Preview: Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup Heats

FORM PREVIEW: Tonight Sandown Park plays hosts to eight stunning heats of the $435,000-to-the-winner Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup.

Adam Dobbin

20 November 2020

TONIGHT Sandown Park plays hosts to eight stunning heats of the Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup.

It’s arguably greyhound racing’s greatest night of racing with the country’s best 64 greyhounds vying for a coveted place in next week’s $435,000-to-the-winner finale.

SANDOWN PARK FIELDS & FORM

Also to be decided tonight is three heats of the Group 1 Bold Trease for the stayers – making for a champagne card of racing action.

So buckle in for a great night of racing out of Sandown Park where the sport’s best chasers strut their stuff in a bid for Melbourne Cup supremacy.

Race 1

Opening Bold Trease heat where TORNADO TEARS (1) steps out from box one as an odds on favourite. He’s the one to beat but I can’t come at the short quote. GOOD JUAN (6) is a firm second favourite but the question with him is which dog turns up> If he produces his best, he’ll win. SIR TRUCULANT (2) is the interesting runner – in SA he’s noted for getting back and storming home while in Victoria generally leads a merry dance. Happy to lean his way at the better value tonight.

TIPS: 2,1,6,3

Race 2

Epic staying clash here between stars on the rise HOUDINI BOY (5) and CAWBOURNE FOOTROT (6) up against group 1 winner HERE’S TEARS (7). Keen to stick with Here’s Tears which is the track record holder at the track – $4.40 represents good value and he’s boxed to get a saloon run early. No knock at all on Houdini Boy or Cawbourne Footrot which couldn’t have been more impressive at his Vic debut last week scoring over the 595m in slick time.

TIPS: 7,5,6,8

Race 3

Impossible to go past SHIMA SHINE (3) – looks poised to progress through to the big dance with a minimum of fuss. Strikes one of the easier heats and has a decided class edge on his rivals. If ZAMBORA SMOKEY (2) recaptured his form from earlier in the year he’d be right in the hunt but his efforts lately have been well below par. Group 1 winner PLAYLIST (8) is terribly boxed out in eight but he’s capable of getting home into the placings. He’s nice and short but Shima Shine does look like the winner.

TIPS: 3,2,8,5

Race 4

Betting tells the story here with $3.60 the field for heat two of the Cup. Wide open race where it wouldn’t overly surprise to see any of the eight win. Going with the well boxed ASTON SILK (2) for trainer Jason Thompson. Loved her recent efforts. Can’t dismiss recent G1 winner LAST HURRAH (4) he’s a warrior but just think he’s better served over the middle distance these days. JIM ZARR DASHIAN (7) is the smoky. He’s capable of running blinding times and with any luck early can figure in the finish. It’s that kind of race.

TIPS: 2,7,1,8

Race 5

We see Million Dollar Chase winner HANDSOME PRINCE (2) step out here. Ran a slashing 29.13 in a trial at Sandown last week confirming he’s on song for tonight’s assignment. Well boxed in two where he either leads or trails likely leader AUSSIE SECRET (1). Some hugely talented types drawn out wide with the job ahead. JAX BALE (6) returned to form with a smart 30.21 win last Thursday – isn’t badly drawn and has proven himself at this level before.

TIPS: 2,6,1,7

Race 6

TIGGERLONG TONK (4) cemented his Melbourne Cup claims with a resounding 29.03 Shootout win last week. Proven big time performer that adores Sandown and if he repeats last week’s effort the $2 looks more than reasonable. IMMUNITY (7) is a young star on the rise which can run blinding times but she’s desperate for the inside – happy to risk. Give SOVEREIGN WIND (8) a good each-way chance at odds – with all the pace rushing across can position handy.

TIPS: 4,8,2,7

Race 7

SIMON TOLD HELEN (4) is getting out to very backable odds with as much as $2.4 on the offing currently. That’s because he’s drawn box four with plenty of speed around him. Granted it is cause for concern but he’s a bulldog in his races and expect him to charge to the front. FAITHY BALE (6) is great odds at $10 – underrated bitch with fantastic claims. Look for ZIPPING BRAM (8) to be flooding home. If there’s trouble up front he’s the one that will finishing over the top – huge motor.

TIPS: 4,6,8,2

Race 8

The big question here is how TOMMY SHELBY (3) has come out of his rough and tumble effort at The Meadows on Saturday. Market hasn’t reacted favourably, he’s been on the drift all week while the money keeps coming for ZIPPING ZEEK (1). Rounding out the main chances is CATCH THE THIEF (6). His form has tapered off a bit but worth remembering he’s had five starts at Sandown for four wins and a second. I’m staying with Tommy Shelby – you take last week’s blip out then he’d be starting a lot shorter.

TIPS: 3,1,6,2

Race 9

Best bet of the night here in HARD STYLE RICO (8). Draws a suitable heat and he’s ideally boxed in box eight. Unbeaten in three starts wearing the pink and two starts back at The Meadows crossed from seven beating Simon Told Helen and Dr. Tucker to the punch. Fairly handy credentials! XERRI (6) is loaded with ability but still very raw and box six is a big hang up – STARDOM (4) not without claims either. Hugely talented and nearing another win.

TIPS: 8,6,4,1

Race 10

Final cup heat and the wings dominate betting – and rightly so. I’m sticking with young gun DR. TUCKER (8) to overcome the eight draw and progress to next week’s big dance. Races with little self preservation, he’s just a bull of a chaser which is exactly what you need to do mixing it with the big boys. MUSIC EVENT (1) has met every challenge trainer Mick Carter has thrown his way and he’s the danger. CHRISTO BALE (3) will be getting home in trademark fashion. Look for him late.

TIPS: 8,1,3,4

Race 11

SUNSET BOURBSKI (5) looking to emulate her mum Bourbski Fever which won this race a few years back. Her last few efforts have been slightly below what we’ve come to expect but I like this race maps well for her tonight. Expect MANILA KNIGHT (8) leads up to this trip for the first time and if the yellow can get out after him mid race expecting her to finish too strong. JUST TERMS (2) grand group 1 winning bitch – she’ll be in and around the money as always.

TIPS: 5,8,2,1

Race 12

Pretty keen on LOTS OF CHATTER (4) to send us home a winner in the last. Racing in great fashion as evidenced with his slick 29.81 Meadows win a few back. Has the speed to lead and get away with this. KIPLING (8) is the other key chance of finding the top but would be better drawn closer to the fence. KEEPER OF KEYS (3) can get into the finish although he can be hard to catch these days. Look for him to be strong to the line.

TIPS: 4,3,8,5  

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BEST BET: RACE 9 NUMBER 8 HARD STYLE RICO

BEST VALUE: RACE 11 NUMBER 5 SUNSET BOURBSKI

QUADDIE: 2,6 – 1,2,4,8 – 4,6,8 – 1,3,8