Australia’s – and indeed the world’s – premier distance greyhound race, the $250,000 Group 1 RSN Sandown Cup (715m) has been dominated by Victorian-trained stayers over the last decade, with Tasmanian star Chinatown Lad in 2008, the last interstater to reign supreme.
That could well change on Thursday night, with West Australian frontrunner ZACK MONELLI (Box 1), albeit based with ‘caretaker’ Victorian trainer Lyn Smith, TAB’s clear-cut $2.60 favourite to claim the $175,000 winner’s purse despite a shock heat defeat.
Next in betting at $3.30 is NSW dynamo STANLEY ROAD (Box 6), currently Australia’s number one-ranked stayer, already a two-time G1 winner in 2021 of the Association Cup and Fanta Bale Super Stayers, while he was also runner-up in the G1 Zoom Top.
Adding to the interstate flavour is another WA visitor in WE THE PEOPLE (Box 2), second to Zack Monelli in the recent G1 Galaxy in her home state and currently based with astute Victorian mentors Jamie and Brooke Ennis for her Sandown Cup campaign. Prolific South Australian SIR TRUCULENT (Box 3) and Queenslander MAGGIE MOO MOO (Box 5) round out the five-strong interstate brigade.
Remarkably, the past four Sandown Cups have been won by trainers based in Lara, which is where the Ennis’ live.
While the ‘border hoppers’ hold a strong hand, the fastest of last Thursday night’s four heat winners was Victorian staying debutant TYLER DURDEN (Box 7), trained by Jeff Britton.
A three-time G1 sprint finalist this year, Tyler Durden led all-the-way in 41.74sec to upset $1.20 favourite Zack Monelli.
The second fastest qualifier was remarkably another Victorian that was being tested for the first time over ‘700’ in Kel Greenough’s KENNY THE BRUTE (Box 8), however the market suggests the ‘second up’ syndrome could be a concern for both staying novices with Tyler Durden at $10 and Kenny The Brute at $19.
Also new to the staying caper is middle distance sensation ZIPPING RAMBO (Box 4), which is being kept safe at $7.50 after running second to G1 winners Stanley Road and Zack Monelli at his only two 715m assignments.
Thursday’s meeting will also feature the Listed Cup Night Stayers (715m), the GR8 Eight Special Event (515m), featuring last week’s G1 Sapphire Crown heroine Qwara Bale, and the Judy Hayley Memorial (515m), restricted to lady trainers.
Meanwhile, Thursday’s Sandown Quaddie starts at Race 5 and boasts a projected pool of $150,000.
$250,000 Group 1 RSN Sandown Cup Final (715m)
Thursday, 27 May, 8.28pm
$175,000 (1st), $50,000 (2nd), $25,000 (3rd)
- ZACK MONELLI (Lyn Smith, Nambrok VIC)
- WE THE PEOPLE (Brooke Ennis, Lara VIC)
- SIR TRUCULENT (Walter Harkins, Reynella SA)
- ZIPPING RAMBO (Mark Delbridge, Balliang VIC)
- MAGGIE MOO MOO (Darren Johnstone, Harrisville QLD)
- STANLEY ROAD (Mark Gatt, Thirlmere NSW)
- TYLER DURDEN (Jeffrey Britton, Anakie VIC)
- KENNY THE BRUTE (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
- HANK THE HUSTLER (Jeffrey Britton, Anakie VIC)
- HERE’S TEARS (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
(fastest to slowest)
- 41.74sec Tyler Durden
- 41.76sec Kenny The Brute
- 41.77sec Stanley Road
- 41.97sec Maggie Moo Moo
RECENT SANDOWN CUP WINNERS
- 2020 Bronski Beat
(Brendan Pursell, Lara VIC)
- 2019 Rajasthan
(Robert Camilleri, Lara VIC)
- 2018 Tornado Tears
(Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
- 2017 Fanta Bale
(Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
- 2016 Bells Are Ringin
(Gerry O’Keefe, Neerim Junction VIC)
- 5.59pm First race
- 6.19pm $18,000 GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (Race 2)
- 7.02pm $11,740 Judy Hayley Memorial Final (Race 4)
- 7.43pm $21,000 Gr8 Eight (Race 6)
- 8.07pm $21,000 Listed Cup Night Stayers (Race 7)
- 8.28pm Sandown Cup Final (Race 8)
- 9.59pm Last race (Race 12)
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
- Comprehensive coverage on Sky Racing Active with Jason Adams, Mark Ohlmus & Gareth Hall from 5.45pm, which will also be streamed via The Watchdog app.
- Watch every race LIVE and FREE via watchdog.grv.org.au or on Sky Racing.
- RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM) audio & race-by-race market updates with Trent Langskaill
- ‘The Lids Fly’ with Miles Pfitzner, Mitch Ebeyer & The Watchdog 6-10pm on SEN Track (1593 AM)
- Live cross to Trent Langskaill at Sandown on 1116 SEN
- Extensive behind-the-scenes Twitter coverage with ‘@WatchDogRacing’ & ‘@SandownDogs’
Get your tickets to the Premier Punters Club on RSN Sandown Cup night featuring a $10,000 starting pool! Contact the club to find out more.
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