While all the hype surrounds tonight’s TAB Melbourne Cup, there is another Group 1 on the card at Sandown Park, the $142,000 Solo Bold Trease Carnival Cup (715m) for stayers.
With a $100,000 first prize on the line, this race lacks nothing in prestige, and interestingly punters have smashed Sweet It Is from $2.30 into $2.00 despite the fact she ran second in her heat.
Adding further intrigue to the market is that second favourite Blinker’s On (Jamie Ennis) was also beaten in his heat.
Trainer Darren McDonald said of Sweet It Is’ heat run: “She was up punching for the lead…I couldn’t believe it. She just got steamrolled and held up a bit more than she normally does.”
“She’ll need a bit of luck in the final as she always does but she’ll be thereabout I’m sure.”
With three Group 1 wins to her name, Sweet It Is is entitled to favouritism, but some would question her short odds considering that she generally gets extremely far back in her races.
One greyhound that wasn’t short odds last week was Mystic Twist, who paid $29.80 when winning her Bold Trease heat.
Trainer Mark Cauchi was all smiles afterwards, and not just because he had placed a small wager on his stayer.
“This is the biggest race I’ve ever been in and I’m extra happy because I had $20 on her. I thought if she could lead she’d be hard to beat.”
“The luck fell her way in her heat and you never know what might happen in the final. You’ve got to be in it to win it,” said Cauchi, who lives in the coastal town of St. Leonards.
Joining Cauchi in his first group 1 is Warrnambool’s Pat Bouchier, who prepares Beks.
“He’s a slow beginner who will need a lot of luck,” Bouchier said of his greyhound’s chances in the Bold Trease final.
Incidentally, Bouchier is a regular at his local beach, where he swims his greyhounds as part of their recovery between races.
Also in the winner’s circle in the heats was Coulta Rock, which brought a smile to the face of Gippsland trainer David Curtain.
“I’m rapt with this dog. He has won over all three distances at Sandown now and he turned two in August, so he’s still only young.”
“He got a couple of knocks early in his heat, but if he leads in the final he’s in with a good chance,” Curtain said.
Robert Britton’s Space Star, an up-and-comer who broke Richmond’s 618m track record on debut in March, is attracting the punters money after beating Sweet It Is in his heat.
1 BEKS (Pat Bouchier, Vic)
2 ZIPPING MAGGIE (Peter Dapiran, Vic)
3 SWEET IT IS (Darren McDonald, Vic)
4 SPACE STAR (Rob Britton, Vic)
5 REAP THE BENEFIT (Michael Chilcott, Vic)
6 MYSTIC TWIST (Mark Cauchi, Vic)
7 COULTA ROCK (David Curtain, Vic)
8 BLINKER’S ON (Brooke Ennis, Vic)
9 DYNA KAYLA (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
10 MANILA EXPRESS (Captain Abbott, Vic)
Heat 1: Coulta Rock (4) defeats Reap The Benefit (2) in 42.754sec