A brief look at Sandown

A look at the undercard of races at Sandown on Saturday.

BRAYDEN STAR. Picture: Racing Photos.

Brayden Star lands impressive win 

For punters looking for a tip, Damien Oliver handed out a strong push when he rode Brayden Star at 55kg in the Marshall White Handicap (1600m). 

While Oliver rode Zapateo at 55kg in the Group 1 The Goodwood in Adelaide last week, the jockey said he rarely rides at 55kg, especially in winter. 

Oliver has been aboard Brayden Star in his four Australian starts which included a first-up win at Cranbourne last November. 

The champion jockey was impressed with the way Brayden Star chased down the runner-up French Emperor to win by three-quarters-of-a-length. 

"He's progressing well. He loves a bit of give in the ground and he enjoyed that fast tempo today too," Oliver said. 

"He stood the second horse a good start at the top of the straight and it was a good effort to run him down, I thought. 

"I'm not sure he's going to reach the highest level in the spring, but I think he will progress to better races than today, and maybe in the autumn we'll see him at his best." 

Gaudrey back a winner 

Apprentice Celine Gaudray wasted little time in getting back on the winner's list in town as she renewed her bid for a first Melbourne Apprentices' Premiership. 

Gaudrey had not ridden in town for three weeks after being suspended, but the time on the sidelines allowed her to refresh ahead of a tough two months to season's end. 

The apprentice headed to Port Douglas for some time in the warmer climate before returning to Melbourne and trackwork as she renewed acquaintances with those that have supported this season. 

"I feel refreshed, better than ever really," Gaudrey said after guiding Flying On A Limb to victory in the Schweppes Handicap (1000m). 

"I took a week off up at Port Douglas. Everyone is there now and then I was back riding trackwork for a week-and-a-half. 

"I rode a winner last night at Cranbourne but it's nice to get a winner early in town." 

Gaudrey's day was later soured when she received an eight-meeting careless riding suspension as did Carleen Hefel who leads the premiership race. 

Coffey strikes up a winning treble 

Jockey Harry Coffey made the most of his three rides heading home with a perfect result. 

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace supplied Coffey with a double courtesy of Cardigan Queen in the Barry J Brennan Memorial Trophy (1400m) and Normandy Bridge in the Catanach's Jewellers Handicap (1800m). 

Sandwiched in between was a victory on the Ben and J D Hayes-trained Monarch Of Egypt in the ive > Handicap (1400m). 

A new father, Coffey joked the treble came around at the right time. 

"Having young Thomas at home, the money coming in is very nice," Coffey said. 

"Three rides for three wins makes is alright and there will be gold nappies this week." 

Coffey said since becoming a new father he was now riding closer to his Swan Hill base and only coming to the metropolitan area on Saturdays. 

He said Saturday's treble was his first metropolitan as a senior jockey. 

"I've ridden a lot of doubles, but I can't remember my last treble," Coffey said. 

"Funnily enough I thought I had nice rides, and I considered this one in the last (Normandy Bridge) to be my best. 

"When the other two won, I thought this is going to be a good day." 

Elkington Road gets bob in 

A drop back in distance paved the way for the Mike Moroney-trained Elkington Road landing a narrow win in in the Lamaro's Hotel Handicap (1600m). 

Assistant-trainer Glen Thompson said Elkington Road had just failed to see out the 1800m when fourth at Sandown on May 6. 

"He looked the winner around the 200 or 300 metres, but Mark (Zahra) said he didn't run out the 1800 metres," Thompson said. 

"Back to the mile today, soft track, perfect conditions, he was good enough to get the job done." 

Elkington Road was considered good enough during the autumn to run in Stakes races, including the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes and the Group 1 Australian Guineas, but relished Saturday's lesser company. 

Thompson said Moroney would make the decision on whether Elkington Road presses on for a winter campaign or is given a break to comeback as a spring four-year-old. 

"He's racing well, there's good prize money at this time of year, he likes soft conditions, but I guess we'll see how he comes through the run," Thompson said. 

Quote of the day 

"He's allergic to hay and pollens. A couple of lung washes found that" - breeder and co-owner Peter Sandars after Pintoff took out the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes

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