The Group 1 Gold 1242 2013 Sale Cup heats will be run on Wednesday night over the tough 650 metre trip. A number of noted stayers have been drawn amongst the six heats. The final will be run on Boxing Day where $75,000 will be awarded to the winner.
Heat One (Race 3 at 7:34pm)
Recent Horsham track record breaker Phenomenal lines up in the first heat out of box three. Since stepping beyond the 520 metre distance, Phenomenal has won a 595 metre event at Sandown followed by his record breaking run over 570 metres at Horsham. Clearly, he should have no trouble with the distance and all eyes will be on the clock if he steps cleanly and leads, which he has been able to do his last three runs. This is his first start at the track, but he is in the hands of the astute Jason Thompson so there will be no concerns about his preparation for this race. Born Ali in box seven has been racing in good form of late with three wins and a second from her last four starts over longer distance trips. Her box history suggests she may be better drawn inside but she is certainly strong enough to put herself in contention for a place. Cintiarna has a good record from box eight and is a very consistent bitch. She has had one start at Sale for a third placing, so she has the benefit of experience at the track. Last start Sale winner over the Cup distance, Newfire Riley, will jump from the suitable box two. He ran an average 37.64 time last week and spaces his wins, so he will be a place chance at best.
Heat Two (Race 4 at 7:49pm)
Bold Trease winner Cheetah Zorro appears from box seven in the second heat. She failed last start at The Meadows in a disappointing run over 725 metres, but she has been freshened for this run. Her latest form suggests she needs to be near the lead to win, so the early stages of the race will be telling. Amity Flame looks to be one of the main dangers in the race. The black dog will be jumping from box eight. Interestingly, he hasn’t won from that box, but he has won at Sale over the distance in 37.70 from box six. He is a last start winner at The Meadows over the staying trip in 42.40 and has won four of his last eight. Noaki Spitfire may give some cheek early from box three. At his only start at Sale in early December he ran fourth to Newfire Riley over the 650 metre distance. His best recent form is over the 595 metre trip at Sandown and he hasn’t won over a distance greater than 600 metres. Destini Gold had indifferent form before her last start win here at Sale over the Cup distance. She recorded a time of 37.61 at big odds of $43.00 from box six, the same box she has drawn in this heat.
Heat Three (Race 6 at 8:29pm)
Dyna Nalin makes the trip over from Western Australia to take his place in box three in heat three. The 2013 Topgun winner has recently stepped up to the longer trip, with two runs over the 642 metres at Cannington. He has run second both times so it will be interesting to see if the talented chaser can be competitive over the 650 metres at Sale. Tasmanian chaser Happy Tiger has box five for this heat and arrives in Victoria with three wins from his last three starts at distances of 600 metres or greater down in the Apple Isle. The draw hasn’t been kind to the black dog by Mogambo-Jacinta Bale, as he has only won once from the draw. The form of Czar, in box four, hasn’t been great. His last win was back in October at Horsham. Historically, he has good form at Sale, winning once and placing once from two starts. His record from box four isn’t too bad so he is worthy of consideration for a place. Gold Affair Two looks the likely leader from box one. She failed at her only start here at Sale last week but had the unsuitable box five.
Heat Four (Race 8 at 9:09pm)
Destini Fireball loves Sale, winning the both times he has started at the track and distance. He was a placegetter in the recent Bold Trease final and is well boxed inside. The main concern for the 45 month old chaser is that he has not won a race since July 2013. Lektra Grey hasn’t been racing too badly in the last month, recording two wins from his last four starts. He is a strong run on dog, so if he can get some luck early, which will be needed from box five, expect him to feature. Rock Domination will enjoy his good draw from box two, from which he has won six races. He should be able to overcome the moderate beginner Mimicking in box one to get prime spot on the rail. The test will be whether he runs out the 650 metres strongly. New South Wales chaser Zipping Milo will jump from box four for Jason Mackay. The Mantra Lad-Or Catra dog is the least experienced chaser in the field, but has won 13 from 25 and won three times over the 600 metre trip at The Gardens and Richmond, all in best of night. He is bred to be strong and goes good early so he is definitely in contention.
Heat Five (Race 9 at 9:28pm)
Flying Wentworth Park 720 metre Summer Cup winner Dyna Willow appears from box seven in heat five after a failed run in the Laurels over the sprint trip. Her two runs in the Summer Cup series were brilliant, recording a slick 41.92 at Wentworth Park in both the heat and final. In the Summer Cup she demonstrated that she didn’t have to lead to win. It’s her first start at Sale and she is one of the class runners in the field. Alpe D’Huez has drawn beautifully in box one and has a balanced record at Sale over this distance, starting four times for one win and three placings and a best of 37.52. He has won his last two on the trot and can add another win here. Maddison Dee has strong credentials over the longer trips and isn’t drawn too badly in box three. She won at Bendigo two runs back over 660 metres and has run third at her only start at Sale.
Heat Six (Race 10 at 9:49pm)
Didda Joe has drawn well in box eight, with a great record of six wins from the box. He was a recent winner at Sandown over the 595 metre distance at big odds of $20.00. He strikes staying star Lucy Wires in box six. The American bred bitch has been a revelation over the staying trip, winning the Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park back in October and following that up with a narrow second in the Bold Trease. Her run homes are remarkable, but she does tend to strike trouble early in her races. If she can steer clear of that, she should be winning this. Jethro loves box two and will exit that box in this heat. He has not placed in his last three starts, but can never be discounted based on his talent. The lightly raced three year old Gambo Girl hasn’t started since her second placing here at Sale on 24 November. She has had three wins and two seconds from her last six stars and will race fresh for this.
The heats offer up the prospect of a tantalising final with the chance that Phenomenal, Lucy Wires and Dyna Willow could all feature.