Tahlia Hope and Liam Riordan both celebrated their maiden metropolitan doubles at Sandown on Wednesday on a day that certainly favoured horses who settled close to the lead.
Hope’s first win came courtesy of debutant McGarrett, who fought off heavily backed favourite Confluence, and her second was on leader Patriot Act, who just lasted from the fast-finishing Gold Artisan.
Riordan’s two victories also came on horses who found the front, the first being Rokda Kasba and his second on Booradley.
Hope was delighted to win aboard Patriot Act for Jody Thompson, a trainer who showed faith in the young apprentice at the start of her career.
“Jodi and Ash have been good family friends for many years now and they helped me a lot early in my career when I was claiming 4kg so it is definitely good to get a city winner for them now,” she said.
McGarrett’s trainer Tom Hughes wasn’t impressed with Racing Victoria stewards decision to force his galloper back to the trials after he was difficult to load in the barriers.
Hughes eventually accepted the decision but certainly was frustrated with the notice.
TOUGH FOR CALL ME HANDSOME
Punters who backed Call Me Handsome in the last at Sandown were entitled to feel a little stiff after the Peter Gelagotis trained runner bombed the start and severely hampered his chances of winning.
The Hong Kong-import still managed to place second but was forced to settle back in the field when most would have envisaged he would have positioned close to the lead.
Apprentice Steph Thornton said post-race on Racing.com that she thought the horse would have won had he jumped cleanly and it is easy to agree with her opinion.
NO JOY FOR ABOVE AUTHORITY
Above Authority is becoming a costly mare to punters and jockey Damian Lane could offer no excuse for her defeat at Sandown.
The Darren Weir-trained runner was strongly supported throughout betting but could only manage third behind Rokda Kasba and Marching On in the second leg of the quaddie.
Lane simply shrugged his shoulders and said “had every chance” as he walked back to the jockeys room after the race.
BIG RUN FROM OUR CHIQUILLA
Darren Weir won the first leg of the quaddie with Freehearted but it may be worth following his other runner in the race, Our Chiquilla.
She is only small in size but she possesses a big motor, as shown by her ability to charge from the back of the field and run second.
Upon reflection of the meeting, it becomes apparent that there was a limited number of horses who managed to make as much ground from back in the field, giving a lot of merit to the performance.
Ethan Brown suggested she may be suited up in distance, as it could help her settle a touch closer without being bustled out of her comfort zone.
Regardless of whether Darren Weir elects to step her up or stay at 1200m, she is definitely a mare worth following.
CUMANI RUES WIDE BARRIERS
Matt Cumani walked away empty handed at Sandown despite two of his runners being heavily backed favourites.
The first was Wetakemanhattan, who was strongly supported and found the front, only to be denied in the final stride by the fast-finishing Stylish Assassin.
Jockey Jordan Childs said Wetakemanhattan had a nice run once he found the front but maybe had to do just a touch more work than he would have liked from barrier 10.
Fille De Charlie was then just as strongly backed in race five and also pressed forward from her wide barrier, only to tire in the straight behind Freehearted.