A talented and capacity field of fourteen fillies and mares plus four emergencies has been confirmed for Saturday’s 2016 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick; highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Autumn Carnival’s standout performers.
Griante charged home to post a maiden win at the highest level last start and has been confirmed in the 2016 Sapphire Stakes field.
Griante has been the stable star for trainer David Brideoake through her entire competitive career so far and has posted an impressive seven wins and eight minors through twenty-seven starts.
Returning to racing in slick form in 2015, the Good Journey mare ran fourth in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) before taking out the Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m).
Charging home to finish third in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m), Griante finished her campaign with a typically impressive performance for a close second in the Sapphire Stakes.
Producing several commendable results through spring, Griante was unlucky to be held up in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up this time but will be very tough to beat in the Sapphire Stakes following a strong win in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 19th.
Sultry Feeling has returned to racing in career-best form this season but will undoubtedly require luck in running in the Sapphire Stakes after drawing the wide and reasonably awkward barrier 14.
Claiming five wins and a further three minors through nineteen career starts so far, Sultry Feeling posted a number of outstanding results in 2015 without being able to break through for a maiden black type win.
Having ended her year a credible fourth in the talent-rich Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m), the Encosta De Lago mare returned this time for success in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) before repeating the dose in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) last time.
Hugh Bowman has been confirmed to partner Sultry Feeling in the Sapphire Stakes and is sure to give the mare a gem of a ride.
Bring Me The Maid will have her first start for trainer Ciaron Maher in the 2016 Sapphire Stakes and will leave from the ideal barrier 4 with champion hoop Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Beginning her career under the guidance of the recently-retired Peter Moody, Bring Me The Maid has posted three wins and four minors through only seventeen competitive starts.
Stamping herself as a filly to follow from the outset, Bring Me The Maid won the Listed Sports 1000 (1000m) on debut before winning the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) and finishing third in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) during the 2014 autumn.
Sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run in the Birthday Card Stakes, Bring Me The Maid will be suited to the conditions of the 2016 Sapphire Stakes.
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2016 Sapphire Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x202x13x95||BOUNDING||Peter & Paul Snowden||–||6||58kg||107|
|2||9932587×01||GRIANTE||David Brideoake||Craig Williams||8||58kg||107|
|3||2497x380x0||BRING ME THE MAID||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||4||57kg||96|
|4||4x14394x11||SULTRY FEELING||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||14||55.5kg||99|
|5||2x21x2930x||PEACE FORCE||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||18||55kg||98|
|6||545x511x54||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||Jason Collett||7||54kg||103|
|7||1180×35338||I’VE GOT THE LOOKS||Peter & Paul Snowden||–||10||54kg||99|
|8||171x793x27||BROOK ROAD||Kris Lees||Chad Schofield||3||54kg||97|
|9||21227222×6||TWO BLUE||Kristen Buchanan||Paul King||11||54kg||96|
|10||8x13641x05||VEZALAY||Leon & Troy Corstens||–||1||54kg||95|
|11||116617×622||PRIVATE SECRETARY||Gregory Hickman||Brenton Avdulla||15||54kg||94|
|12||211108370x||BERRY DELICIOUS||Jason Coyle||–||16||54kg||91|
|13||0x1221x270||SECRET AGENDA||Mick Price||Dwayne Dunn||12||54kg||87|
|14||291x374x76||OTTOMAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||13||54kg||86|
|15e||1×4195141||NO MORE TEARS (NZ)||Stephen Marsh||Tommy Berry||9||54kg||86|
|16e||603278×249||PRESS REPORT||Lee Curtis||Ms Winona Costin (a)||5||54kg||84|
|17e||1x1274x562||LUCKY CAN BE||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton||2||54kg||82|
|18e||6x12254x24||HIEROGLYPHICS||Anthony Cummings||Damian Lane||17||54kg||71|