Jason Thompson will launch an eight dog assault on the Schweppes Melbourne Cup heats at Sandown Park this Thursday night.
Thompson won the Melbourne Cup with Light Of Fire in 1994, however his talented kennel stars will need to overcome some awkward box draws if he is to repeat that success.
El Galo, the Group 1 Topgun winner and subject of last week’s positive swab has drawn box 6, as did Queenslander Yikes, while last start Group 1 Vic Peters Memorial winner Nitro Burst, Proven Polly and Proven Alias have each drawn box 5 in their respective heats. He had more luck with Group 2 Shepparton Cup winner Hanify’s Impact drawing box 2, while the exciting Fedex and Wanalta Chief each drew box 3 in their heats.
Other leading contenders include last week’s Group 3 Shootout winner Mantra Lad who will jump from box 1 in the final heat of Australia’s most sought after greyhound title, Group 1 winners Que Sera Sera, Made To Size, One Tree Hill, Borat and Hybrid Theory, and Queen Lauryn who will be out to deny Miss Mini Mouse an unprecedented third Melbourne Cup final
The Schweppes Melbourne Cup heats night has no peer on the national greyhound racing calendar. The 64 greyhounds drawn to compete in the heats of the Group 1 Schweppes Melbourne Cup have combined for over $4.3 million in career prizemoney and features 10 individual Group 1 winners and 22 Group race winners combining for 33 Group race titles.
The 2008 Schweppes Melbourne Cup is the 53rd running of Australia’s blue ribband event and is the richest ever, with $250,000 in prizemoney on offer.
Australia’s best stayers will also compete for the right to contest the final of the $36,000 Group 2 Bold Trease Carnival Cup.
Group 1 Sandown Cup winner Chinatown Lad resumes from a brief injury lay off, and will be joined by kennel mate and three time Group 2 winner (and twice Group 1 runner up) Fallen Zorro.
Robert Britton’s pair Kulu Spirit and Gunnadoo Magic will be out to turn the tables on the star Tasmanians, while Lilley Criminal returns from New South Wales having claimed two Group race titles across the border.
Only the winner of each Schweppes Melbourne Cup heat will progress to the final to be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 27 November. The boxdraw for the final will be conducted at the Melbourne Cup ball on Saturday 22 November and will be available on www.sandowngreyhounds.com.au from 10.30pm. A replay of each final will also be available online from Friday morning.
Sandown is offering TAB account holders free entry to the Melbourne Cup heats and final. Simply present your TAB account card at the gate for free entry to Australia’s most prestigious greyhound racing carnival.
Gates open at 6.00pm with the first race to be run at 7.07pm.