Chris Waller’s in-form four-year-old Good Project is the clear favourite in 2015 Sandown Stakes betting to win his second race in three starts on Zipping Classic Day this weekend in Melbourne.
Set to run as Sandown Race 4 at 2:45pm (AEST), this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) features 14 hopefuls led in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au by Waller’s consistent Not A Single Doubt stallion Good Project ($3).
Despite a wide barrier 13 draw, the bookies still rate the recent Randwick winner as the one to beat again here as he steps up in class off a last start second to Malaguerra in a Benchmark 90 over 1400m at Flemington from Melbourne Cup Day.
He carried 60kg that day with Cox Plate winning hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle and is tipped to appreciate a big drop in weight to the 54kg minimum on the weekend with James McDonald taking the mount.
Three other horses in the Sandown Stakes field are also at single figures for the win this season including $5.50 second pick Charmed Harmony in barrier eight with Glen Boss booked for the ride.
John Sadler’s Hussonet six-year-old is an 11-time winner from 27 career runs and has had a solid preparation that included a close fifth in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) two back.
He was defeated only 1.35 lengths that day before a last start fourth to Disposition at Flemington on Derby Day in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) that he will be out to improve on here even going up from 56.5kg to the 58kg equal second top weight in the Sandown Stakes.
The next best in betting are early market mover Mr Utopia ($10 into $8.50) and Tashbeeh ($9) who is set to get a gun run from barrier two with Michael Walker in the saddle.
Getting in on 55.5kg, Robert Smerdon’s six-year-old Elusive Quality gelding Mr Utopia was last seen in the winner’s stall back in May over 1400m at Flemington and was disappointing when dead last crossing 14th in the Chatham Stakes late last month.
Things went amiss that day but he has since trialled well for a third over 990m at Cranbourne this week and is looking to bounce back.
Progressive Commands four-year-old Tashbeeh represents David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, the imported stallion having just his fourth run down under on the back of a third in the same race that Good Project was runner-up in on the first Tuesday of November.
Tashbeeh had a wide barrier 15 of 16 draw that day and should be finishing as close if not closer from the better gate this weekend in his first black-type run in Australia.
Also in the mix at more generous odds include the Ciaron Maher-trained proven miler Akavoroun ($11), Greg Eurell’s Chatham Stakes third placegetter Hosting ($12) and Burning Front ($13) for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir.
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