The 2015 Sandown Cup field has been released and Melbourne Cup runners The Offer, Almoonqith and Grand Marshal are all set to contest the Listed event at Sandown on Saturday.
The Offer has produced mixed performances in the past 12 months, but he returned to winning form with a strong staying effort in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 28 and he hit the line strongly to finish eighth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) despite the race not being run to suit.
The Dansili gelding will carry the top-weight of 60 kilograms in the Sandown Cup and he will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn in the $150,000 race.
Almoonqith stamped himself as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender with his most impressive victory in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 21, but he was settled at the tail of the field in ‘the race that stops a nation’ and he was never able to get into the race, while Grand Marshal was one of the horses badly affected by the dangerous ride of Frankie Dettori on Max Dynamite in the Melbourne Cup and he finished 21st.
The most popular runner in the 2015 Sandown Cup will be Precedence, who is set to have his 69th and final race start at Sandown on Saturday.
Precedence has failed to perform at his best this preparation, but he has an excellent record over 3200 metres and he has finished in the Melbourne Cup top ten on three separate occasions.
The only horse that is set to take winning form into the 2015 Sandown Cup is Danny O’Brien-trained De Little Engine.
De Little Engine performed well without winning in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 4 and the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 21, but he returned to winning form with a strong staying performance in the Bart Cummings Tribute Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on November 3.
Renew finished a disappointing 13th in the same race, but he will still have the chance to defend his Sandown Cup title this weekend.
The OTI Racing-owned galloper has performed inconsistently since his Sandown Cup victory, but he is another horse that has an outstanding record over 3200 metres and he finished a game third behind Tanby and Taiyoo in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 9.
The 2015 Sandown Cup field is rounded out by Like A Carousel, Maygrove, Tremec, Manalapan, Sasenkile, Pop ‘N’ Scotch, Planet Purple, Cuban Fighter and Refectory.