Stakes racing in Melbourne this weekend features just one black-type race at Sandown Hillside with the Doveton Stakes run as the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes 2015, betting tips for which are detailed below.
Set to run as Sandown Race 7 on the nine race program with a scheduled jump time of 4:05pm (AEST), this year’s $120,000 Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1000m) originally drew 15 final acceptances.
The field is down to 14 with the scratching of the Joe Pride-trained Sydney galloper Diamond Oasis (10) with updated markets at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Mark Kavanagh’s in-form mare Wild Rain.
Drawn in gate six with Stephen Baster to ride, the four-year-old daughter of Manhattan Rain comes off back-to-back seconds in Melbourne and is the market mover for Saturday backed in from $4.80 to $4.20 for the win.
After a second in a Flemington black-type on Crown Oaks Day she was last seen finishing only a short half-head off Murt The Flirt over 1100m at Ballarat a fortnight back and drops back to 1000m shooting for her fifth win from nine starts at the distance this weekend.
Occupying the second line of betting at $4.80 is then Tuscan Sling who gets the rails run from barrier one, the Darren Weir-trained Danehill Dancer mare out to atone for a seventh to Pittsburgh Flyer when beaten only 1.5 lengths in the Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) in the wet on November 5 at Flemington.
So will the top two fancied mares get the job done or is there value further down the Greater City Of Dandenong Stakes odds from the likes of the Robert Smerdon-trained track specialist Reldas ($5.50) in gate two or Java ($11) who will be ridden midfield off the pace looking to reclaim form?
#5 Reldas ($5.50)
Smerdon’s Testa Rossa gelding is drawn to win in barrier two and continue a good Sandown Hillside record that stands at two wins from three starts to date. Last time out the five-year-old was runner-up over 1400m at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day beaten under a length and will be flying dropping back 400m in distance. He has a solid record over the 1000m (3-1-1-0) that will help him handle the increase in weights to 58.5kg. Dwayne Dunn has the mount on the in-form sprinter who should be hard to hold out in a tight finish.
#9 Wild Rain ($4.20)
Market mover and deserving favourite with genuine claims. She gets a good run from the gate and drops from 57kg to 55kg here on the back of good lead-up form. She has had just the one run at the track but is a specialist over the 1000m with four wins, a second and a third from eight runs over the distance she’ll enjoy getting back down to this weekend. If they are winning from the front on the card she’s the onpacer to beat.
#10 Danger Close ($11)
Jason Warren’s Written Tycoon gelding won this race 12 months ago but hasn’t been first past the post in anything since. He is looking to return to his best form though when running at Sandown Hillside for the first time in a year where the now six-year-old is undefeated in three previous runs. Has five wins over the 1000m and after carrying 57kg last start the drop to the 54kg minimum aids his chances at back-to-back Doveton victories.
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