Back in the saddle
RACE OF THE DAY
Back after soaking up the Melbourne Cup at Flemington last week, I'm ready to find some more winners. Although the body is a little sore and sorry, the mind is still alert and there are plenty of winners to be had at Sandown's biggest meeting of the year on Saturday. The feature - formerly the Sandown Classic before it was renamed to celebrate the four consecutive wins in the race by Zipping from 2007 - is a beauty. The repechage for several horses either balloted out of the Melbourne Cup or simply failing in the big one, the Zipping Classic is the last big race of the spring carnival. Mourayan looks the one to beat after running third in it last year, and is coming off a respectable seventh in the Cup. His main rival should be the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence - the best Australian-bred horse in the Cup at ninth. Exceptionally has had a solid spring but will need some pace on, while there has been some betting movement for three-year-old Rawnaq after an inspiring third in the Victoria Derby. I don't think the Derby was particularly strong this year and am happy to lay that form. Mourayan should prove too good.
BET OF THE DAY
I watched this six-year-old win the Long Black on Melbourne Cup day and he was impressive, pulling away from his rivals to win comfortably a length. Based on that and an equally gutsy win at Moonee Valley before Cup day, Verdant is developing into a strong cups chance for next season. He's an import and can continue to rise through the local staying ranks with victory in the Sandown Cup.
LAY DOWN YOUR LOBSTER
How to invest your $20 on Saturday $10 win Sandown race 3, No.6 Verdant
Drops 2kg on his impressive win in the Long Black and should have every chance over the two miles. There's a few horses here which will want to lead, so Verdant should get a cosy sit from the six gate before outstaying his rivals.
$5 win Sandown race 9, No.9 Cabernet
Have to back this horse based on the form around Koonoomoo, which she finished second to on Melbourne Cup day. With Honey Flower - which beat Koonoomoo at Geelong two starts back - dashing to the line to win on Oaks day, Cabernet is strongly placed to win here.
$5 win Sandown race 5, No.2 Raspberries
Was right in the thick of things at the finish of the group 1 Myer Classic on Derby day and steps back to group 3 company here. She loves the 1500m journey and appears to be well placed to return to the winner's circle on Saturday.