Sandown Australia Tips
Sandown Racecourse is one of the best known thoroughbred racetracks in Australia. It is also known as Ladbrokes Park (for sponsorship reasons), and it is located in Victoria. It is one of many tracks in the region to be administered by the Melbourne Racing Club and remains the only metropolitan racecourse to have been built in the 20th century.
It is located in the suburb of Springvale in the city of Greater Dandenong.
Sandown has two turf tracks with the original oval-shaped course measuring just shy of 2000 meters (1892m) with a sweeping home straight measuring 407 meters. The width of the original track is around 30 meters.
In 2001, the Melbourne Racing Club signed off a major redevelopment of the track which helped create two turf tracks. An additional 30 meters was added to the home turn while the main straight was also widened. The outer course was named Sandown Hillside while the inner track took up the moniker Sandown Lakeside.
The Lakeside course has a smaller circumference which measures 1857 meters, and the hillside course now measures 2087 meters. The creation of a second track helped the track stage more meetings, with nine additional race-days per year being staged on an annual basis since 2003.
Sandown Track History
Sandown racecourse opened in June 1965 and attracted an impressive crowd of 52.000. This caused congestion in the local area which wasn’t equipped for large numbers of visitors.
Racing had actually taken place at this venue many years earlier, with regular events being held here between 1888 and 1931. For a short period of time, it was called Oakleigh Park before changing its name in 1891. The Victorian government decided to cut down on the number of racetracks in the country, and Sandown was one of the victims.
In 1962, the Sandown motor racing track which runs around the perimeter of the racecourse was first opened.
A quarantine center was built in 1997, and this coincided with an increase in prize money, and subsequently, a number of overseas horses visiting the track.
As previously explained, the Melbourne Racing club funded a major development in 2001, and this allowed an extra turf course to be built. From 2003, they opted to increase the number of meetings per year with nine additional race-days taking place.
Sandown Track Configuration and Bias
Many handicappers consider Sandown to be a horses-for-courses track, with many thoroughbreds winning time and time again at the Melbourne venue. The turns are relatively wide, which does enable most horses to be in with a chance heading into the home straight.
Jockeys who are riding horses drawn on the inside must ensure that they steer their mount into the center of the course in order to retain a decent position on both courses at Sandown.
Races over the 1000 meters offer almost every horse a decent chance of success. There are long runs until the first turn, allowing competitors to take up their preferred position. Stalls 13 and 14 are occasionally at a disadvantage over this distance.
Over the 1200 meters, it can pay to favor the inside draw. There are just 300 meters until the first couple of turns, and this doesn’t give wide runners too much of an opportunity to get into position. Wide runners (12 and above) tend to be a disadvantage over this trip.
Over the 1400 meters, there is a slightly longer run-In, and although outside draws are still at a slight disadvantage, gaining an early position isn’t quite as pivotal. The same applies for races held over 1600 meters.
2,100-meter races usually have the most congestion. Once again, there is little time to get into position, and therefore horses drawn eight or above tend to struggle over this distance. Don’t be surprised to see wide runners struggling for room.
Races over the maximum distance of 2,400 meters do not have any notable bias.
Sandown Racing Season
Undoubtedly, the Sandown Guineas is one of the highlights of the racing calendar, and it takes place each November. With prize money of $250,000, it always attracts a quality field. It is held over 1,600 meters and is open to the three-year-olds and above.
Other key races at the track (all held in November) include:
Zipping Classic, Eclipse Stakes, Sandown Stakes, Summoned Stakes and the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
Sandown Racetrack Address
591-659 Princes Hwy, Springvale VIC 3171, Australia
Sandown Best Jockeys and Trainers
Sandown attracts some of the country’s top jockeys, and they regularly ride on both tracks.
There are a number of trainers who are based locally in Melbourne and regularly send their runners to the track. Many of them tend to post impressive numbers.