Weekend Best Bets

The Spring Carnival may have ended officially last week, but Sandown plays host to the unofficial continuation of the carnival. The Zipping Classic is the main feature of the day, giving some runners a chance to score a highly rated Group 2 before the season wraps up.

Race 2: Sound looks like the one to beat here after a very good Melbourne Cup run, finished with Magic Wand who went on and won the McKinnon Stakes last weekend to frank that form. Haky wasn’t great in Hotham but deserves forgiveness, previous third in Geelong Cup looks all-the-more impressive after Prince Of Arran backed up his win there with a Melbourne Cup placing and second-placed True Self cruised home in Hotham. Get on ($3.60 Playup).

Race 3: Xilong is a must-follow here ($2.70 Playup), was swarmed late by males in her first run at 1400m. Comes back to her own sex here and will be better for the run last time out, cruised past Garner start before last and that form has been franked after he won cup day. Sophia’s Choice missed only to Banquo at Flemington, ran the rail there which wasn’t the place to be but fought on really well. Looms as danger. California Salto hit the line well last start after racing a little tight, prefer to watch.

Race 4: Widgee Turf was just behind Iconoclasm at the Valley while carrying a huge weight. Is a G1 horse at his best and should prove too good here ($2.50 Playup). Gold Fields had a terrific win in the Sale Cup, beat Mandela Effect who went on to win at Flemington. Music Bay pulled up lame after the last start so deserves forgiveness there, would prefer to watch again.

Race 5: Faatinah has the class to beat these but doesn’t always live up to that, drops back from G1 level. Was right with Nature Strip two starts back which is great form. Crystal Dreamer has won this race before, won well on resumption before finding trouble at Caulfield last start. Forgive that run, will be right in this. Viridine missed the start in a hotly run Moir, had a faster 200m then Trekking two starts back before an internal bleed made his last run irrelevant. Worth sticking with ($4.80 Playup).

Race 6: D’bai will be the one to beat here, is resuming here with a pretty good first-up record. Has plenty of class and will be right in the finish here again. Home of the Brave was swooped late in the Redzel, was very brave right to the line there. His best has him right in this ($3.20 Playup). Hey Doc makes a popular return after a 14-month break, will be keen to see how he returns from his injury. Has jumped out well and shows signs he can get back to his best, has a 50% win record when fresh but 1000m first-up has proved a bit too sharp. Ringerdingding will have plenty of room to charge home here which he will love. Loves it here and will be right in this.

Race 7: Banquo was superb at Flemington when scoring quite convincingly, looks like the mile will prove no issue and will be the one to beat. Get on ($4.40 Playup). Heart of Puissance has plenty of talent but is still quite green, was up in class when second-up and won well. Will strip fitter for that run and could be peaking.

Race 8: Humidor hasn’t been at his best this prep, his best is all class but whether he finds that or not may prove to be decisive. Will surely figure in the finish. Southern France had no luck in the Melbourne Cup, comes back to 2400m which will prove the only query. History says Cup run is always a good lead into this. Worth the price ($3.60 Playup). Gallic Chieftain has had absolutely no luck in the last two starts, usually always looks every chance to win and the big straight means that he will again have all the chances.

Race 9: Fidelia could be the bet of the day here, raced very well against the pattern and tempo two starts back before finding no luck in Empire Rose, 100m back in trip is a query but has the class to get this done ($4.60 Playup). Sweet Scandal always gives her heart but 1500m is a query. Jamaican Rain held on well when resuming after taking the scenic route, 2nd up last prep was quite impressive nearly pinching a G1 win.

Race 10: Setting Sail will be hard to beat here, Australian debut. He cruised past Crossed Baton last time out who has finished 2nd to Hunting Horn. Get on ($2.15 Playup). Pacodali provides biggest danger to favourite, carried huge weight at Kyneton and was very brave. Has the class to challenge.

*All odds correct at time of writing.