Sandown racecourse will host the feature race meeting in Victoria on Saturday in which the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes headlines the meeting. View our tips and best bets for the nine race card.
Race One: 4 Irada
Race Two: 2 Evangelist
Race Three: 10 Now’s The Time
Race Four: 7 Northroza
Race Five: 11 Distant Rock
Race Six: 9 Cool Snitzel
Race Seven: 11 Tuscan Sling
Race Eight: 4 Gallant Harmony
Race Nine: 10 Rocknet
Best Bet: Race Seven Number 11 Tuscan Sling
Next Best: Race Nine Number 10 Rocknet
Best Value: Race Six Number 9 Cool Snitzel
Robbie Griffiths will make a late call when it comes to Grane and Down The Hatch taking their place in the Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes.
Last-start winner Grane has drawn the extreme outside barrier while Down The Hatch is up in class on a first-up Moonee Valley run when unplaced.
Griffiths said his immediate reaction was to scratch Grane, but with $120,000 stakes on offer at Sandown on Saturday he has delayed his decision.
“Rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater, I thought I’d think about it until Saturday morning and have a look at the speed map,” Griffiths said.
“He does have a pretty relaxed racing style and tends to get midfield, or back anyway, and comes down the centre, so it might not be so bad anyway with just one corner.
“At the end of the day he went around the field last start.”
Grane is the winner of two of his past three starts.
He was successful over 955m at Moonee Valley on October 23 and returned to win at the track over 1000m last Saturday.
Griffiths said Grane and pulled up well from last week’s success and there enough positives to offset any negatives about a quick-up.
“At first glance you look at it and think that it all looks too hard going up in weight and the bad barrier, but the good thing is he’s in form,” Griffiths said.
The trainer said the other option for Grane was a benchmark 90 race at Flemington over 1000m on December 19 in which he would be asked to carry 61.5kg.
Griffiths said the task facing Down The Hatch, a last-start fourth in a benchmark 70 race at Moonee Valley on November 20, was probably too tough but it may be worth having a shot at the black-type race.
“She’s up in grade and not well in at the weights, but being a female and well-bred, the owner wants black type, so you’ve got to go and have a crack,” he said.