2014 Sapphire Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw

April 16th, 2014

A talented field of 13 has been confirmed to line up for the 2014 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this weekend, including in-form runner Lilliburlero.

Lilliburlero has been confirmed in the final field of the 2014 Sapphire Stakes

Lilliburlero has been confirmed in the final field of the 2014 Sapphire Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Unable to string together much of a consistent run of form together over her 2013 spring preparation, Lilliburlero has returned to the track in arguably career best form this preparation, beating fellow Sapphire Stakes acceptor Recoinage to the line in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) first-up before finishing a competitive second behind in-form mare A Time For Julia in the Group 3 Roy Higgins Tribute Quality (1200m) on March 15th.

Unlucky when blocked for a run and fifth when fanning across the line in the Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m) last time out, trainer David Payne is confident of a return to the winner’s circle for the talented Redoute’s Choice mare this weekend, despite drawing the somewhat awkward barrier 11.

Following a similar path towards the Sapphire Stakes, Recoinage finished only a place in the red of Lilliburlero in both the Triscay Stakes and Roy Higgins Tribute before sprinting well to finish fourth in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) last time out.

Trainer Joseph Pride’s sole entrant in the Sapphire Stakes, Recoinage will also have to overcome a wide draw in barrier 12, but will be joined in the saddle by regular partner Jason Collett.

Unlucky when blocked for a run twice and squeezed out to finish second by a nose in the Birthday Card Stakes first-up, Plucky Belle will be seeking redemption in the 2014 Sapphire Stakes and is offered a prime chance to do so from the central barrier 6.

Securing an impressive four wins and five places from 18 race starts to date, the Mossman mare won the Group 3 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) with ease ahead of a talented field on Melbourne Cup day last season, ending her short preparation a disappointing 12th in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).

Trainer Peter Moody is confident of a convincing victory for Plucky Belle this weekend, who will be partnered by in-form, up-and-coming jockey Chad Schofield in the 2014 Sapphire Stakes.

Confirmed to make her debut tilt in a Group level race this weekend, exciting four-year-old Belle De Coeur has more than earned her position in the 2014 Sapphire Stakes after securing three wins and a place from only five competitive starts.

While unlucky to be blocked for a run and fifth in the Theraces.com.au Fillies Maiden (1150m) first-up this year, trainer Luke Price is confident leading Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton will get the best from his runner this weekend, particularly from the ideal barrier 2.

Amazing the only Sapphire Stakes contender to carry winning form into this weekend’s Group 2, Avoid Lightning has quickly built to the task this season, following up a hampered run for fifth in the Roy Higgins Tribute with a last gasp win in the Birthday Card Stakes last time out.

Confirmed to be partnered by jockey Blake Shinn for the first time, Avoid Lightning will have work to do immediately from barrier 7.

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2014 Sapphire Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 4453x821x6 DYSTOPIA Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 4 55kg 105
2 236x540x51 AVOID LIGHTNING Les Bridge Blake Shinn 7 55kg 101
3 5260x2825x FULL OF SPIRIT Peter G Moody Craig Newitt 8 55kg 100
4 x41268x125 LILLIBURLERO David Payne Nash Rawiller 11 55kg 100
5 4140x210x2 PLUCKY BELLE Peter G Moody Chad Schofield 6 55kg 99
6 51x7168x73 AEROBATICS Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 9 55kg 98
7 x1110x227x PERON John P Thompson Jim Cassidy 13 54kg 98
8 4×82241234 RECOINAGE Joseph Pride Jason Collett 12 54kg 88
9 1x83248x14 SIMPLY BRILLIANT Bjorn Baker Glyn Schofield 1 54kg 73
10 294x378x0x VILLA SPLENDIDO Garry White 3 54kg 72
11 2111×5 BELLE DE COEUR Luke Price Zac Purton 2 54kg 71
12 14x44x1642 COSMIC ENDEAVOUR Gai Waterhouse 10 53kg 86
13 250x448x17 SHAHAD Gai Waterhouse 5 53kg 78