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Daily Mail: McKenna favourite in family feud

Middle distance superstar Christo Bale’s bid for back-to-back victories in the $40,000 to-the-winner G2 McKenna Memorial (595m) headlines a sensational night’s racing at Sandown Park on Thursday.

In what could develop into a family feud, six-time G1 finalist Christo Bale (27 from 64 – 33.86sec PB) will clash with his half-brother, kennelmate and fastest heat winner Jarick Bale (3 from 3 Trk/Dst – 33.81sec PB).

Adding huge interest to the card is the city debut of G2 Ballarat and Shepparton Cup winner Ferdinand Boy (23 from 41 – Sheppparton 385m and 450m TR holder) but he’ll need to bring his ‘A’ game against the brilliant Aston Rupee (9 from 16 – 29.06sec PB).

Another mouth-watering duel will pit G1 Sapphire Crown heroine Qwara Bale (5 from 5 Trk/Dst – 5 from 5 Box 2) against Catch The Thief (5 from 8 Trk/Dst – 29.21sec PB).

In other highlights, Pink Diamond Rookie Distance winner Mepunga Ruby (6 from 10) is chasing her fifth straight win at her 715m debut, while in-form Collinda Beast (7 from 16) returns to the big smoke in the last.

Earlier in the day, Big Fonzie (2 from 4), a half-brother to G1 performers Fernando Cazz and Fernando Bluey, is striving to continue the bright start to his career at Shepparton, while Masked Avenger (11 from 23) v Run And Carry (15 from 28) will battle for supremacy at Warrnambool.

Here’s an extensive analysis of tonight’s McKenna Memorial, and be sure to scroll down further for 💰 The Watchdog’s $10 spend

👀 MUST-WATCH RACE: $55K Group 2 McKenna Memorial Final


📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 7 📏 595m ⏱ 8:02pm

Form 👉

The Watchdog says 🎤: Great line-up and superstar CHRISTO BALE (2) will be looking to go back to back in this feature event. He appeared to be a little disappointing in his heat, but he did have to work hard in the middle stages and the eventual winner did carve out quick time, so I am willing to forgive that run and believe he will take a power of beating tonight. With SHADOW MIST (1) expected to scrape the paint and hold a prominent spot initially, ‘Christo’ should get a nice run through and be there to pounce as they go past the post the first time. JARICK BALE (8) is going to command plenty of respect after recording a breathtaking 33.81sec heat win last week, however he has drawn the car park tonight and, with his poor box manners, there is every chance he will be pushed wide at the bend, and he may lose too much ground. FERNANDO FRANK (4) and MEPUNGA WARRIOR (5) have not drawn that well, but if ‘Frank’ can step on terms they should come across together and either one could cause an upset. DRAKO BALE (3) is on the up and he was brilliant last week, however this is another step up and he may get crowded in the initial stages. It is a very intriguing affair and with a few hit or miss beginners, the run to the first turn is going to be crucial.

Selections:  2 – 1 – 4 – 5

📅 Thursday 8 July

💰 $2.50 Multi


📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 2 🔲 Box 1 📏 515m ⏱ 6:32pm
TAB fixed odds: $1.70 Win

Bundle Bet – 1,4,7
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 3 🔲 Boxes 1,4,7 📏 515m ⏱ 6:54pm
TAB fixed odds: $1.48 Win (one of the three selections to win)

Bundle Bet – 1,2,4,6,7
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 9 🔲 Boxes 1,2,4,6,7 📏 515m ⏱ 9:08pm
TAB fixed odds: $1.24 Win (any one of the five selections to win)

🦵: Bundle Bet – 3,6,7

📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 10 🔲 Boxes 3,6,7 📏 515m ⏱ 9:33pm
TAB fixed odds: $1.46 Win (any one of the three selections to win)

The Watchdog says
🎤 : SIR HARLEY (1) is a serious prospect and from the inside draw he should get every chance to score. TRENDING ROOKIE (1) was huge at The Meadows last time, but he gets back early, so we have thrown in a couple of on-speed runners in Race 3. Race 9 is incredibly open, and we have a mix of on-pace runners and back markers. SUBSTANTIAL (3) is a star prospect, whilst SIERRA FOXTROT (6) has been big in the past few weeks and must be respected. CALL ME CHLOE (7) has been included as she represented some value.

Multi price: $4.55

📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 4 🔲 Box 1 📏 595m ⏱ 7:19pm
TAB fixed odds: $5.50 Win

The Watchdog says 🎤 : GINTOKI BALE (1) is one of the most improved chasers in the state and after a luckless performance last week he is drawn to make amends tonight. From the red, he should be able to punch through and hold a top three spot as they head past the post the first time and, if he can settle in front of main danger, HE SHALL RODGER (7), I believe he will prove too strong in the run home.

💰 $2 Place – TIME FOR PEACE
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 5 🔲 Box 3 📏 515m ⏱ 7:40pm
TAB fixed odds: $2.60 Place

The Watchdog says 🎤 : He announced his arrival as a potential star with a blinding 29.69sec Meadows win in May and, with the abundance of early speed in this event, he should get a nice run through early and he will get his chance to figure in the finish at nice odds.

💰 $3.50 Quaddie – 2.43% (144 combinations)
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Races 5 – 8 ⏱ 7:40                            ***includes Must Watch Race***
Form 👉

🦵: 1,2,3

🦵 🦵: 1,2,4,5

🦵 🦵 🦵: 1,5

🦵 🦵 🦵 🦵: 1,2,4,5,7,8

The Watchdog says 🎤 : The first leg features a ridiculous amount of pace and I think ASTON RUPEE (7) may find some bother, so if the inside division can hold up at the bend, they can control the race. The McKenna Memorial has a few chances and hopefully we can land some value there. EMPRESS TEARS (1) and MEPUNGA RUBY (5) are expected to dominate the staying event, whilst the last leg is incredibly open, and we should have all bases covered there.


Wednesday 7 July: $8.40 (-16%)
Tuesday 6 July: $31.80 (+218%)
Monday 5 July: $11.65 (+17%)
Sunday 4 July: $25.55 (+156%)
Friday 2 July: $17.73 (+77%)
Thursday 1 July: $11 (+10%)
Wednesday 30 June: $12.75 (+28%)

Past 7 days: $118.88 for $70 invested (+70%)

Past 14 days: $179.78 for $140 invested (+28%)

Past 28 days: $380.07 for $280 (+36%)


June 2021: $324.38 for $300 (+8%)

NOTE: June was the first full-month of the new-look Daily Mail, in which The Watchdog has a $10 daily spend.

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