A talented field of 13 fillies and mare has been confirmed for Saturday’s Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Autumn Carnival’s most exciting prospects.
Avoid Lightning was unable to figure when tenth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) last time out on March 21st, but will appreciate the step-up in distance and step back in class for the 2015 Sapphire Stakes.
Posting ten wins and a further seven minor place finishes through her 25 career starts to date, Avoid Lightning arguably found career-best form to date through the 2014 racing calendar, highlighted by a credible third in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) and success in each of the Listed June Stakes (1100m) and Group 3 The Nivison (1200m).
Returning for third in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) this time, the Blevic mare will leave from barrier 8 in the 2015 Sapphire Stakes; a race for which she ran second last year.
Shamalia carries winning form into the 2015 Sapphire Stakes and poses a huge threat from barrier 6 with leading jockey Hugh Bowman confirmed to take the ride.
Unable to secure much of a consistent run of form through spring, co-trainer James Cummings was thrilled with the condition of the Shamardal mare prior to her return in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) on March 21st and his confidence was repaid when the four-year-old hit the line two lengths in the clear of Mossfun.
Three-year-old Onemorezeta has steadily built to the task over three starts this time and is arguably offered her best chance of success to date in being charged with carrying just 54kgs.
Securing several impressive results through her maiden racing preparation through spring, capped by consecutive wins in the Shop With The TAB Handicap (1000m) and Group 3 Gucci Stakes (1100m), the Onemorenomore filly was unlucky to be blocked late when fifth in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up this time.
Having since placed fourth in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) and third in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m), Onemorezeta will have to overcome the slightly wide barrier 9 but is sure to be boosted by the addition of veteran hoop Jim Cassidy.
Bound For Earth has only appeared on course once competitively this year but is sure to take valuable condition from the run when contesting the 2015 Sapphire Stakes.
A notable performer for trainer David Vandyke through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Bound For Earth ran fourth in each of the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) before being beaten by the bob of a head in the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m).
Having placed fourth in the Birthday Card Stakes first-up, Bound For Earth will likely receive the run of the race from barrier 5.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best odds on all races on Day 2 of The Championships, including the Sapphire Stakes!
Open an account and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au today to take advantage of up to $250 in bonuses!
2015 Sapphire Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1384x69x88||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||2||56kg||102|
|2||5x4428x9x4||BOUND FOR EARTH||David Vandyke||Blake Shinn||5||56kg||92|
|3||12113x1x30||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||8||55.5kg||107|
|4||x44180x413||GRIANTE||David Brideoake||Steven Arnold||1||55.5kg||100|
|5||21x44571x3||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||7||55.5kg||98|
|6||148x0310x1||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||6||55kg||95|
|7||7151542×85||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||Zac Purton||12||55kg||91|
|8||x63311x359||ATMOSPHERICAL||David Pfieffer||Glen Boss (late alt)||4||54kg||99|
|9||32x52x1115||CHLOE IN PARIS||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||11||54kg||97|
|10||7x85040x20||PERON||Peter G Moody||Tommy Berry||10||54kg||96|
|11||5233x6046x||BELLE DE COEUR||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||13||54kg||87|
|12||9x111x543||ONEMOREZETA||Kris Lees||Jim Cassidy||9||54kg||85|
|13||5161×17101||FINE MIST||Bede Murray||Jason Collett||3||53kg||82|