It’s a competitive afternoon in store with Wednesday’s Midweek Metro meetings taking us to Sandown and Warwick Farm.
We have picked out two horses to back at each of the venues.
Race 5 at Sandown is a BenchMark 70 and the improver shapes as INTO RIO ($5.00 TopBetta), who was tried at a higher level last time at Caulfield on a Saturday at his last start before being unable to fire behind Elite Drake. On that occasion, the four-year-old settled at the rear and was never really in the hunt in a slowly run race. He drops back in grade and at his first run this preparation he was a dominant winner at Seymour and he has performed well when third up in the past. A firmer in early betting, Into Rio, should be suited by the big field and with 2kg claiming apprentice, Liam Riordan, on board he can go very close.
Race 7 sees the sprinters tackle the 1000m trip and the Tasmanian galloper, STREET TOUGH ($3.60 TopBetta), should be tough to beat at his third run from a spell. The four-year-old has had nine career starts and has won or placed in eight of those. He resumed with a strong win over the 1100m trip at Launceston before tackling the Flemington straight on a Saturday meeting, finishing 4th to Groundbreak over the 1200m. He loomed at the 200m in that race but didn’t quite see out the trip. The four-year-old should be suited with the drop back in distance and at his third run this time he should be really hitting his straps. With Craig Williams on board he shapes as the one.
Race 3 at Warwick Farm is a BenchMark 70 over the 1100m and LASHES ($1.85 TopBetta) should be hard to beat. The Matthew Smith-trained galloper has had six career starts for two wins and resumed at Wyong recently, finishing runner-up to the impressive Sir Elton, who subsequently came out and won well at Randwick last weekend. The daughter of I Am Invincible worked hard in the middle stages of that race and with a softer run this time around she will be hard to stop. She claimed two trials in the lead up to her Wyong run and is likely to control the tempo in what shapes as a moderate speed. She is a clear top pick.
We close out with another BenchMark 70 and the Chris Waller-trained PEMBROKE CASTLE ($6.00 TopBetta) gets his chance after just missing out at his previous start, which was on June 22. In that race, the three-year-old stepped out at Newcastle and looked the winner at the 200m mark but couldn’t quite nail the eventual winner, Condor, finishing a narrow runner-up. He should be ready to fire this time around and will enjoy a nice run from barrier 4 with Hugh Bowman on board. He has raced well at this track in the past and can close out the day as a winner.