Shootout At Topgun Winner's Mercy

TAKING on a fit and firing Aston Rupee is a tall order at the best of times let alone in a four-dog format but that's the task in Thursday's Shootout.

Adam Dobbin

8 November 2021

TAKING on a fit and firing Aston Rupee is a tall order at the best of times let alone in a four-dog format.

But that’s precisely the task awaiting Tiggerlong Tonk (box 7), McCooly’s Lad (box 5) and Lakeview Walter (box 1) in Thursday night’s Group 3 Shootout (515m) at Sandown Park.

Aston Rupee (box 3) goes into the Shootout on the strength of his Group 1 Topgun success at The Meadows last Saturday night when downing a superb Tiggerlong Tonk by 1 ½ lengths in 29.66.

FIELDS AND FORM SANDOWN PARK THURSDAY

It was the Glenn Rounds-trained superstar’s first group 1 victory but if betting is any indication a second could soon follow with the son of Kc And All a $5 all-in favourite for the Melbourne Cup which gets underway next week.

The Sandown Park track record holder will start a pronounced favourite for Thursday night’s Shootout looking to add to a resume that already boasts two Group 3 Speed Star triumphs.

Tiggerlong Tonk, winner of last year’s Shootout in brilliant fashion, returns to defend his title as he prepares for his third Melbourne Cup campaign for trainer Correy Grenfell.

Comeback galloper McCooly’s Lad will launch his Melbourne Cup assault in the Shootout for trainer Anthony Azzopardi.

The son of Fernando Bale recently scored at Sandown Park in a sizzling 29.11 fractionally off the sizzling 29.09 he posted prior to his long injury enforced lay-off.

Rounding out the Shootout field is Group 1 Silver Chief hero Lakeview Walter which recently returned to winning form with victory in the Group 3 Silver Bullet at The Meadows.

In the money at 11 of his 12 Sandown starts, Lakeview Walter boasts a best time at the circuit of 29.15 and is another suited to the reduced field format.

Interestingly, three of the four trainers engaged in Thursday night’s Shootout have enjoyed success in the race in the past.

Anthony Azzopardi, trainer of McCooly’s Lad, scored with Zambora Brockie in 2016 while Correy Grenfell has tasted success with both Tiggerlong Tonk (2020) and Orson Allen (2018).

Back in 2001, Glenn Rounds was involved when Junior Whisky won the race for his late-partner Judy Hayley.