Little bit of Magic

Jason Thompson is aiming for back-to-back TAB Melbourne Cup wins after kennel star Balck Magic Opal’s record breaking win in tonight’s heats.

Black Magic Opal pinged from box 6, setting a new first split record and equalling the second the split mark before racing to record his sixth consecutive win. The dual Group 2 winner stopped the clock in a slick 29.41 and is sure to gain great benefit from his first 515m run since July.

Shifty Sticka won his way through to next week’s $500,000 final with an impressive win in 29.54. Paul Anderson’s pup, the youngest greyhound in the series, has been placed in each of his 19 career starts – winning 11 – and attracted considerable interest from punters when he opened at $31 to win the Cup.

The oldest greyhound in the series, Proven Maddy, also won his way through to the final after capitalising on his rails draw to win in 29.43. Trained by Wayne Vassallo and handled by Karen Pitt (pictured), Proven Maddy has an impressive record of six wins from 14 starts at the Lightwood Road venue, and the fastest best time around the track at 29.14.

Peter Rocket powered into an eight Group final for Keith Hellmuth after winning his heat in 29.43, and will be joined by Robert Britton’s Iona Seven, winner of the night’s opening heat in 29.51.

Kiss Me Ketut backed up his win in last week’s Ready2Race auction final with an impressive Melbourne Cup heat win in 29.57, while Andrea Dailly has two chances to claim a second TAB Melbourne Cup with Hawk Alone (29.49) and Dyna Beth (29.70) securing their berths in the final.

The box draw will be held at Sandown Park on Friday 15 November. A free BBQ will be on offer from 11.30am with the box draw to be conducted from 12 noon and will be simulcast on Sky Racing and RSN – Racing and Sport.