The rains have come, and both Sandown and Warwick Farm will contest competitive 8-race programs on undoubtedly rain-affected tracks. The Warwick Farm program in particular looks very strong, but that is to be expected during Autumn carnival time. Benalla is the country meeting in Victoria today, while racing also takes place at the Sunshine Coast, Murray Bridge and Geraldton in the west. PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has identified his five best plays of the day, take a look at them below.
Sandown Lakeside R3 #2 Hasseltoff $2.60 at PlayUp – Promising Robbie Griffiths gelding Hasseltoff comes here third up in his career after two very sound placing’s. Last start behind Whittington Stone over 1400m, he ran the quickest last 600/400/200m sectionals of the entire meeting! He did so in restricted room in the straight, so it is possible he could have gone even quicker. Strips fitter third up, and stepping to the mile now looks a suitable move. He can clearly handle the soft going, that performance last start at Pakenham came on the soft 7. He will need a good ride from B Mertens from barrier 9, but he looks very progressive and can be winning this maiden.
Sandown Lakeside R4 #3 Excused (BEST) $5.00 at PlayUp – This talented filly gets a big drop in grade here, coming back from competing in the Inglis Dash at Caulfield over 1100m last start. On that occasion, she was forced to sit three wide without cover for the majority, and still managed to find the line very well. Second up here, she strips much fitter, and has been kept nice and fresh off that last start effort. The soft conditions pose no threat, she won her debut strongly on a heavy 9, and has form behind Exhilirates and Akari in strong races on soft going. Back to midweek grade here, she has a definite class edge over this field, and I love to see that Craig Williams has stuck aboard. Top chance.
Sandown Lakeside R7 #8 Rock Dove $6.50 at PlayUp – Thought we were getting a good price about this Godolphin mare, in what looks a great competitive race. When looking at her two runs this campaign on paper, they don’t stand out, but they are definitely better than they read. Last start over 1400m, she found the line very well from midfield, running her last 600m in under 34 seconds, which is always good. From barrier 11 today I think she pushes forward and sits handy to the leaders, and there doesn’t look like a whole heap of speed engaged here. Third up fitter, and getting out to the mile looks good. Wet track poses no threat, and this looks an easier bm70 than what she contested last start. Great each way chance.
Warwick Farm R1 #4 Vucetich $4.60 at PlayUp – Going to be having something small on this Godolphin 2yo colt in what looks a very competitive race to open the day. Comes into this first up, and his two trials in preparation have been most pleasing. The latest trial behind Encountabull (who has since contested hot races) was good, he made up many lengths in the straight and looks to have a lovely, big stride on him. Both trials were on wet going, so i’m hoping the soft track today will pose no issue. James McDonald takes the ride, that is a big positive, and he should be finding the line very well. 1200m may be a touch too short, but if he is classy enough he can be very competitive in this race.
Warwick Farm R6 #3 Royal Celebration $4.60 at PlayUp – Coming off a nice Saturday grade win at Rosehill over the 1400m, he was well found that day and duly saluted for punters. Sticks to the benchmark 88 grade, but comes back to the midweeks and should be very competitive. First attempt at the 1600m, but he has been up since January and should be rock hard fit for this effort. The wet track holds no concerns, and the wide barrier should allow him to find the betting going out wide when it counts. Competitive race, but hoping he hold the winning confidence and string together two wins in a row.