Mandurah Cup Runner By Runner

Brett Honey takes an in-depth look at all the runners for tonight’s Mandurah Cup.

Box 1 Sand Patch (Darryl Smith)

Sand Patch hasn’t missed a place in nine starts and has had a wonderful start to her career for trainer Darryl Smith. Her PB of 29.83 over 520m at Cannington puts her right in this and she was very good in her heat last week. From box 6 she found herself well back but made decent ground throughout the race. She also has a blistering 21.57 to her name over 380m at Cannington, which was from box 1 on a bend start, similar to where she finds herself tonight. She will need to lead to win but her best early split gives her a chance to do that.

Box 2 Crumble Monelli (David Hobby)

Crumble Monelli up until last week had been well below his best but it’s amazing how box 1 can change fortunes. He was able to find the arm in his heat before eventually being run down by King Tommy. His time of 27.14 is the second fastest at Mandurah to date and he is a chance to break the line and prove very difficult to catch. He is a mustering type and will have to contend with Sand Patch and Nangar Bubbles, both who are very capable early, to find the lead. The inaugural Sandgroper winner’s Mandurah Cup tilt will be decided in the first 20 metres.

Box 3 Hinto (Christine Robartson)

You’ve just got to love Hinto. He’s chases hard, he’s very good in a field and he cashes in when he gets an opportunity. He’s done just that in his two starts at the new Mandurah circuit and whilst there is a stack of speed around him his versatility makes him an undeniable chance. There’s a world where he gets a beautiful run on the fence with boxes 1,2,4 going forward from the inside division. He does run the risk of one breaking the line and the margin being a bridge too far but it would be no surprise to see the 2022 Derby winner run into the placings.

Box 4 Nangar Bubbles (Sean Kavanagh)

I’ve got a lot of time for this girl. Sean Kavanagh has done a wonderful job with Nangar Bubbles and she showed some ticker to get the job done last week. She was taken off the track before gathering herself and was able to hold off some talented types including Solidified. She’s capable of a fast beginning and middle draws cause her no concern as she likes to race mid track. At $8-9, she looks a good bet to find the front and her 29.88 run at Cannington three back suggests she will prove hard to catch.

Box 5 Runaway To Mars (Krystal Shinners)

Runaway To Mars has three wins and a further two placings from his last six starts and has got his hands dirty of a few of those occasions. The knock on Runaway To Mars early in his career was that he was lead or bust but recent efforts have clearly shown he can produce from off the arm as well. Whilst he was no certainty to win, he was squeezed up for room in the straight when running second to Canya Mia last week and still ran 27.39 in defeat. His draw looks horrific here, however. With the speed battle on inside, plus Canya Mia having her say early from box 7, I struggle to see Runaway To Mars finding a good position in this race and for that reason I’m prepared to take him on.

Box 6 King Tommy (Chris Halse)

What a dog! King Tommy (pictured) has a chance to become the king of WA by taking out this superb edition of the Mandurah Cup but be assured, he will be made to earn every bit of it. He was simply superb last week posting a new track record, albeit two weeks into the new track, running 27.10 and reeling in Crumble Monelli as if he was a grade 5 country dog. He’s proven to be very good in a field and is by far the fastest dog in the race.

With all that said, they really tried to give him the worst draw possible. I have no idea where he gets to and he is a chance to cop the back end of any trouble. I couldn’t back him but you would be stupid to make a huge book around him. Let’s see what he is made of.

Box 7 Canya Mia (Andrew McLaren)

New track, new Canya Mia. She was a shell of herself at Cannington but has hit the ground running at Mandurah, running a gutsy second behind Hinto two back before taking out her heat in 27.35. Her first section last week was only bettered by Crumble and box 7 is suitable for her. She’s the outsider of the field but there are far worse double figure shots on this card than Canya Mia. She is a sneaky chance to cross and lead and it wouldn’t shock to see her improve timewise. Smokey’s hope and a must for exotics.

Box 8 Solidified (Krystal Shinners)

Solidified has been a model of consistency in recent months and went 27.61 behind Nangar Bubbles from this draw last week. Prior to that his form had been over 600 at Cannington where his early speed put him into the race. Whilst he handles wide draws fine, box 8 makes his task in the cup rather difficult. He is likely to find himself posted wide unless he can get a cart into the race from Canya Mia. Luck required.

The Verdict

King Tommy should be favourite and only bad luck beats him but his draw has certainly brought that possibility forward. I’ll be having small bets on #4 Nangar Bubbles and #7 Canya Mia. I’m hoping either of those two can find the lead and with so much pace in the race there could be some trouble as a result. They are both priced well enough to have spec in what is a brilliant edition of the Mandurah Cup.