SANDOWN: UNDERWOOD STAKES - 25th September 2021
Track: SOFT(5) - Weather: SHOWERS - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Great to see Sandown in the spotlight during the Spring Carnival. We are racing Sandown Hillside with the rail TRUE, which normally races fair and can even favour those running on late. There are a few showers forecast for Friday night and Saturday morning, and it generally rains more at Sandown than most places so take an umbrella and a jacket if you are heading out to get vaccinated. Also likely to be a bit of wind around which may make it tough for those on-speed. Expect the track to stay in the SOFT range and suspect they may be winning running on down the middle of the track especially later in the day.

Disappointingly small field for the feature Underwood Stakes, and a distinct lack of speed will make this a highly tactical race. Assume the favourite 2-ZAAKI leads here, though there is no reason why the 1-FIFTY STARS canít go to the lead as he did early on in his career. Small field jog trot and will turn into a sprint home to suit those with the best turn of foot.

Going through the field the 1-FIFTY STARS always takes a few runs to find his form each time in and will be suited on a big track with some give in the ground. Normally drops back and needs to really grind home off a fast speed, but would be interesting if they decide to roll the dice here and run to the lead on this one as think he would give this a shake under those conditions. In a sit and sprint he probably doesnít have much chance, but actually as the outsider of the field is one of the better chances for any upset. The 2-ZAAKI came out of the blue during the Sydney autumn and QLD winter with mind bogglingly impressive wins. Cruised to a win 1st up over an unsuitable 1400M trip and looks set to dominant the spring. First try Melbourne way of going, but was taken for a run around Sandown earlier in the week and hard to see that being the issue. Likely leader and would need to settle in that role being probably the only question mark, but hard to see him being beaten. The 3-THE CHOSEN ONE is hard to catch but often puts in sensational runs out of the blue. Great run 1st up when wide all the way, handles it wet and suited on a bigger track up in distance. On a Caulfield and Melbourne Cup path and better suited in a handicap then a sit sprint tactical small field. The 4-SUPERSTORM won courtesy of a first rate ride by Oliver in the Feehan. Fitter for the 2 runs in, not totally convinced about him at the 1800M/2000M, and a strong finisher who normally needs the speed on in his races so prefer to see today. The 5-PROBABEEL is all class, winning first up over 1200M and trying her hardest when giving weight to most of the field in the Rupert Clarke. She is probably the one most suited in a slow, sit and sprint race and can sit just outside the lead here and sprint for home at the right time. Given the right run it is not impossible she can upset the favourite here.

Pretty much a no bet race, hopefully some of the other jockeys mix things up a bit though and see if they can upset the favourite instead of making this a procession Ė would love to see the 1-FIFTY STARS roll out to a big lead here. The dominant 2-ZAAKI on top and would be great to see him unleashing these dominant wins down here, from the classy 5-PROBABEEL and the outsider 1-FIFTY STARS. Pretty much a no bet race for the small punter, maybe a small win bet on 5-PROBABEEL to cause the upset with a money back offer just for interest sakes.

Pretty ordinary meeting with small fields and short priced favourites or massive even fields. It is interesting that the Underwood was made a leg of the quaddie, as often they relegate the races with small fields to earlier in the day. The money back bonuses are getting quite competitive too, with most betting companies now offering money back to 5th so remember to gamble responsibly. We do have quite a few short priced favourites going around too today so only a few races that represent value and not a meeting we will be betting on with much confidence.

BEST BET: Race 5: 6-CHERRY TORTONI $5 WIN
Very talented horse who has disappointed at short odds a few times, but does seem he is better at 1600M or less and with some give in the ground so looks perfectly suited today. Big Sandown track suits, small field means no traffic issues and hopefully he can keep in closer contact instead of dropping well back like he does in bigger fields. Should run over the top of them here late at around $3.50.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 3: 6-MANHATTEN TIMES $4 EW
QUINELLA: Race 3: 6-MANHATTEN TIMES, 2-SANDY PRINCE, 8-DEPRIVATION boxed x $3 = 100%
The 3YOs this year seem to be very even, and think you want to keep an eye on new form lines as the traditional city form races may not be as strong as they seem. Quite liked the finishing burst of this one last time, he looks like the distance will suit and may be a horse on the way up coming into this off winning form. Back each way at around $15 and there is a nice box quinella here as we suspect the on-pacer 8-DEPRIVATION at $20 may do something at odds, was wide all the way last start and previous Flemington 1400M run was excellent when leading till late on a day favouring those running on.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 4: 3-MACíNíCHEESE $4 EW
QUINELLA: Race 4: 3-MACíNíCHEESE, 8-FORTUNATE KISS x $2 = 200%
Highly rated 3YO who was always chasing the pack around the tight MV 1200M 1st up when she finished on well, and much better suited here over 1400M on the big Sandown track. Suspect she might have the better of the favourite the 2-ZOUZARELLA today, so back each way at around $6 and there is a good quinella here with the 8-FORTUNATE KISS who fought on well here last start and will sit on-speed here and likely be in the finish.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 9: 15-HASSELTOFF $4 EW
QUINELLA: Race 9: 15-HASSELTOFF#5,11,12,16 x $2 = 50%
Super tough last race in a big field, but most of them will be giving weight to this one who is race fit and looks ready to win with the three runs this time in. Finished hard off a good speed here last start, has placed 11 from 14 which is excellent career stats, and best runs have come at 1600M or further. Likely to be in the finish at around $6, plenty of value in a quinella in a big field with the roughie 5-KHOEKHOE who should be ready to do something, but does have to carry significant weight, the 11-FLEXIBLE in form, the roughie 12-HUNBOSHI who is fitter for the two runs this time in and was good here last start and the 16-HORRIFYING who is better than last start.

