Dual Group 1 winner El Grand Senor confirmed his status as the nation’s superior sprinter with a dazzling performance in his heat of the $250,000 Group 1 Solo Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park tonight.
Sent to the boxes a $1.70 favourite, El Grand Senor stopped the clock at 5.05 seconds to the first mark before breaking his own second split record.
Despite getting a little tired in the run to the line, the leviathan 39kg chaser went to record a comprehensive four length win in 29.43 – the fastest time of the night.
And in an ominous sign for his rivals in next week’s final, owner/trainer Carolyn Jones believed he was a run short of his best, and expects her reigning Topgun champion to improve for this week’s final.
The impeccably bred Aston Galilee ($4.60), by 2003 Melbourne Cup winner Bombastic Shiraz and out of Group 1 winner Elite Oriental, won his sixth consecutive race at just his seventh race start when leading all the way to stop the clock in 29.66.
Rated by trainer Jason Thompson as potentially one of the best greyhounds he has ever put a lead on, Aston Galilee will be looking to become the least experienced greyhound to win the race in its 54 year history, ahead of Kantarn Bale who won the 1999 Cup at his tenth start.
Outa Credit ($14.70) gave Thompson a second runner as he seeks a second Solo Melbourne Cup success after winning his heat in 29.72.
Zambola Bale ($9.30) won her heat in 29.60 to give Graeme Bate a chance at a record fourth Solo Melbourne Cup success. Symmetry won his heat in impressive style in a fast 29.49 for Robert Britton, while Dyna Obelia ($13.40) won her heat in 29.83 for Andrea Dailly to give Geelong based trainers a three pronged assault on the nation’s most prestigious race.
Group 2 Traralgon Cup winner Dee Winter took full advantage of box one, winning the night’s opening heat in 29.46. It was a remarkable training feat by Heathcote trainer Ray Henness, with Dee Winter having his first race start since early August.
In the night’s other heat, Messi ($7.80) registered his fifth win in nine Sandown Park starts when stopping the clock in 29.62 to give trainer Pat Sofra his first feature race finalist.
The final for the $250,000 Group 1 Solo Melbourne Cup final will be run on Thursday 18 November. The boxdraw for next week’s final is available here : 2010 Melbourne Cup Final Boxdraw