Backing up from a gun run in the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November, Gai Waterhouse’s former Sydney Cup champ over the two miles The Offer leads a classy field for Saturday’s Sandown Cup 2015.
One of the key support races on the Zipping Classic Day nine-event program at Sandown Hillside this weekend, the $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) is set to run as Sandown Race 8 at 5:20pm (AEST).
The handicap clash, run over the same distance as the time-honoured Melbourne Cup, features a 15-starter field of hopefuls led by Waterhouse’s 60kg top weight The Offer.
Winner of the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) last year, the seven-year-old Montjeu gelding won the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) two back before a brave eighth in the Melbourne Cup on November 3.
He goes up from 54kg in the ‘race that stops a nation’ to 60kg on the weekend, but is in flying form and pulled up well from his last run with Dwayne Dunn booked for the Sandown ride from gate nine.
Also coming out of the Melbourne Cup into the Sandown Cup this Saturday are the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Almoonqith and Grand Marshal for Chris Waller who are both allocated 59kg.
Dynaformer stallion Almoonqith won the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 21 earning his shot at the world’s richest handicap where he could only manage to finish seven lengths away 18th behind upset 101/1 winner Prince Of Penzance.
Almoonqith goes up six kilos on the back-up into the Sandown Cup and is the second widest drawn horse in gate 14 for jockey Michael Walker to overcome.
Reigning Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal is drawn better in gate two for in-form James McDonald to guide the Chris Waller-trained Dansili gelding from, the six-year-old out to atone for a well-beaten 21st of 24 runners in the Melbourne Cup with only 53.5kg on his back.
Also drawn nicely in the Sandown Cup are the James Cummings-trained Precedence in gate three for this year’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne and the Ciaron Maher-trained import Manalapan in five having just his second run down under.
There is just one last start winner in the mix with the Danny O’Brien-trained De Little Engine (12) who caught the eye with a three quarter length victory in a Benchmark 96 on Melbourne Cup Day over 2800m.
A winner also over 2600m at Flemington, the step up to 3200m this weekend looks like it will suit the improving Encosta De Lago five-year-old who has a gun record at the track of two wins and a second from three Sandown Hillside starts.
On a short seven day back-up from an Emirates Stakes Day run at Flemington last Saturday is the Ken Keys-trained Cranbourne galloper Like A Carousel who ran fourth to Dandino in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m).
Also fourth last time out is the Murray Baker-trained Authorized five-year-old Maygrove whose three most recent runs in Melbourne have all produced fourth place finishes.
The latest was behind fellow Sandown Cup hope The Offer in the Bendigo Cup when just over a length away, form he will look to repeat getting in on just 54kg on the weekend.
See below for the full Sandown Cup 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2015 Sandown Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 8 (5:20pm) – 14/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0x8x155418||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Dwayne Dunn||9||60kg||107|
|2||416×506710||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||14||59kg||105|
|3||9431×07500||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2||59kg||105|
|4||556x5x0069||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||James Cummings||Ms Michelle Payne||3||57kg||101|
|5||34441×6771||DE LITTLE ENGINE||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||12||54kg||95|
|6||x893x00054||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Glen Boss||6||54kg||95|
|7||2146×07444||MAYGROVE||Murray Baker||Kerrin McEvoy||7||54kg||95|
|8||6300×00580||RENEW (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Dean Yendall||15||54kg||91|
|9||8160×00783||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||Chris Parnham||13||54kg||91|
|10||4x5421x469||MANALAPAN (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||Vlad Duric||5||54kg||90|
|11||211x7495L7||SASENKILE||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||4||54kg||83|
|12||005102×829||POP ’N’ SCOTCH||Liam Birchley||Steven King||10||54kg||79|
|13||8x8946x975||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||Stephen Baster||11||54kg||76|
|14||x504310030||CUBAN FIGHTER||Robbie Laing||Daniel Stackhouse (late alt)||8||54kg||72|
|15||53210×8754||REFECTORY (IRE)||Richard Laming||Patrick Moloney (a)||1||54kg||71|