Sandown Hillside Races Review – Zipping Classic Day

Michael Kruse 23 November 2018Last Updated: 29 December 2022

Sandown Race Shapes & Betting Blowing In The Wind

Our good friend Ralph from has taken a deep dive into the weekends racing to give us a better understanding and insight into the main races that took place on Saturday at Sandown.

Sandown (Zipping) Classic day

Saturday had a firm track with the rail true and Sandown didn’t play like Sandown and it was no fault of Sandown!

There was a very solid tailwind in the back straight and by extension that meant a headwind in the home straight on the “pure” and exposed tight oval shaped track. (Long straights but short distances between them unlike for instance Caulfield there’s a long run in before the turn.)

I know here is only a sample of four meetings, but the winner’s profile from 2015-18 does show how Saturday created an outlier as earlier years this meeting generally favours on pacers with talent when the track/weather is good.

2015 – 5 leaders won of 9 races (Solicit, Who shot the Barman, Mahuta, Charmed Harmony and Famous Seamus)
2016 – 4 leaders won of 10 races (Arctic Angel, Qewy, Turnitaround and Silent Sedition) and 2 stalking (Redkirk Warrior and Prompt Response)
2017 – 5 leaders won of 10 races (Jungle Edge, Dollar for Dollar, Long Leaf, Crystal Dreamer and The Taj Mahal)
2018 – Only Steal My Kisses and The Taj Mahal were leading/on pace of 10 races

The reasons why were clear looking at Vince Accardi’s data post-race.

On the perfect ground the (mainly) very fit runners were keen to run and did, but the tail wind behind them with the big fields saw them overdo it.

Then turning into the home straight after using too much energy going “too” quickly – all bar the farcical Race 4 (more below) and the Zipping Classic were run from strong to murderous lead speeds – which saw the on-pacers then “hit” the headwinds.

Going forward the challenge will be separating those who can rebound with a soft lead in mild conditions and those who probably need a few months off!

Without exaggeration when I see a spread of lead speed in the last race from the leader at the 800-metre mark going +21.9 lengths above IVR benchmark (ANGELIC SPIRIT) and the last horse (LADY CROMAC) at +11.9, it says many runners in the field may never recover.

Time will tell, but I’d be very wary…


We get races right and wrong and by gum the hindsight geniuses came out from under a rock when opening favourite BRING ME ROSES ran 8th of 9.

“It had only won once from 15 starts” “it was always going to get back” “there was no pace in the race” “blah blah blah”

Some valid points but $3:10 to $3:80 OFFICIALLY but a stack of $4:60 available on Betfair pre-race screamed it wasn’t just “out to its right price” but “about to run like crap”

Lock in B Eddie

So, let’s look at some facts:

In her two lead in runs off much faster speeds:
MV 27/10 after +5.0 and -3.1 first two sections her last 400 was +5.3 lengths above benchmark
Flem 03/11 after +2.0 and +0.5 first two sections her last 400 +6.4 lengths above benchmark

And in her only win 07/10/17 which was a mile on a very soft speed of -10.4 and -2.5 first two sections +5.1 last 400

On Saturday her first two sections were -5.5 and -4.0 – so around 11 lengths slower – her last 400 was +4.3 all of which was the 400 to 200

Her last 200 rankings in those 4 races were:

27/10 Twelfth best last 200 of the day
03/11 Sixth best last 200 of the day
07/10/17 Tenth best last 200 of the day
17/11 Eighteenth best last 200 of the day

Confirming from another angle that the significantly slower tempo, still saw a slower finish

Conspiracy theory? Well no

Deserved of the stewards asking questions of the stable given the massive betting drift? Surely!

As you can see below left it didn’t get a mention


Horses run badly and there can be a multitude of reasons.

As such it’s basically something we accept in this caper, but for mine we do want to read post meeting that stewards are on the ball asking questions when punters – customers – are scratching their collective heads, and that can only be a good thing surely?


A True Truism

Some racing sayings are really outdated, and some stand the test of time

1000 metre races – 1000 metre horses is surely one of the better ones

On Saturday MALIBU STYLE who was $51 into $21 and we sizzled after his first up Caulfield run (below) won his 6th race over the specialist short course

“Racetrack” Ralphy Horowitz provides independent form analysis via He uses Vince Accardi’s IVR benchmarking service and together they do the Year Round Carnival podcast review of the weekend’s main races every Monday”

Michael Kruse
Michael loves all things all horse racing and has been in the game for quite some time. His knowledge in the betting space is second... [Read full bio]

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