The heats of the Melbourne Cup have been run and won and the final this Friday night at Sandown Park is indeed a star studded field with a number of G1 winners competing as well as the hottest young dog in Australia, Black Opium making the final field. The box draw has made the race even more intriguing with the favoured runners,both from the Thompson kennel drawing awkwardly in boxes 5 and 6 respectively. My Redeemer has come right into calculations after coming up with the cherished red box. She’s Gifted has also drawn well in box 2 and she may well be the early leader. Black Opium has now won 7 from 7 and was the quickest heat winner last week in 29.21. She exploded from the boxes running 5.01 to the winning post and if she can replicate that she will be right up on the speed. Poke The Bear is an absolute monster who continues to have zero luck with the box draw. From box 6 will need plenty of luck but this dog is so strong and has amazing track sense. If he can get around the 1st turn in the first half of the field he will be storming home. The race doesn’t stop there with West On Augie, the reigning national sprint champion out in box 8. He is a renowned quick beginner but I would have preferred to have seen him drawn closer to the fence.
Neo Cleo (Sandown Park Race 7, No. 4)
Neo Cleo will jump straight on the lure here and should lead easily. The race is devoid of any other speed and she is a reliable beginner. Has a scintillating PB of 33.94 and loves the Sandown circuit.Has been racing in better company than this and should set up a big lead down the back and prove too strong. Myrniong Corner will be storming late and looks an ideal quinella selection.
Recommended Price: $3.10
Barcali (Sandown Park Race 8, No. 3)
Barcali has an affinity with this track and has been competitive here against the likes of Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam. He was a dominant heat winner here last week and was very strong to the line. This is certainly not the strongest G1 final and there only looks to be one danger in Poco Dorado.She was a tad fortunate last week but is well suited to an outside draw. There is not an abundance of early speed here and Barcali will sit on the speed and should add to his impressive record at this track and distance.
Recommended Price: $2.60
Dyna Zesty (Sandown Park Race 9, No. 4)
Can see Dyna Zesty finding the lead early here. Will be plenty of trouble at box rise here with Big Bang Tears from the red box looking to get off the fence early which will cause carnage. Dyna Zesty loves the rail and is capable of running quick time. Has a liking for this track and distance and appeals as a great each way bet. She is very well suited by the box draw. Her PB of 34.15 should put her right in the finish.
Recommended Price: $7.00