IT promised a lot but delivered even more; racing at Sandown Park last night, where we witnessed eight heats of the Melbourne Cup and four heats of the Bold Trease, both Group 1 events.
The night had it all, and for those patrons lucky enough to be trackside to witness all the action, they certainly got their monies worth.
The first shock of the night occurred in heat one of the Bold Trease, when premier New South Wales stayer Stanley Road struggled into third place after never looking comfortable in the run in the heat won by tearaway leader Untapped, who was making her distance debut. She had established a huge lead by mid race, thanks a record breaking first split of 5.93, and it was obvious a long way out that Stanley Road was going to struggle to finish one or two in order to qualify for the final. Line Of Quality took full advantage of a first corner scrimmage, which took care of the two favourite runners, to take out the second heat in fine style in 41.72, railing into second place with a lap to run and from there was always going to be the dog to beat. Recent winner of the Group 1 Hume Cup at The Meadows, Knicks Bale railed the ears off her opposition in taking out heat 3 in 42.13 from the consistent Kenny The Brute, with favourite Hank The Hustler never looking a winning chance. In the final heat, Mepunga Ruby was very strong late to run down early leader Gypsy Wong, in a fast 41.63, this being the fastest of the four heats. An interesting final awaits next Friday night.
Heat one of the Melbourne Cup produced the biggest drama of the night, when short priced favourite Koblenz, after leading everywhere but the last bound, crossed line together with Jepara, and they could not be separated by the judge and a dead heat was declared, a first in Melbourne Cup history. This result immediately would add more drama to the rest of the nights racing, as it meant that the slowest of the remaining seven heat winners, would now miss a place in the final.
Heat two saw the star WA greyhound Tommy Shelby, resuming from a four month break, never in the race after a slow start, with the heat being taken out by the outsider Tiberia Bale for the Dailly Kennel. Typhoon Sammy showed great mid race pace, and then great heart, to hold on in a close finish to heat three, in what proved to be the slowest of the heats, 29.648. Pre post favourite for the final, Aston Rupee, overcome a chequered passage mid race to swoop late in recording a wonderful win in heat four in 29.471, well outside his track record time. But the manner in which he won was simply breathtaking, a very fast and intelligent dog.
The Correy Grenfell trained Kinson Bale flew the boxes in heat five, to establish a race winning break by half way, defeating the odds on favourite Do It, who was gallant in defeat. Another odds on favourite went under in heat six, when Weblec Blazer, backed by $4 in opening markets to $1.80, never got into the race at any stage, with the winner Aussie Secret leading from go to whoa in 29.566. Box one was used to full advantage by Lakeview Walter in the seventh heat, to be another winner leading throughout in a fast 29.257. However, it was left to the last heat winner, Lala Kiwi, to take time honours for the heats, with an all the way victory in 29.244, to give the Dailly Kennel two finalists in the cup next week.
What a night of racing it was, now we must wait until Sunday for the all-important box draw, before next Friday at Sandown Park is where it will all happen, can hardly wait, but first let us find the punters some winners tonight.
Geelong Race 4 No 1 Kinlock Blazer $1.65 at PlayUp
Strong winner at Horsham two starts back, before finishing a very nice third here last week from a wide box. Ideally suited from this inside box, should find the lead early and prove too strong for his opposition.
Wentworth Park Race 6 No 8 Good Odds Cash $2.10 at PlayUp
Super little chaser who never gives up. We really like her drawn wide in this field, thinking she can cross and lead by the first corner. Once in front she can run some serious times. Looks a special and we have marked her the best bet of the night and your banker for all multi bets tonight.
Wentworth Park Race 7 No 3 Ice Cream Story $5.50 at PlayUp
Dropping back from 600 metres, where she was sensational on Thursday in running second at Dapto in the final of the Middle Distance Championship, and taking on the star Zipping Kyrgios, we still think she is a great each way bet in this race. Finds the line hard, cannot see her missing a place.
The Meadows Race 11 No 6 Flying Lantern $3.20 at PlayUp
So much talent but can do a bit wrong in his races. This field is not strong and he does look to have a lot on his opposition in ability. Fingers crossed he can avoid early trouble as he is super strong at the finish.