Victorian trio clear favourites for 2016 Group 1 Melbourne Cup

DESPITE going win-less in its past four starts, Victorian star Zambora Brockie remains the favourite to take out the world’s richest greyhound race, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup, at Sandown Park on November 18.

Trained by Anthony Azzopardi, the black speed machine won nine in a row between May and August, including stunning triumphs in the Group 1 Winter Cup, the Group 2 Horsham Cup and the Victorian Sprint Championship.

A lack of wins since that hot form is a worry, but it has been up against tough company and still run well in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship (2nd), the Speed Star (3rd), a heat of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup (3rd), as well as the invitation-only Group 1 Topgun (6th) at The Meadows last Saturday night.

The team at Sportsbet believe he can bounce back in the biggest race on the Australian calendar, installing him as the $13 favourite to win the $420,000 to the winner title.

On the second line of betting are sensational back-markers Worm Burner and Dundee Osprey at $15 each.

Worm Burner is the best sprinter South Australia has produced in recent years, having defeated Zambora Brockie in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship at Angle Park back in August.

On that occasion the brindle dog exploded from the boxes and gave his rivals windburn, scorching to the line to record a five and three quarter lengths triumph in 29.17.

Since then he has won four of his eight starts, also finishing second in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup, and most recently finishing down the track in the Group 1 Topgun.

The winner of the Topgun was none other than Dundee Osprey, a heavyweight son of Fabregas and Dundee Rose.

The black powerhouse is a two-time group 1 winner and has a sensational record at Sandown, the home of the Melbourne Cup, having won six of his 12 starts over the track and trip, the best in a scintillating 29.11 and the slowest in a fast 29.31.

Sportsbet freebets

For value, we have a few suggestions for punters looking to spot the early Cup winner:

Unlawful Entry at $26 with Sportsbet

The son of Knocka Norris and She Ain’t Late resumed from a two-month spell in the Topgun last start, finishing fifth.

Prior to that he had been racing well in FFA and group events around Victoria. An important fact to note is that he is the track record holder at Sandown, clocking an airborne 29.95 earlier this year.

Pantera Nera at $26 with Sportsbet

Far from disgraced when finishing third in the Topgun last start. The Gavin Burke-trained dog is a model of consistency and a flawless beginner – something which will put him in good stead for a series such as this.

Knight Sprite at $201 with Sportsbet

He is a NSW sprinter so may not even tackle this series, but he is one of his state’s best and could pinch a break if he happened to draw well. As the big odds suggest, he would need a lot of luck to topple some of the nation’s best, but we still think he is overs.

Group 1 Melbourne Cup – market

Zambora Brockie $13
Worm Burner $15
Dundee Osprey $15
Barton Bale $17
Weekend Binge $17
Demon Bale $21
Fanta Bale $21
Vancouver Star $21
Unlawful Entry $26
Pantera Nera $26
Jesaulenko $26
Ando’s Mac $26 with Sportsbet
Aston Bolero $26
Invictus Rapid $26
Pop The Cork $26
Outside Pass $31
Yanong $31
Allen Terminator $31
Blazin’ Bomber $31
Ultimate Magic $31
Cash In Motion $31
Felton Bale $31
Dalgetty $31
Shima Song $34
Buck Forty $34
Hit The Highway $34
Asa Flying Spur $34
Thirty Talks $41
Fabregal $41
Slick Ice $41
France Soir $41
Shared Equity $41
Ritza Lenny $41
Benteke $41
Aqua Cheetah $41
Aeroplane Tommy $41
Moreira $41
Diego Bale $51
One For Me $51
Ima Wagtail $51
Split Image $51
Sleek Master $51
Single Sticka $51
Thrilling Boris $51
Reckoning $51
Jack Walker $61
Burn One Down $61
Teddy Monelli $61
Fire Blaze $61
Both Sides Now $61
Aeroplane Bob $71
Marley Bale $71
Maja Mahi Mahi $71
Reefton Treasure $71
Ramifications $71
Sassy Ginger $71
Black Driftwood $71
My Silver Chisel $81
Folio Bale $81
Segovia $81
Nymeria $81
Keune $81
Bearville Azza $81
Dundee Fury $81
Tiggerlong Await $81
Asa Killa Queen $101
Reviewer $101
Paua To Avoid $101
Lyka Allen $101
Magic Spring $101
Major Jackpot $101
Marbo’s Magic $101
Fantastic Skye $101
Shell Shocked $101
Midwinter $101
Eisenhower $101
Duna Runa $101
Cosmic Owl $101
Blue Revolver $101
Black Bear Lee $101
Narralee $101
Brad Hill Billy $101
To The Galo’s $101
Pure Titanium $151
Barking Bad $151
Milly Keeping $151
Nangar Flame $151
Snakebite Bale $151
Sheza Keen Size $151
Pedro Cerrano $201
Mitcharlie Mia $201
Knight Sprite $201
Harlon $201
Fabulous Bill $201
Tilly’s Boy $251
Star Torana $251
Gilberto $301
Megsie Marble $301