HEATS of Australia's richest staying event, the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m), will be run and won on Thursday night featuring some of the finest distance greyhounds in the country.
The current favourite for the $175,000 to the winner series is Group 1 Zoom Top champ Burn One Down which resumed from a lengthy spell with a last to first win in last week's Group 3 The Racecallers (595m).
Five greyhounds are currently sitting on the second line of betting at $5.50 – Fanta Bale, Midnight Elsa, Dundee Calypso, Bogie Bekim and Trip To Eden.
The best of the rest is triple group 1 winner Dundee Osprey which will be aiming for his fourth win at the highest level when he contests heat one as a $13 selection to win the decider.
The first Sandown Cup heat is race three at Sandown Park this Thursday night and will jump at 7.52pm.
Sandown Cup heat one – 7.52pm
BOGIE BEKIM (4) is racing in sensational form and he rounded out his preparation for this series with a nice 29.57 trial here over the sprint last week. He should improve with a run at the track and he has struck a winnable heat on Thursday night. Box four isn't ideal, but he can handle the middle draw and if he runs up to his best form he should be taking out this event.
DUNDEE OSPREY (5) is a class act and he is a better dog than his recent form reads. He was a last start fifth in the Racecallers behind Burn One Down, however he had a few excuses on that occasion after a poor beginning from box seven.
OBI KENOBI (7) is a talented stayer and he ran a top race last week when finishing third in the Group 3 Lizrene (715m) behind Dundee Calypso
IT'S A PLANE (8) has a slick personal best over this track and trip and can run a nice race despite being drawn out wide.
Sandown Cup heat two – 8.37pm
FANTA BALE (1) was far from disgraced when runner up in last week's The Racecallers (595m). The daughter of David Bale and Ucme Typhoon is ideally drawn on the fence and should be able to muster pace and take the lead in the early stages. If she finds the front without having to do much work she should be good enough to hold on.
POLIJUICE POTION (7) is a great old bitch which notched up her 20th career win here last week. She should get room to move in the early stages and can run a cheeky race.
MIDNIGHT ELSA (4) clocked fast time at Sale last start over the 650m trip. Steps up to 700 for the first time on Thursday night but if she can run the trip out she is a genuine threat of causing an upset.
BARKING BAD (3) is a flying machine over the sprint trip. He is a query of running out the distance but he is worth chucking into the multiples.
Sandown Cup heat three – 9.16pm
BURN ONE DOWN (6) was sensational week when winning first up from a spell over the middle distance trip. He is as strong as a bull but will probably need the run – however he is still good enough to salute in this event.
DUNDEE CALYPSO (2) has won four in a row and she should get every chance to lead from the inside draw. If she can find the bunny she is capable of running around the 41.70 mark which is good enough to be thereabouts.
STARZA LIGHT (7) is having her first go over the track and trip but she is a quality stayer from NSW and will be right in the mix if she brings her best form.
AZURITE (3) is better than her form reads – one for the exotics if she runs up to her best.
Sandown Cup heat four – 9.40pm
TRIP TO EDEN (2) is the class stayer of this field and he can go one better than his most recent run when runner up behind Dundee Calypso. Will probably get back in the field but will be finishing off strongly and should be too good.
TEDDY MONELLI (6) led for a long way last week and should be better for the run. Probably not strong enough to hold out the backmarkers but will be in it for a long way.
EBBY RIPPER (8) never got in the race last week. She probably needs to lift a bit on her most recent runs, but she is a quality greyhound on her night.
MISS FOXY LEE (1) is racing in career best form and she is ideally drawn on Thursday night. She is another greyhound which will get tired in the closing stages but she is good enough to play her part.