Sandown Racing this Weekend Serves up Six Doozies
Prime racing will be held weekend coming when Sandown Racecourse, now also known as Ladbrokes Park, hosts two Group 2 and the Group 3 races. It is the Melbourne Racing Club’s major race meeting at Sandown.
The Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400 m) will be the race for stayers, is open to two-year-olds and above, and is run under weight-for-age conditions. It was won in 2016 by Beautiful Romance, with Almoonqith second and Big Orange third.
It is now run as the Zipping Classic, in honour of the horse that won four time running between 2007 and 2010. Zipping won all over the country between 2006 and 2010 and place well in the Cox Plate on three occasions. He also produced two fourths in the Melbourne Cup.
The year after Zipping produced his four consecutive, the race was won by Americain, the winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup, and so it will be a quality field on most occasions. There will be eight, barring scratchings, in this year’s field, with big names, such as Almandin and Big Duke slated to jump.
The other Group 2 is the Sandown Guineas (1600 m) restricted to three-year-olds and run at set weights. It was won in 2016 by Morton’s Fork, a Goldolphin runner that has that race as his greatest triumph to date, although he has run well at Rosehill, winning two races there in July and September of 2016.
The Groups 3s are the Kevin Heffernan Stakes, the Summoned Stakes, Sandown Stakes and Eclipse Stakes.
Silent Edition won the Summoned Stakes last year with Craig Williams aboard, despite spotting Sweet Redemption and the Hugh Bowman steered Extensible 3 kg over the 1500-metre course. It looks to be a full field of 16 for this year’s edition, with some big-name riders having booked rides, including Ben Melham, Damien Oliver, Mark Zahra, Luke Nolen, Damian Lane and Kerrin McEvoy.