In-form O’Sullivan pair chase Sandown wins

Dan O’Sullivan after winning the Hygain F&M BM70 Handicap at Bendigo Racecourse on March 06, 2018 in Bendigo, Australia. (Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos)

Trainer Dan O’Sullivan is looking forward to heading to the midweek city meeting at Sandown with two last-start Bendigo winners.

The Ballarat trainer has Near Queue running in the Ladbrokes Handicap (1700m) and Fine Embers going for a hat-trick of wins in the Dream Thoroughbreds Handicap (2400m) on Wednesday.

Near Queue was successful at her last start at Bendigo where, in a small field with the race run at a slow tempo, she powered her way home out wide to score an impressive win.

Wednesday’s meeting is on the Hillside course with a 600m-home straight which O’Sullivan says is ideal for the mare.

“When she first came to me she was on-pace and then at Werribee one day she looked terrific when she got back, got to the outside and really rattled,” O’Sullivan said.

“I don’t mind the Lakeside personally but the way she’s been racing lately the long Hillside straight will suit.

“It will give her the chance to balance up and finish off.

“She was so impressive last time and it shapes as a nice race for her again.”

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Near Queue has been in work for nine months and had 16 starts in that time which surprises O’Sullivan.

He described her as a “busy filly” who can be a bit of a headache for staff on race day.

But come race time she puts it altogether.

“There will be a day when she puts in a shocker but there’s no reason why tomorrow should be it,” he said.

“She’s seems to burn a lot of energy, but it doesn’t seem to worry her.”

Fine Embers is coming off successive wins in benchmark 58 company at Warrnambool and Bendigo and rises to a benchmark 78 race in the city.

But O’Sullivan said the gelding invariably held form.

“It seemed the most suitable race around for him,” O’Sullivan said.

“It’s a much tougher assignment, but he’s in very good form and it’s worth having a shot at.”