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We have studied the form from all races across the country for Saturday, February 25, and provided our best horse racing tips.
It might feel like a playlist on repeat for the small but select few that regularly check in with this page, but I cannot get enough of this Saturday racing at Sandown.
There’s horses for courses as we well know, and we’ve long been aware that Flemington and Moonee Valley are unique and beautiful beasts of their own, but the switch to the south east Melbourne circuit that is best known for V8 Supercar racing and midweek Winter hurdle events, has been nothing but a success for the Melbourne Racing Club which is ironic given it is still run by the same set of suits that were staking up the ‘For Sale’ sign out on Springvale Road a little over 18 months ago.
Our return on investment has skyrocketed since they sacked Caulfield, and with a bleak forecast in Sydney, we are centring the crosshairs on the most reliable punting venue in the nation again this week as they host a long overdue quality card of Group 1 racing.
We are banking on some QLD Summer carnival form to put to bed the hype around some fairly inflated reputations around a few bred in the purple fillies who are yet to beat much in Sydney.
Still in Sydney town, we are happy to get in the trenches again with a couple of Kiwi’s and go to war with a bunch of Autumnal looking fillies that are so hot it would make the cast of MAFS look like they just stepped out of the Whaler’s Bar in the middle of a Warrnambool winter.
Whilst in Melbourne and at our new favourite venue of Sandown, we are boldly going where no author of this page has ever gone before… and declaring the winner of all three consecutive Group 1 features.
We have made five selections in total and are confident that we have found you some winners! So, read on below to find our best horse racing tips for this Saturday, February 25.
Randwick, Race 6 – 1. Skirt The Law ($2.60)
We will get a much clearer picture in regards to the Golden Slipper after Saturday, with this race realistically being the key point of interest.
There’s been plenty of ‘form experts’ on the mainstream racing media channels touting the superiority of the fillies over the colts up until now however I’m not entirely sold.
The carnage in the Inglis Millenium just threw a dump truck load of top soil into the already murky waters that is 2YO racing in February, making it very hard to get a real gauge out of that race and the Learning To Fly form line.
We see that here through Blanc De Blanc, and can follow that through to Saltaire, but I’m happy to stick with my Barber vein which granulates through the Golden Gift race and the Waterhouse runner, Summer Loving, of whom this filly absolutely trounced in the Magic Millions.
That was a really comprehensive victory. Again, in a race that was tricky to line up, with it being run on a different day to what it was first scheduled, on a track that nobody saw coming, and included a well fancied runner in Sovereign Fund going amiss.
But it is impossible to knock her. She has done everything right bagging $1.2 million in three starts with a combined winning margin of close to 10L’s.
Intriguing race, but going with my gut which tells me she would have beat Sovereign Fund anyway, which puts her right in the frame around the likes of Cylinder and Barber. And I think that’s the way to go at this stage.
I’m either a genius or a mug by stumps today.
The Shark’s Tip
1. Skirt The Law ($2.60)
Randwick, Race 7 – 3. Zougotcha ($4.80)
Gritty filly who I actually don’t think they got to the bottom of last prep despite three successive black type victories in an undefeated campaign.
She struck a high pressure race first up where she landed handy and was simply too tough for a field that included the red hot favourite here, In Secret.
Pestered by a horse on her outside and never really settled second up but was always going to win even in spite of being headed at the 200m to claim the Group 2 Tea Rose at 1400m.
Entitled to be a bit flat after that but she absolutely smashed them when getting to the mile 3rd up to claim the Group 1 Flight Stakes by 2L over boom filly She’s Extreme.
Relishes the give in the track. The trip poses no issue even in spite of her precautionary scratching with a minor ailment last week. Loves Randwick, we just need McDonald to land her in a competitive position and I imagine we’ll see her and In Secret square off once the girl from Godolphin is produced late from the soft draw.
I’m backing Zougotcha in a dog fight all day, every day.
The Shark’s Tip
3. Zougotcha ($4.80)
Sandown, Race 7 – 1. Barber ($5.50/$2.15)
The Godolphin team have swept the juvenile Group 1’s before and with a wealth of 2YO talent on the ground this season, they looked well poised to do it again.
It is a long road between now and the J.J. Atkins though, and if they are going to do it, they need to get the Blue Diamond in the bag this week. With three runners in the race it certainly increases their chances and we’ve pinpointed Barber as their best hope.
The Hayes trained Little Brose looks like the benchmark runner of which to work around. The form through him, and the Merson Cooper Stakes stood up last week with Cylinder winning the Silver Slipper impressively in Sydney.
Barber beat Little Brose fair and square when they both resumed in the Prelude with Barber forced to race closer than his normal pattern on account of a sticky draw, and although he wasn’t at his devastating best in the run home, he was never going to get beat.
He still draws a little awkward here but I’m always happy to back 2YO’s that map to race at worst three deep behind a wall of cover. It stops them getting stuck in behind horses that have had enough or can’t run the trip, it allows them to build momentum in the run, and it gives the rider the option of inside or outside of those that are racing greenly around them.
There looks plenty of tempo on, in a big field and out to 1200m with Jamie Kah staying on board. We are more than happy to highlight him as one of the better bets of the day.
The Shark’s Tip
1. Barber ($5.50/$2.15)
Sandown, Race 8 – 1. I’m Thunderstruck ($3.00)
There was plenty of discussion out of the Group 1 C.F. Orr stakes. Most of that surrounded the protest result but very few picked up the effect it had on this fellow.
Not sure he was ever going to get there, though he does have a great length of stride late, but he copped the wash from the buffeting inside him just as he was stretching out and looking to put his distinguishable head in the frame.
Beaten just 0.6L after going back and sitting three deep the trip, he appeared to respond well to Kah’s riding which is a plus given he has been the victim of some poor rides in the past, particularly Mark Zahra’s in the Cox Plate.
He is in the top 3 or 4 horses in the country, and he’s the best horse in this race.
Draws better here, fitter second up and Jamie Kah sticks.
Think he’s a good thing.
The Shark’s Tip
1. I’m Thunderstruck ($3.00)
Sandown, Race 9 – 5. King of Sparta ($9.00/$3.00)
High quality race with a vast array of sprinting stars both old, new, and emerging.
Looks tricky on paper, particularly with the confusing track format but one key point is the number of runners resuming.
Whilst race fitness isn’t necessarily a key element in your week to week sprint races, match practice does go a long way in high pressure, high quality Group 1’s.
Hard to see what King of Sparta has done wrong, trouncing his opposition, some of which he meets again here, in his two runs back in.
He does his best racing on top of the ground and at 1200m which this 1100m at the trying Sandown circuit with the 2nd winning post in play is going to feel like.
Looks good value for a horse with genuine Group 1 qualities in a wide open affair.
The Shark’s Tip
5. King of Sparta ($9.00/$3.00)
Best Bet – 1. I’m Thunderstruck (Sandown, Race 8)
Next Best – 1. Barber (Sandown, Race 7)
Best Roughie – 5. King Of Sparta (Sandown, Race 9)
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Dabble.