Expert form analyst The Watchdog says Mepunga Ruby “deserves to be favourite” – albeit with some reservation – for the $75,000 to-the-winner Group 1 GOLD FM Sale Cup final on Sunday night (Boxing Day).
Mepunga Ruby, who is chasing her first Group 1 at her third attempt, won her Sale Cup heat in 37.37sec.
“I’m a little bit concerned about the box draw,” The Watchdog said. “It’s misleading, the ‘red’ (Box 1) draw for her.
“She does like to move off the track through the first turn and has a bit of a flat patch after about 50 or 60 metres. So, she could be finding a little bit of trouble.
“She’s good enough to pick herself up and run over the top again, but at $2.20 you’d want a few more reassurances that she’s going to have a clear passage.”
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The Watchdog also believe Jarick Bale is a risk from Box 8, while stating “the huge player in the race” is the Dustin Drew-trained Untapped at $7, who finished second to fastest heat winner Jarick Bale (37.13sec), clocking a time of 37.28sec.
“She was brilliant last week,” The Watchdog said. “I know she got beaten, but she led them up and carved out impressive sectionals.
“I think she can repeat the dose, and she’ll hit the line a little better.
“If she can get down to about 37.10sec or just under that could be enough to win, especially as she’ll be out in front dictating terms.”
The Watchdog’s $20 spend
$10 Trifecta on 5,6 / 1,3,5,6,7 / 1,3,4,5,6,7 (31.25% return)
$10 on Untapped to win at $7
But the race hinges on whether “the real Zac’s Entity (Box 6) turns up”, according to The Watchdog.
“He (Zac’s Entity) is going to take a power of beating. That run last week, 37.14sec (Sale Cup heat) coming off the speed, was his first run for three weeks (off a trial).
“I think he’ll be much improved for that run. He’s going to need a little bit of luck through that first turn, but he’s got a slow beginner on his outside.
“Untapped will give him a nice cart into the race, so he should be every chance to possie up in the middle of the field and he’ll work to the line nicely.”
Group 1 SALE CUP FINAL (650m)
Sale, Sunday 8:58pm
First prize $75,000
1 MEPUNGA RUBY (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
2 MY MARGARITA (Steven White, Buln Buln East VIC)
3 KNICKS BALE (Samantha Grenfell, Anakie VIC)
4 DRAKO BALE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
5 UNTAPPED (Dustin Drew, Dennington VIC)
6 ZAC’S ENTITY (Kel Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
7 OMEGA TYSON (Barry Harper, Seaspray VIC)
8 JARICK BALE (Mark Delbridge, Balliang VIC)
9 INVICTUS RISING (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows VIC) SCRATCHED
10 ASTON ULYSSES (Paul Abela, Parwan VIC) SCRATCHED
WATCH: UNTAPPED (6) displayed her newfound staying credentials going 41.83sec in an all-the-way victory in a heat of the Group 1 Bold Trease at Sandown Park on November 19. Results
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