Irma Bale will take on a hot field in Melbourne Cup heats at Sandown. Image courtesy of geelongadvertiser.com.au
If last Friday night’s Sandown Shootout is any indication, then greyhound racing fans are in for a treat when the best flyers in the country line up across eight heats for the right to contest the final of the sport’s richest event in the world, the Melbourne Cup.
Proven Nitro , who lines up in Heat 6
(MG8), lived up to his name when he scorched across the line in a time of 29.14 seconds. His mark was just 0.01 seconds outside Bekim Bale’s race record set in 2011, and the equal fourth fastest time over the 515 metres at Sandown Park. His win came just five days after taking out the Group 1 Vic Peters Classic in Sydney. He should progress smoothly through his heat with Roy Galo the best of the rest.
Proven Nitro didn’t have it all his own way in the Shootout, with kennelmate Don’t Knocka Him matching the speedster stride for stride after jumping from the widest box and failing to get across to the rails by the first turn. The Jason Thompson-trained is a proven Group 1 winner having taken out the Golden Easter Egg this year, and providing he doesn’t find any trouble at the start out of box five, he should canter home. Also in Heat 5
(MG7) is Odie For Now , but Don’t Knocka Him had him well and truly covered at Sandown.
(MG5) looks to be the most competitive betting race of the evening,
with Ima Geisha Girl , Cintiarna and Glen Gallon all winning Melbourne Cup Preludes last Friday night.
Heats for the Bold Trease will also be held, with Miata and Jethro the standout runners.
Also on tonight is the Group 3 Ipswich Gold Cup
(BG8) over 520 metres. Favourite Potsdam should lead after being drawn perfectly in box one. Never Tell has won six of his last seven starts at Ipswich, and after a customary slow start in the heats last week from box seven, stormed home to win in 30.54 seconds.
He broke 12 seconds over his final section, and was one of just three dogs to do so, along with Potsdam and Kenso Karoo , which recorded the fastest heat time of 30.20 seconds.
Click here to bet on the Melbourne Cup heats and Ipswich Cup