BEST ROUGH: Race 2: 5-EMBOLISM $2.50 EW
One that has shown a bit of potential and probably should have a better career record. Has raced in some top level races and put in some eye catching runs, and drawn wide here running on late 1st up off a likely fast speed he might do something today at around $16 if he is forward enough. Back each way and we have also taken a box quinella in the Wonder Bet.

BEST ROUGH: Race 8: 9-GALAXY RAIDER $2 EW
This is close to one of the worse races we have ever done the form for. We have 13 runners over 1300M, 6 horses 1st up, 3 horses 2nd up, nothing with any current form or race fitness and impossible to line them up. So in protest we are going to tip the super frustrating 9-GALAXY RAIDER at around $20, he often runs on late, he doesnít often win, but his 1st up form isnít too bad and has had a barrier trial coming into this so might be forward enough to show something. Bit hard to have a serious bet in this field so might as well have something on a $20 shot.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 9: 3-AUSSIE NUGGET at around $5
This one has a habit of running on very well late to just miss and doesnít win as many races as he should. Excellent run late at MV last start, but is favourite in this big field, has 60kgs and giving weight to most of these, drop back horse drawn barrier 1 in a big field, and suspect he is actually better over 1600M than these longer trips. We can see quite a few times where he has started well in the market over further than 1600M and failed to win (or even place) and happy to risk him again today.

TURF DELI WONDER BET : Here we try and turn $5 into a nuclear powered paddle boat.
Race 2: QUINELLA: 5,11,12,13,14 boxed x $5 = 50%
Massive even field in the second race so letís just keep it simple and take a 5 horse box quinella which can often pay surprisingly well. We have already backed the roughie the 5-EMBOLISM, the 12-SIRILEO MISS, 14-FOXY FRIDA are the main dangers, the 11-LEGEND OF ZORRO may improve at odds on-speed out to a more suitable distance, and the 13-BARBIEíS FOX is much better back in distance and ridden cold, just preferred she drew an outside barrier.

SUGGESTED QUADDIE:
Races 6,7,8,9: 1,5,7 / 2,5 / 1,3,6,9 / 5,11,12,13,15,16 x $20 = 13.88%
Not a quaddie we are overly keen to seriously aim for. Just take the three main chances in the first leg
1-DR DRILL, 5-FLOATING ARTIST, 7-SKYMAN. Throw in 5-PROBABEEL to try and cause the upset in the feature race as otherwise the dividend is unlikely to be much. Very open third leg so add value horses in like the 9-GALAXY RAIDER and come home wide in the last leg where you want a value winner like the 5-KHOEKHOE or 12-HUNBOSHI to make it worth your while.

The Tips:

Race 1: 4-ESTA LA ROCA, 5-TWIST OF FURY, 7-DIAMONDS IN THE SKY
Race 2: 5-EMBOLISM, 12-SIRILEO MISS, 14-FOXY FRIDA
Race 3: 6-MANHATTEN TIMES, 2-SANDY PRINCE, 8-DEPRIVATION
Race 4: 3-MACíNíCHEESE, 8-FORTUNATE KISS, 2-ZOUZARELLA
Race 5: 6-CHERRY TORTONI, 2-ELEPHANT, 4-ROMANCER
Race 6: 1-DR DRILL, 5-FLOATING ARTIST, 7-SKYMAN
Race 7: 2-ZAAKI, 5-PROBABEEL, 1-FIFTY STARS
Race 8: 9-GALAXY RAIDER, 3-IRONCLAD, 1-SO SI BON
Race 9: 15-HASSELTOFF, 5-KHOEKHOE, 11-FLEXIBLE