A Black Magic Opal win would see him placed just outside the top 10 stakes winning greyhounds, while Peter Rocket could instantly become the second highest prize money earning Australian greyhound in history; second only to the mighty Miata.
Bookmakers and learned judges have Black Magic Opal odds on to lead from box 2 and romp to victory, despite almost being run down by Gold Town last week in the heats.
However the prospect of a lightning fast track tonight will help his cause to end the shocking run of favourites in the Melbourne Cup in recent times. 2010 Melbourne Cup winner El Grand Señor is the only greyhound in recent times to have won the race as favourite.
Comments: Flew out of the six alley last week to blitz the field in best of the night figures. Short-priced favourite to give his trainer a second consecutive Melbourne Cup, however can be steady at the finish.
Comments: Will need plenty of luck from this draw. Very capable greyhound who looked good last week running down Xylia Allen in the second slowest of the heats. Hard to see him leading or running anything down in this, but is generally thereabouts. Trifecta hopes only.
Comments: Ran right up to his best last week from box 6 to run down early leader What A Good Size. A good chance of pushing forward early from this draw and getting the sit 2nd or 3rd through the first corner. Good enough to place but would need trouble in running to others to win this.
Comments: Written off by most after the box draw, but not not without hopes from out here in box 6. Has a good record from the drawn and likely to get cover from Hawk Alone early to push across. Likes the middle of the track so should get through the first corner okay and is in career best form.
Comments: Every possible chance last week leading all the way in the slowest of the heats. Very fast early and may be nuisance value for those boxed inside. Excellent Sandown record but cannot run the times needed to win. Great effort to make the final and definitely on a form upswing but not fast enough to win this from out here in box 7.
Comments: Did run 29.18 from box 6 here on a “suped up” track 2 months ago and did everything right last week from box 3. Has a terrific Sandown record but hard to see her improving on that record from the outside here where she doesn’t have enough speed to cross the others, but has just enough to make a line of 4 or 5 in to the first corner. Can’t see her getting a clean run.
Best Sandown Times
It is nearly impossible not see Black Magic Opal leading from the draw, but he has been prone to the odd miscue and stumble at the start of his races, as seen two starts back at Warrnambool. There is no doubting he is one of the fastest greyhounds in training to the first and second sectional marks, but there is no way he can come from behind and win this – there is just too much equal pace around him and he’ll get buried without a trademark brilliant start.
Black Magic Opal did look a little weak in the run to the line last week at his first 500m run for some time, and on a heavier track. He should start fitter this week, and the track is almost guaranteed to be lightning fast, which will make his job easier this week.
Black Magic Opal should lead and win.
If for any reason, Black Magic Opal does not lead, look for Peter Rocket to carve over and take up the running.
Shifty Sticka, who has never missed a place; should finish in the first three regardless how the race plays out, but will need luck to claim the win.