Mitchell Lamb from TAB.com.au casts his eye over the midweek form at Kembla Grange and Sandown Hillside.
Ronny Quinton's Casino Angel is yet to win in five starts but I'm certain she is going to win a few for him eventually, and this looks an outstanding race for her to break her maiden.
The daughter of Casino Prince has run second on three occasions, including finishing behind a Saturday city winner in Tip Top and then what looks like to be above-average commodity in Excelling when first up at Gosford two weeks ago. If she runs anywhere near either of those efforts, she'll be beating this field of mostly first starters or runners that are yet to show too much on raceday.
The set-weights conditions make the race even more suitable, and up to the 1400 metres looks like right up her alley. It's hard to see her getting beat, and the quote might tighten as we get closer to jump time.
Around The Grounds
Classic Thoughts is not star, but she does try and she's been screaming to get out to a bit of a trip; she's finally got to 2000m here, and this looks her race to shed that maiden tag.
The Snowden-trained four-year-old mare has had the three runs back, all at Kembla, and it was quite evident in that latest start that she needed more ground. She simply couldn't sprint with the first few, but she ground away to finish only a length and a half from the winner, Righteousness, who might be a pretty handy staying filly.
I wouldn't be surprised if she settles a bit closer to the speed now she's up in trip. She has drawn a little awkward in barrier 7, but Tye Angland can hopefully navigate across from there and have her maybe one out, one back in the ideal scenario.
She'll prove very difficult to beat if she gets the right run in transit.
I'm a little surprised to see Tagreeda in a midweeker -- I've got her pegged as a Saturday-class filly for sure - so I can only imagine that connections consider there aren't too many suitable options at the moment as far as Saturday grade goes.
She won on the Lakeside circuit quite comprehensively two starts backs, but she then raced like a filly wanting a bit further when Mick Price took her to Flemington. She didn't really ping when asked at Headquarters, but she battled away to finish third, a length from another smart filly in Twitchy Frank.
She drops in class now, gets up to a mile and she should be right at her peak, while the big weight is offset by Chris Caserta's 2kg claim. Hopefully she can be positioned just off a decent speed and finish over the top of them; class wise, she does look to be too good for this lot.
Over The Odds Sandown (Hillside)
He Ekscels is a gelding that's going to be doing his best racing over at least a middle-distance trip as his career goes on, but I don't think he's an out-and-out stayer; indeed, he looks the type that might be able to sprint well fresh over the 1400 metres of this.
He's somewhat proven that already, albeit in lesser grade, and he's got a little touch of class about him, as evidenced by his dominant win in Saturday grade at Caulfield back in April prior to running in the Group 1 South Australian Derby.
There's a big field engaged here, and there looks to be a few that like to lead or be right up there, so hopefully that ensures a solid pace up front.
From the outside gate, Damien Oliver will hook He Ekscels back to near the rear of the field, and he should get the time to wind up on the big Sandown circuit; barring any traffic issues, he could be the one absolutely steaming home late down the outside.
Leg 1 - 1
Leg 2 - 1,5,6
Leg 3 - 1,2,3,4,5
Leg 4 - 8,10
($100 = 333.33 percent)
Leg 1 - 3,4,5,6,8,10
Leg 2 - 1,4,5,7,8,9,11
Leg 3 - 4,7
Leg 4 - 3,13,15
($100 = 39.69 percent)