Racing writer, JUSTIN DEVINE, looks at tonight’s Melbourne Cup meeting at Sandown Park and singles out his picks in the three feature races on the card. Good luck, punters!
Sandown Park R5 – Group 1 Bold Trease Final 715m
MANILLA KNIGHT (8) was beaten by 1.5 lengths in his heat last week at his first try over the 715m. He will take a lot of benefit from that run and can cross the field from box 8 to find the lead early. Expect him to be out in front with clear running while his rivals are trying to find their positions back in the field early. I think he can lead all the way. South Australian star SIR TRUCCULENT (7) is a prolific winner who continues to race well and will be strong late. With an outstanding strike rate, he can run well and looks the danger.
Tip: MANILLA KNIGHT @ $9
Sandown Park R6 – Group 1 Melbourne Cup 515m
SIMON TOLD HELEN (2) is in terrific form and has drawn perfectly in box 2. He is an explosive beginner who will find the lure and is capable of getting out to a big lead down the back. He can hold on in the run home. WA visitor TOMMY SHELBY (6) won his heat in 29.21 last week and is capable of sitting close to the favourite early. He is one to include in exotics. Top gun winner SHIMA SHINE (7) is proven at the top level and has broken 29 seconds at Sandown Park. If he can navigate the tricky draw he will be hard to hold out. What a race!
Sandown Park R7 – Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial 595m
WEBLEC ACE (1) had no luck from box 5 last start and has drawn perfectly in box 1 tonight. Expect him to hunt through and find the lead early and give his backers a great sight. CHRISTO BALE (2) has been racing consistently of late and will appreciate the step up to 595m. Unbeaten over the trip and with good track sense, he is likely to trail WEBLEC ACE early and will come with a run late. I’m tipping CHRISTO BALE to be too strong in the run home and make it three from three over the 595m at Sandown Park. The pair can space their rivals.