MISS Splendamiro and Mystic Riot shape up as the best NSW-owned prospects in Friday night's heats of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Sandown.

Miss Splendamiro, being prepared for the Cup by Up Hill Jill's Victorian trainer David Geall, has box one in heat six while Mystic Riot, trained in Sydney by Jodie Lagogiane, has drawn seven in heat four.

Miss Splendamiro has been installed as a $7 pre-post favourite to win Friday week's Cup final while Mystic Riot is an $11 chance.

Victorian champion Poke The Bear, from the all-conquering Seona Thompson kennels, is an $8 second favourite for the final.

But Miss Splendamiro and Poke The Bear cannot both advance to the final as they clash in one of eight "sudden death'' heats.

Michael Phillips, part-owner of Miss Splendamiro, said: "There is not a better dog racing than Poke The Bear so if we were going to be against him in the heat I was hoping for box one.

"When Miss Splendamiro won at Sandown last week from box six, it meant she had now won from every box.

"But the rails is her best, she has won eight from 10 starts wearing the red rug.

"Miss Splendamiro's whole programme in Melbourne has been built around the Melbourne Cup which is why we by-passed the recent Silver Bullet at The Meadows.

"It is an honour to think Miss Splendamiro was pre-post favourite for the Easter Egg, the Million Dollar Chase, and now the Melbourne Cup.

"She clocked 29.39s when she won at Sandown last week but David Geall, her trainer in Melbourne, believes she can get down to 29.20s or 29.30s.''


MYSTIC Riot, who led throughout from box seven in the GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park on October 20, will wear the black rug again in Friday's heat.

Mystic Riot is undefeated in two starts from box seven and trainer Jodie Lagogiane said she pulled up well after her Sandown win from box six last week.

"I brought her back to Sydney after that race in order to give her a couple of free gallops at home, enjoying her own surroundings,'' Lagogiane said.

"She was taken back to Melbourne on Tuesday night.''


NSW-trained greyhounds hold a strong hand in Friday night's heats of the Group 1 Bold Trease over 715m with Ebby Ripper (box three) and Blue Moon Rising (seven) in heat one and Kanzan (box one) taking on White Sox Ethics (six) in heat two.

Heat three features NSW's number one stayer Poco Dorado in box three and Yankee's Ethics in six while Zipping Kelly, a kennelmate of Mystic Riot, has box three in heat four.

Leading NSW trainer Jason Mackay took up-and-coming Sydney owned stayer White Sox Ethics to Melbourne and said she has settled in well.

"I gave her a 600m trial at Sandown and she was very impressive,'' Mackay said.

With Australia's best stayers, Tornado Tears and Rippin' Sam on the sidelines, NSW-trained greyhounds should fill plenty of spots in the Bold Trease final line-up.

Mackay has Aston Duke, True Talent and Zipping Tayla in the Melbourne Cup heats but rates True Talent his only real chance.

"True Talent is not really suited to Sandown but he has box two in Mystic Riot's heat and has a chance of being the pacemaker from that draw,'' Mackay said.