Aston Rupee and Koblenz sit atop Melbourne Cup betting and while the great race is three months away, punters could get an early preview when the superstar duo clash at Sandown Park on Thursday in The Watchdog’s ‘Must Watch’ race.
Aston Rupee (12 from 24 – 29.06sec Sandown PB), TAB’s $9 ‘All In’ Melbourne Cup favourite, returns to Sandown after taking out the G3 Speed Star at The Meadows, for a mouth-watering meeting with Koblenz (17 from 28 – 2 from 3 Trk/Dst).
Adding additional spice will be G2 Cranbourne Cup winner Jax Bale (16 wins – 8 from 30 Trk/Dst), which has returned to his best form, victorious in his past three visits to Sandown.
The Sandown card also features great match-ups over 715m and 595m.
G1 Sandown Cup finalist Kenny The Brute (9 from 37) will take on Brendan Pursell’s lightly-raced staying prospects Aston Alpha (5 from 13 – 2 from 3 Box 1) and Sandra’s Sticker (3 from 10), while middle distance up-and-comer Untapped (8 from 24 – 4 of past 5) will tackle versatile multiple Group placegetter Bobby The Brute (13 from 48).
Perfectly Poised (3 from 9) is chasing a fourth straight win after clean-sweeping a Vic Bred Maiden series at The Meadows but faces a huge test against 4-time G1 finalist Tyler Durden (12 from 52) and recent State National Sprint finalist Fabriola Zad (16 wins).
Blueblood Ambushed, a son of former champion stayer Sweet It Is, won’t catch punters by ‘surprise’ in the Maiden Final after a barnstorming heat victory on debut.
At Warrnambool, Enter The Son (10 from 24) will create great interest at only his second start since March, having showcased his ability when running 2nd to the freakish Houdini Boy in the G3 Speed Star (600m) at The Meadows last September.
Earlier in the day at Healesville, Chop Scotch (15 from 32) is the star attraction, dropping back in trip after contesting the G3 Speed Star (525m) at The Meadows.
Here’s an extensive analysis of today’s Must Watch Race, and be sure to scroll down further for 💰 The Watchdog’s $10 spend…
👀 MUST-WATCH RACE: TAB Melb. Cup – November 26
ASTON RUPEE 🆚 KOBLENZ
Sandown Park 🏁 Race 8 📏 515m ⏱ 5:14pm
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/8
The Watchdog says 🎤: Cracking affair with two of the sport’s brightest prospects set for a riveting battle. ASTON RUPEE (4) confirmed his status as the fastest chaser on the planet when capturing his second Speed Star title at The Meadows last week in a scorching 29.59sec and he is expected to figure prominently again. I originally had him as second pick and happy to stick by that, however with the scratching in box three, his chances have obviously improved. His box manners can let him down at times, but he should get a little more room in the initial stages now and if he can navigate the bend in the top three, he will make his presence felt. KOBLENZ (7) is a star on the rise and my top pick in the event. He has been beaten in his past four, however he has still been ultra-impressive and his performance at the Meadows last week was brilliant. He was unable to cross ‘Mr. Meadows’ (Mr. Fix It) at the first bend and had to work hard for most of the journey and he even clipped the winner’s heels as they turned for home. However he continued to grind away and only went down by the narrowest of margins in quick time. There is early speed with ENVY TO BURN (5) and VAYDA BALE (8) tonight but if he can step cleanly, he should have too much natural pace for his rivals and I expect him to assume control at the bend. ‘Rupee’ is obviously a faster chaser overall, but KOBLENZ (7) will be carving out sub 29.20sec, so they will have trouble reeling him in. JAX BALE (2) has returned to his brilliant best in recent weeks and like ‘Rupee’, he will benefit from the vacant draw. His box manners can let him down at times but if he does begin like he did last week, he could cause a minor upset. Can’t wait to see this event unfold and hopefully the big three all gain a clear passage, and they should bust the clock.
