POCO Dorado's connections have mixed feelings about their champion stayer's box seven draw in Friday night's group 1 Bold Trease final at Sandown Park.
Poco Dorado, who overcame an out-of-character slow start to win her 715m heat last Friday, remains unbeaten over 720m at Wentworth Park and has always favoured outside boxes.
"Box seven is good but we are a little concerned about Soda Flash being drawn outside her in box eight,'' Melinda Finn, whose husband John trains Poco Dorado said.
"Soda Flash showed good early speed and railed well to win a heat so could worry Poco in the run to the first turn.''
FELLOW Sydney trainer John Smart though is surprisingly up-beat about his greyhound Kanzan's prospects from box six.
Although Smart was hoping for an inside draw, he points out Kanzan has a good record from box six.
"Considering Kanzan had not previously set foot on Sandown her second placing behind Barcali in her Bold Trease heat was a great effort,'' Smart said.
"She led early but got a bit lost in transit and relinquished the lead, but was coming again in the run home.
"Kanzan is a much better greyhound now than when she last raced in Sydney.
"She has bloomed since going to Melbourne and if she jumps and leads like she did in her heat I don't think they can beat her in the final.''
MEANWHILE Ebby Ripper, the third NSW-trained representative in Friday's Bold Trease, is actually lining up for her 26th group or listed final at Sandown.
"I had tallied up two dozen earlier appearances in big finals but missed her first listed race outing when she ran fourth in the Newcastle Cup at Ladbrokes Gardens on December 16, 2016,'' trainer Michael Eberand said.
While Eberand insists box positions don't really affect Ebby Ripper, because she tends to drop to the back of the field in the early stages, he would be happy with her box two draw on Friday.
Ebby Ripper, who finished third to the great Fanta Bale in last year's Bold Trease, has clocked record times at Newcastle, Bathurst and Richmond while she won the 2017 NSW final of the National Distance Championship over 720m at Wentworth Park.
SEONA and Jason Thompson are content with the draws for their Melbourne Cup qualifiers Black Opium and Poke The Bear in Friday night's group 1 515m final at Sandown.
Black Opium, who, at 19 months, will become the youngest ever Cup winner if she enhances her current record of seven wins from seven starts, has box five.
Poke The Bear, widely regarded as Australia's best sprinter, has drawn six.
"We wanted Black Opium in three or five because she has been racing from middle boxes and has been nailing the start perfectly,'' Jason Thompson said.
"If she had drawn the rails she might have misjudged the jump but we are also happy Poke The Bear has drawn outside her.
"Poke The Bear will run dead straight from the boxes to the first turn, he doesn't try to cross to the rails until he reaches the bend and is clear of other dogs.
"His heat win was terrific because five of the eight winners led all the way and two others came from second early.
"Poke The Bear who was fourth early, was the only Cup heat winner to come from so far back.''
Keen judges at Wentworth Park on Saturday night were in awe of the fact that 24 hours earlier Poke The Bear had been able to give NSW's top sprinter Miss Splendamiro a big start and a clear beating in the Cup heats.