Theworld’srichest staying race, the Group One Sandown Cup, is the feature of racing at Sandown Park on Thursday evening. No less than $175,000 awaits the connections of the first dog past the post in the event raced over the lung-busting 715 metre journey.
Exciting bitch Sweet It Is will start an odds-on favourite for the event, with her come-from-behind style a big draw card amongst fans.
The team of Jeff Britton and Angela Langton will provide three runners for the race (Supersonic Hawk, Tarks Nemesis and Mepunga Tiara). Know Class for James Shaw, is also trained out of their Anakie kennel and looks to become the first New Zealander to win the event since Raurimu in 1984.
Here are the runners in detail with comments from their connections on the hopes of their dogs;
Comments: Angela Langton (Co-Trainer) –“It was his first seven-hundred last week and I thought he done a super job for his first go at the distance, hopefully he will improve being his second go. If he gets the opportunity he is also capable of leading.”
Comments:Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “He obviously likes to use a bit of the track and that’s where it is going to be important early. He will probably want to be off the track by the first turn so if he stays out of trouble there, then he is going to be right in the race, if not then he is probably going to struggle a little bit.”
Comments: Angela Langton (Trainer) – “She has hit a bit of a purple patch and has a bit of confidence, the track was really heavy last week so she did a really good job to kick on and run the other dog down. I think she can lead but she will probably have to if she is to have any chance of winning, I don’t think she can come from behind and run down most of these dogs.”
Comments:James Shaw (Trainer) – “He seems to know where the line is but that is what you get when you come from behind all the time I guess. The box isn’t great but I am happy he is in there. Any box from one to eight is good. I think the only way he can improve from his last two runs is by beginning a little bit better. This is his third run so maybe he can go a little bit quicker but I am just happy he is in there.”
Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “She needs that clear run. The problem has been that she is beginning a little bit better for me and that means she is finding trouble. I was kind of hoping for an inside box so that if she does come out a little but better she can get a clearer run to the first turn without getting knocked over, because if they get knocked over too many times they tend to want to give it up after a while. Being a bitch you don’t really want her to be knocked around too much.”
Comments: Angela Langton (Co-Trainer) – “She is another quick beginner, she does have to overcome the outside but she has a slow beginner drawn inside her and at least our three quick beginners are separated in terms of the box draw. So many times they draw next to each other and tend to muck each other up.”
Comments: Would only be a place chance at best if gaining a start.
Best Sandown Park Times
The obvious key to the race is whether or not Sweet It Is (7) can obtain a relatively clean run in transit. If she does, it should be a matter of how far she wins by.
The Langton/Britton trio of Supersonic Hawk (1), Tarks Nemesis (4) and Mepunga Tiara (8) look to have the pace in the race.
Zipping Joe (3) could improve very sharply should he be left alone in the run to the post the first time, while Break O’Day (2) was caught up in a bumping duel last week and could be a lot better with a clear shot at them in this one.