Selections: 7 – 4 – 5 – 2
📢 THE WATCHDOG’S $10 INVESTMENT 📢
📅 Thursday 02 September
💰 $2 Win – MEPUNGA FELIX
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 4 🔲 Box 1 📏 515m ⏱ 3:44pm
TAB fixed odds: $4.60 Win
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/4
The Watchdog says 🎤 : He has been costly to us a few times in the past, but he drops in class today and exits his favourite draw. There isn’t a whole lot of early pace engaged, so he should exit the first bend in the top three and will be very strong in the closing stages.
💰 $1 Win – NIHARI BALE
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 6 🔲 Box 8 📏 515m ⏱ 4:39pm
TAB fixed odds: $11 Win
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/6
The Watchdog says 🎤 : I only tipped him for third, however at the $11, I believe he represents some value. BROADY LIGHTS (7) is armed with slick early speed, and should give him a nice cart across in the initial stages. He hasn’t had a lot of luck in recent weeks, but we know he can put time on the board when in the clear and if he is within striking distance mid race, he can cause a minor upset.
💰 $2 Win – KOBLENZ
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 8 🔲 Box 7📏 515m ⏱ 5:14pm ***Must Watch Race***
TAB fixed odds: $4
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/8
The Watchdog says 🎤 : He has been beaten in his past four, but he has been far from disgraced in those events and with a clean getaway he can return to the winners list. There are only two runners who will test him for the early lead and if he steps on terms, he will have far superior pace and that will see him head to the back straight in front. He will be carving out sub 29.20sec in the lead, so ASTON RUPEE (4) can’t afford to make too many mistakes in the initial stages.
💰 $2 Place – ANNIE ROSE
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 9 🔲 Box 2📏 515m ⏱ 5:36pm
TAB fixed odds: $3.10
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/9
The Watchdog says 🎤 : She doesn’t win out of turn, but is never far away in this company and with USMAN BALE (1) and WHY NOT OPAL (3) expected to dictate terms, she should get a nice run through at the bend and head to the back in the first half of the field. She will scrape the paint throughout and the final section is where she does her best work, so with an ounce of luck, a top three finish looks likely.
💰 $2 WIN – KINLOCK BLAZER
📍 Warrnambool 🏁 Race 2 🔲 Box 2📏 450m ⏱ 5:39pm
TAB fixed odds: $4.60
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/666538926/race/2
The Watchdog says 🎤 : He showed blistering early pace when on debut at Horsham before getting pushed wide as they turned for home. If he can step cleanly and show similar pace, he should have no trouble finding the top and after two runs under his belt, I’m expecting him to hit the line better and get the cash.
💰 $1 Multi
First 🦵: Place – TEA POT CREEK
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 10 🔲 Box 5 📏 515m ⏱ 5:55pm
TAB fixed odds: $1.90 Place
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/10
Second 🦵: Bundle Bet – 1,4
📍 Sandown Park 🏁 Race 11 🔲 Boxes 1 & 4 📏 515m ⏱ 6:17pm
TAB fixed odds: $1.80 Win (Any one of the two selections to win)
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/704862912/race/11
Third 🦵: Place – MICK’S KIMMY
📍 Warrnambool 🏁 Race 5 🔲 Box 6 📏 650m ⏱ 6:44pm
TAB fixed odds: $3.40 Place
Form 👉 https://watchdog.grv.org.au/meeting/666538926/race/5
The Watchdog says 🎤 : TEA POT CREEK (5) is a promising type and I think he should have enough pace to cross and lead. The last 40m is a slight concern but he should be able to hold onto a top three finish. WEBLEC RANGER (1) is drawn to lead throughout in race 11, however we have included the powerful FABRIOLA XIMENEZ (4) just in case he gets a nice run through early and is within striking distance mid race. MICK’S KIMMY (6) lines up against several chasers who are suspect over this distance range and with some luck in running, she should be able to pick a few of those off late and finish in the top three.
Multi price: $11.63
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