Brett Honey’s Sandgroper Night Preview

Race 5 – The Sandgroper (520m)

What a race this is, seven Victorians and a West Australian do battle in what will be one of the strongest races ever contested in WA’s 50 year history. A worthy winner awaits.

Big Energy (box 1) is the favourite and if his first up win at Sandown in 29.15 wasn’t a statement, his trial in track record time certainly was. He’s clearly at the top of his game and box 1 gives him every opportunity. Or does it? He only began fairly at Sandown and more so mustered to find the front on that occasion. He also used a bit of the track and moved right out of box 3. Sunset Frazier has drawn box 3 and I expect him to begin better back at Cannington. Whilst Big Energy deserves favouritism, he will be certainly made to earn it if he does win.

Trooper Tears (box 7 – pictured) turned heads throughout the Perth Cup series and his wide running style clearly suits box 8. He won his Cup heat in 29.39 and importantly, clocked 5.40 to the first mark. If he can hold out Explicit in the early stages, he has the best map of any dog in the race and runs the time to win. He’s a huge show in this and has been priced rather generously.

I thought Morton (box 2) and Explicit (box 8) faired worst out of the draw. Morton has to deal with Big Energy moving up and will need a miracle to hold Sunset Frazier on his outside. Explicit will need to cross Trooper Tears immediately and his trial last Saturday night left a lot to be desired. He’s open to improvement off that but also needs to.

I wanted to find Mepunga Smokey (box 4) at a big price off his sensational Perth Cup run but I have too many concerns with Fernando Phil in box 5. Phil wants to move towards the rail quickly and I’m not sure Mepunga Smokey can hold him up. With any luck, he can make his presence felt.

Hector Fawley is the run-on dog in the race, however it is hard to know where he gets to from box 6.

Sunset Frazier (box 3) is the lone local and we know what this bloke is about; spear the lids and blow them off the track. I’m confident he will begin better back at Cannington, however I’m not sure if he can sneak away by enough to hold on. His achillies heel will always be his last section.

In what is a sensational 2ND edition of the Sandgroper, I’m backing Trooper Tears to use the outside draw to sit forward and go on with the job. He’s an each way price and you can play him as such. With a good beginning, he simply has too much in his favour and he has the talent in spades.

Bet: #7 Trooper Tears

Race 6 – The Sunchaser (520m)

A good edition of the Sunchaser where our leading sprinters in WA are racing for $15,000 to the winner. Uncle Tommy won the Perth Cup in gutsy fashion and showed those same qualities when running second behind West On Boomer in the Lew Dorsa Memorial. He finds a race without a stack on genuine early speed and will find it much easier to lead in this. That’s where he does his best work. West On Boonie (box 2) and Nangar Chief (box 8) are the run-on dogs in the race but backers of those dogs would like them to trade boxes. I’m not sure if they can get into the race quick enough to run down Uncle Tommy should he lead. Go Seek Kotoni (box 1) and Maximum Kuna (box 7) are the dogs capable of going with Tommy early, but their box manners have deserted them in recent weeks. Hinto (box 6) has to be respected on class alone.

Expecting Uncle Tommy to lead and win.

Bet: #4 Uncle Tommy


Other Bets On The Card

Race 1 #5 Dawn Of Time

Race 2 #7 Canya Bon Bon

Race 4 #8 Victory Road

Race 9 #7 Sunset Hornet

Race 10 #3 Midnight Kuna