Group 1 Melbourne Cup Heats Released

THE fields for the 2019 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup have been released, setting up a fantastic night of racing action at Sandown this Friday.

Adam Dobbin

19 November 2019

THE fields for the 2019 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup have been released.

And as expected, the eight qualifiers for Friday week’s $435,000 to-the-winner finale has dished up some tantalizing clashes.

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The opening heats sees Adelaide Cup and Shootout runner-up Whiskey Riot take his place from box two, tackling boom Great Chase winner Simon Told Helen and Mepunga Maggie.

The second qualifier has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons with NSW star Feral Franky lining up from box five, the same box he had when second last start in the group 1 Topgun.

In what’s a rather even contest, powerhouse chaser Jaro Bale sits up in box one, while Weblec Ace will exit box seven.

The third heat will see Topgun hero Get It Gizmo strut his stuff from box four after posting a slick 29.25 in a Sandown trial on Sunday.

The son of Kinloch Brae takes on Launching Pad winner Tauwitchere, hugely talented chasers Eight Ball and Mister Harlewood, as well as comeback group 1 winning sprinter Hasten Slowly.

Qualifier four sets up the epic clash between Million Dollar Chase hero Good Odds Harada drawn out in box eight, and hugely talented youngster Who Told Stevie, drawn delicately in box five.

And while betting may suggest it’s a two-dog race, the remainder of the field consists of some extremely gifted chasers, meaning the top two in the market will need to be at their brilliant best.

Sprinter of the moment Hooked On Scotch takes his place in heat five from box eight, the multiple group winner appeared to be well drawn outside Curt Lee who exits box seven.

Not considered one of the strongest heats, Australia’s fastest greyhound appears to get every chance to progress through to next week’s Melbourne Cup decider.

The sixth heat sets up the clash of the night with Flynn and Sennachie locking horns from boxes one and eight respectively.

Flynn – a slashing last start winner at the track for new trainer Jason Thompson – takes his place against multiple group 1 winner Sennachie, the son of Fernando Bale recording sizzling time in a trial at the circuit on Sunday for Steve White.

The seventh heat will see pre-post Cup favourite Shima Shine exit box six for Andrea Dailly, the tricky draw unlikely to be of huge concern to his band of followers given the unrelenting desire the prodigious talent demonstrates in his races.

The eighth and final chance to qualify is arguably the most open, with Western Envoy, Barooga Brett and Start A Riot appearing the leading chances at first glance.

What a night of racing it promises to be!