Adelaide in a handy race. Goes well here, good fresh record and I loved the way he went in a recent jump out back home. Looks ready to go to my eye.

Race 7. (16:00) Quayclean Zipping Classic 2400m

Back Me

1 Almandin (Bet Now: $3.00 ODDS BOOST) just wins this doesn’t he? I think you have to be forgiving of his failure in the Melbourne Cup. The Dettori slaughter hardly helped, but his legs weren’t 100% post race apparently, so I am happy to overlook that. On his best form, he just puts these away, and he’s so well suited at WFA. Very keen.


2 Big Duke (Bet Now: $3.70 ODDS BOOST) looks the key and perhaps only threat to Almandin. Given an absolute peach by Avdulla in the Melbourne Cup and the horse ran right up to his best, running fourth to Rekindling. WFA is the big query with this horse, because he generally has dominated or run well in handicaps. Really good test but I think he can handle it.

Long Shot

7 Consommateur (Bet Now: $19.00 ODDS BOOST) is on the quick back up for the Mick Kent team after contesting the Matriarch last Saturday where she wasn’t suited at all by the tempo and couldn’t get involved behind Savapinski. The same thing looks likely here, which is the concern, but up to 2400m suits and she can fill a first four spot.

Race 8. (16:40) Ladbrokes Sandown Guineas 1600m

Back Me

6 Octabello (Bet Now: $12.00) looks the knockout chance here. Mick Price trained three year old who should have won the Gothic at Caulfield but was badly held up behind runners. He then went to the Carbine Club where again nothing really went right for him and I don’t think he is a horse who likes racing in between runners, so hopefully he peels wide on the turn here and launches, like he did fresh at Flemington.


2 Beau Geste (Bet Now: $4.40) is a James Cummings trained colt who has had little to no luck this Melbourne Spring. Wide throughout two back in the Gothic before going to the Carbine Club where he got back further than anticipated yet still ran on with purpose late in the piece behind Levendi to run fourth. Up to the mile here at Sandown suits and stable have a great record in this race.

Long Shot

8 Vinland (Bet Now: $11.00) is the one that really interests me here. Tony McEvoy trained three year old who hadn’t raced for nearly 12 months prior to resuming on Bendigo Cup Day in a maiden where he won quite easily in the end, ran good time and did it being eased down the final 100m. Worried he might get the second up syndrome, but he has class/quality.

Race 9. (17:20) Eclipse Stakes 1800m

Back Me

1 Kidmenever (Bet Now: $7.50) on trust, goes on top. Was touted as a possible Melbourne Cup horse upon arriving, but the stable pulled the pin on that idea after a terrible run, with excuses, in the Herbert Power behind Lord Fandango. Plus, I don’t think two miles, or 2400m even, was ideal. Back to 1800m does, he has class on his side and is in the right stable.


10 Payroll (Bet Now: $6.00) missed out on a run in the Myer but her run in the Matriarch last Saturday was full of merit I thought behind Savapinski. Got back against the tempo yet worked home strongly late to run second to that mare. Effort was great considering she was several weeks between runs and 1400m up to 2000m. That should bring her right on.

Long Shot

13 Raghu (Bet Now: $27.00) is a former Hong Kong galloper that made his Australian debut for the Jason Warren team in the Peninsula Cup at Mornington and though helped by a sweet ride, the win was very good I thought and he attacked the line strongly to get the victory. Should only improve off that and is a definite threat.

Race 10. (17:55) Le Pines Funerals Summoned Stakes 1500m

Back Me

Convinced that 2 Oregon’s Day (Bet Now: $8.00) is the best horse in the race by a mile, but overall, she has just had no luck throughout the Spring, and that continued in the Tesio on Cox Plate Day when wide throughout, and back, on a leaders track behind Lubiton. That form held up well enough on Cup Day. She just needs cover…praying she gets cover.


5 Invincibella (Bet Now: $4.20) is a mare in really good form at the moment for the Chris Waller team. She comes through a 1700m mares race on Cup Day where she did a good job against the tempo/bias, working home with purpose late behind Tahanee after bombing the start. Back to 1500m off that hard run looks perfect and she rates highly.

Long Shot

10 Mrs Gardenia (Bet Now: $11.00) rises sharply in grade here but gee she is racing well for Darren Weir. Ran at Geelong last Saturday over 1400m where she did a bit of work in the run yet ambled to the front and was very strong to the line and through it in winning impressively. Has run okay in blacktype company before, so I’ll give her a chance here.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Seven Number 1 Almandin

NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 2 Hellova Street

VALUE: Race Two Number 13 Shagra


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 1

Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8

Leg Three: 1, 3, 6, 7, 10, 13

Leg Four: 2, 4, 8, 10, 12

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