Sandown Classic Day is the last official meeting of the Melbourne Spring Carnival and hosts six group races, including the Group 2 Sandown Classic and Group 2 the Sandown Guineas. Held at the famous Sandown Racecourse, it is the last chance for punters and socialites alike to enjoy a Spring Carnival meeting, the fun activities and catch the remaining quality horses in action. It may not be the highlight of the Spring Carnival like Melbourne Cup Day, but it still attracts relatively large numbers with 10,000 people on average passing through the gates. With nine races on the card, the day boasts prize money in excess of $1.6m and can provide owners, trainers, jockeys and punters with handy late season returns.
The Sandown circuit is a tough one to negotiate, with an uphill run home and a long straight (Lakeside 407m, Hillside 491m). It is well suited to strong finishers or those who can fight hard under pressure. The Sandown course, located in Springvale (25km from Melbourne CBD), underwent a major upgrade in 1999. It also is a Quarantine Centre used to house visiting international horses.
|1||THOROUGHBRED CLUB STAKES||11:25 AEDT||1000 M||$120,000|
|2||TWILIGHT GLOW STAKES||12:00 AEDT||1400 M||$120,000|
|3||SANDOWN CUP||12:35 AEDT||3200 M||$150,000|
|4||KEVIN HEFFERNAN STAKES||13:10 AEDT||1300 M||$150,000|
|5||CHANDLER MACLEOD STAKES||13:45 AEDT||1500 M||$150,000|
|6||CLANBROOKE RACING STAKES||14:25 AEDT||1000 M||$120,000|
|7||ZIPPING CLASSIC||15:00 AEDT||2400 M||$300,000|
|8||SANDOWN GUINEAS||15:40 AEDT||1600 M||$250,000|
|9||ECLIPSE STAKES||16:20 AEDT||1800 M||$150,000|
|10||SUMMONED STAKES||16:55 AEDT||1500 M||$150,000|
A field of 8 two-year-olds have been assembled for the first on Sandown Classic Day with 5 of them being first starters.
Long Leaf for the Hayes/Dabernig stable was a narrow winner on debut at Morphettville and will have Kerrin McEvoy aboard.
Tony McEvoy trains Oohood, an I Am Invincible filly that has been well supported in early markets and will have Luke Currie, with McEvoy’s number 1 rider Jamie Kah to ride the Sizzling colt Secret Blaze.
The Daren Weir trained Sworn Evidence started fav in a race on Oaks Day but never fired a shot when beaten close to six lengths, Damian Lane replaces Craig Williams and the blinkers are added to the gear.
Phillip Stokes brings the Choisir filly Lady Of Crebilly across from South Australia to give her a chance at Black Type after winning her past two starts at Morphettville. The barrier draw was not kind and she will jump from 14.
There looks to be plenty of chances in this race and the market should reflect that.
A field of just 8 will line up for the Sandown Cup.
OTI racing will be looking to continue their strong Spring with Gallic Chieftain likely to be the favourite following on from placings in his past 2 starts in the Geelong Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes where he was beaten by Vengeur Masque both times.
None of the 8 runners have ever tasted success at two miles, which runner will prove the superior stayer in this race?
Lucky Hussler won this race last year and Lankan Rupee is also a previous winner.
Illustrious Lad returned from a spell in the G2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield when finishing 2nd to Super Cash by the barest of margins. He has a win and a 2nd from 2 attempts at 1300m.
Burning Front will challenge for favouritism but does step back from the mile at his last start when finishing close to six lengths from the winner Lucky Hussler in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley.
cky Hussler has raced just once at Sandown and that was when taking out the Kevin Heffernan Stakes in 2016. After winning the Crystal Mile two starts back he was well beaten in the Cantala Stakes at Flemington and will carry the topweight of 60kg.
Dollar For Dollar was an impressive winner on Melbourne Cup day for Tony McEvoy and Jamie Kah keeping an unbeaten streak of 3 wins this campaign. The tough as nails Tasmanian Hellova Street was a winner on Oaks Day as he looks for victory at his first Sandown appearance.
A five furlong scamper held under handicap conditions will see Crystal Dreamer likely start as the punters-elect.
The Ellerton/Zahra trained gelding has raced once on the track when scoring over this same trip when defeating a handy field that included Dance With Fontein and Rich Charm. Crystal Dreamer finished best behind Ball of Muscle in the Mumm Stakes on Oaks Day.
Derryn has been nominated in quite a few races across the Spring, however the Lindsay Park team have not started the 4YO since finishing second last in the Sydney Stakes won by In Her Time. He will carry the top-weight of 58.5kg.
A field of 8 will line up for the Zipping Classic, the race made famous by Lloyd Williams champion Zipping who won this race on four occasions.
Williams will attempt to add another win to his tally presenting 3 runners to take on the race. Melbourne Cup winner Almandin headlines his chances along with The Taj Mahal who will be looking to improve on his 4th in the Mackinnon Stakes behind Tosen Stardom. The third of the Macedon Lodge team is Assign who was a winner at his only run on the track.
Big Duke steps back from the Melbourne Cup following his 4th placing behind Rekindling and will have the blinkers added.
Godolphin will be looking to make it successive wins in the Sandown Guineas following the win of Morton’s Fork in 2016. Their sole representative will be Beau Geste.
There has been strong early support for the Aaron Purcell trained Villermont who will be having just his 4th race start, winning his maiden at Benalla two starts ago.
The Weir trained Snitzepeg landed successive wins at Listed level before finishing 5th to Levendi in the opening race of the Flemington carnival in the Carbine Club Stakes. Hypnotist comes out of that same race where he drew barrier 14 of 15.
Charlie Appleby prepares Kidmenever who will step out of the Werribee quarantine centre to race for the second time this Spring. The Godolphin owned entire made his first appearance in the G2 Herbert Power Stakes when finishing 8th behind Lord Fandango.
Only 3 horses in the field have ever raced on the track with the ten year-old veteran Jacquinot Bay the only runner to have tasted success.
Raw Impulse has gone winless in 7 runs since winning in Morphettville in September 2016, however is still likely to start at the top of the market with Damian Lane to ride the six-year-old.
The last race of the Melbourne Spring carnival and it is a capacity field of mares to do battle over the 1500m journey.
Petition should start as favourite following some solid performances at Group 2 level at her past 2 starts. In the Tristarc Stakes last start she was flashing home late at the end of the 1400m trip to get within one length of the winner Global Glamour.
Invincibella started favourite in the mares race on Melbourne Cup day but couldn’t reel in the winner Tahanee. It could prove to be a bookend double for her dam Abscond with Secret Blaze making his debut in race 1.