You could almost mistake the listed Cup Night Stayers race at Sandown Park on Thursday night as the field for the Group One Sandown Cup final, which is held two races later. No less than three group race winners feature in the field and the winner receives a cool $15,000.
Box One – Cheetah Zorro (Robert Britton)
The 2013 Bold Trease winner has had two starts back into racing after having a long break off between February and May this year. Her last win came in February at The Meadows and she has finished fifth and fourth in her two runs back. Last week’s fourth was behind Know Class in a heat of the Sandown Cup. From three wins at the track the Bombastic Shiraz – Fallen Zorro (Lilli Pilli Lad – Chinatown Babe) bitch has recorded a best of 42.26. She needs to be near the lead to be any chance. The box may give her that opportunity but there are better chances in the race.
Box Two – Hala Belle (Peter Akathiotis)
Peter Akathiotis’ charge by Where’s Pedro – Aussie Belle (History Lesson – Aussie Belle) has made a number of Group finals this year and is often overlooked as a chance. She is an honest stayer who tries her hardest every run. When you look at her form she has been racing the likes of Hawk Alone, Xylia Allen and Sweet It Is. She has a best time of 41.82 from three wins at the track. She found trouble last week behind Tarks Nemesis in a heat of the Sandown Cup and can’t be ignored and is a good each-way chance.
Box Three – Born Ali (Robert Britton)
Born Ali won the Group One Galaxy earlier this year. Her last win came in March and since the she has been a little inconsistent with two placings and then a seventh and fifth in recent weeks. The seventh came in a heat of the Sapphire Crown, where she was dropped back to the 515 metre journey. Last week’s fifth was behind Tark’s Nemesis in a heat of the Sandown Cup. The black bitch by Velocette – Born Princess (Whisky Assassin – Born Lucky) has just the one win at Sandown over the 715 metre trip for 41.97. The box draw suits her so it will be interesting to see of she recapture some of her March form.
Box Four – Arejay Smokey (Lexie Iredale)
Arejay Smokey is a moderate beginner that is yet to record a win over the staying trip at Sandown. He had two consecutive wins over the 699 metres at Cranbourne last month, but the Collision – Galactic Diamond (Bombastic Shiraz – Ballistic Rose) dog is meeting a much harder class here. He faces a tough ask from box four.
Box Five – Xylia Allen (Jenny Hunt)
Multiple Group race winner Xylia Allen is the big query in the race. She’s obviously extremely talented, breaking a number of track records in recent runs. She missed out qualifying for the Sandown Cup last week, failing to get a clear run and finishing fourth behind Mepunga Tiara. The Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) hasn’t won over 715 metres at Sandown. If she gets a clear run early she could run away with the race, but there’s no guarantee that she is going to get a clear run this week. She is advantaged by having slow beginners either side so it remains to be seen what she will do this week.
Box Six – Infinite Wish (Angela Langton)
After 10 starts at the 715 metres at Sandown, multiple Group finalist Infinite Wish, a bitch by Premier Fantasy – Jean Jeannie (Surf Lorian – Flickering Lady), has only notched up one win in 42.27. Based on that, she is going to need some luck to feature.
Box Seven – Allen Deed (Andrea Dailly)
Allen Deed got to the lead last week in his heat of the Sandown Cup but faded to finish fourth behind Tarks Nemesis. It was his first run over the staying trip and the Jarvis Bale – Greta Bale (Where’s Pedro – Gold Rush Bale) dog should improve for the run. He has enough speed to ensure he is amongst the front-runners early and should be kept under consideration.
Box Eight – Heaps Of Ability (Carl Schlensog)
This youngster by Bekim Bale – Queen Bluebird (Bombastic Shiraz – Winsome Bluebird) has just turned two years old and has only faced the starter 16 times. He is a promising stayer in the making with a fast personal best of 41.69. He has won from the wide box previously and could very well be the knock-out dog in the race.
This listed race is Race 6 on the card and jumps at 8:52pm.