Midweek racing returns here with some nice races set for decision around the country today. Ipswich has a big 10 race card, as has been the norm for that region of late. Sandown Hillside is the metropolitan venue in Melbourne, while Gawler, Warwick Farm and Belmont round out the other big meetings today. With the expectation of wet tracks around the country today, PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has found his five best chances who are likely to handle the sting out of the track, including two bets in the same race about horses at good odds. Check it all out below.
Sandown Hillside R1 #4 Ilovethegame $4.80 at PlayUp – Want to be having something on this debutant from the G Eurell stable, just because i’m not sure how well the race profiles for the favourite in Standoff. Ilovethegame is coming here on debut off the back of two jump outs, both of which he has won. In the first one, he settled midfield and was hard ridden around the turn, and extended well to win. That obviously was a good education experience, because he came out in the second and latest jump out, and won with a leg in the air, extending strongly through the line under a big hold. I think he takes a forward position in a small field here, and could prove hard to get past if they run at an even speed. Selections: 4-2-8-3
Sandown Hillside R5 #7 Whiskey Shooter $4.80 at PlayUp – Comes here third up into the preparation, after contesting two solid races up in Sydney. Caught wide when racing fresh over 1200m and understandably dropped out in that race, I thought her last start second up effort behind Milunka was really promising. She was forced to work hard to get across and lead, and was only beaten in the final stages. Milunka has since gone on to win again in harder class. Back to Melbourne here, in what looks a similarly graded event, she should roll forward and lead easier this time, and may be hard to run down. Selections: 7-2-6-1
Sandown Hillside R6 #11 Sword Of Mercy $3.20 at PlayUp – Looks to have returned this prep in excellent order, coming here second up off a fantastic fresh win at Bendigo last start. After settling up on the speed, she showed a great turn of foot to put them away by 2.5L running away from them. Fitter here, drawn kindly in barrier 5 and should park right in behind the speed again. Soft track no issue, she is twice placed from three attempts on the wet ground. Drops 3kg from last start due to the rise in grade, but does not strike a hard bm64 by any means, and looks to have good upside. Selections: 11-10-5-2
Warwick Farm R7 #7 Papal Warrior $6.50 at PlayUp & #8 Travest $11.00 at PlayUp – Keen to back both horses in this race with equal stakes, and if either of them win we make a profit. First Papal Warrior, who comes here third up and has been racing very well this prep. Was a good winner fresh, when beating a number of the same rivals it faces again in this race, then was unlucky last start as it struggled to run on against the bias. Wet tracks are no issue, and should be ready to peak third up. The second bet is Travest, who returns here from a spell, and his only career run was a really nice win at this track, where he ran the fastest closing sectionals. Think he has a lot of upside, and his recent trial on a heavy was good, which leads me to believe he will handle the track conditions. Selections: 7/8-2-1