AJC Derby Day 2011 – Sapphire Stakes Nominations

As part of the bumper all black-type line-up at Randwick’s AJC Derby Day this Saturday, a collection of talented fillies and mares will face off in the $175,000 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

The 2011 Sapphire Stakes nominations feature 25 horses vying for a spot in the capacity 18-starter final field.

Crystal Lily

Crystal Lily has been nominated for both the TJ Smith Stakes and Sapphire Stakes this Saturday

Top-rated entry for this year’s Sapphire Stakes if former Golden Slipper winning filly Crystal Lily.

Crystal Lily has also been nominated for one of the elite level features on the Derby Day programme, the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), where another clash with unbeaten mare Black Caviar would be on the cards.

Twelve months ago the Peter Snowden-trained Renaissance was the Sapphire Stakes winner.

This year Snowden, winning trainer of the Golden Slipper with star colt Sepoy last weekend, has nominated three from his stables as he seeks back-to-back Sapphire Stakes success with Trim, Dysphonia and Kanzan.

Early favourites among the 2011 Sapphire Stakes nominations include:

  • Zingaling (Kris Lees) – Redoute’s Choice four-year-old resumed with a first-up win in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 26
  • Avenue (Peter Moody) – 57kg top-weight of the contenders here, the Anabaa mare won the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville before finishing four lengths away sixth to Response in the Group 1 Sportingbet Classic (1200m) last start
  • Sister Madly (Anthony Cummings) – Last start winner of the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 12
  • Ladys Angel (Joseph Pride) – Consistent Arena four-year-old coming off a close second to Zingaling in the Birthday Card Stakes

Another high-profile Sapphire Stakes nominee is the David Pfieffer-trained Canny Lad mare Graceful Anna.

After three second place finishes at Group level earlier this season, Graceful Anna most recently ran a well-beaten 14th when outclassed in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 19.

Graceful Anna

Graceful Anna who is set to bounce back in the Sapphire Stakes after her defeat in the Coolmore Classic

Pfieffer is hopeful Graceful Anna can bounce back on Saturday, advantaging from the step back in class and distance.

“They (the jockeys) are all ringing me after the ride on her, which means she must be the one to beat,” Pfieffer said.

“I have had to change jockey several times this preparation and finally I have been able to get Hugh Bowman, who is who I wanted on her from the start.

“There have been some disappointed managers when I told them the ride was gone.”

The final field of acceptors for all the feature races on the AJC Derby Day card will be released tomorrow, Wednesday April 5.

View the Sapphire Stakes field, form guide and betting tips by bookmarking us here at Races.com.au.

2011 Sapphire Stakes Nominations

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp. Rating
1 AVENUE Peter G Moody 3 57kg 109
2 GRACEFUL ANNA David Pfieffer 7 56.5kg 104
3 MARQUARDT (NZ) John P Thompson 10 56.5kg 96
4 SISTER MADLY Anthony Cummings 4 56.5kg 103
5 TRIM Peter Snowden 18 56.5kg 93
6 ZINGALING Kris Lees 5 56.5kg 98
7 CRYSTAL LILY Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra 1 56kg 112
8 DORF COMMAND Clarry Conners 25 56kg 95
9 DYSPHONIA Peter Snowden 6 56kg 96
10 KANZAN Peter Snowden 14 56kg 93
11 LITTLE SURFER GIRL Chris Waller 20 56kg 89
12 OFCOURSEICAN Ron Quinton 8 56kg 90
13 LADYS ANGEL Joseph Pride 9 55kg 88
14 MILITARY ROSE Gillian Heinrich 2 55kg 93
15 PURRPURRLENA Grahame Begg 19 55kg 96
16 PANIPIQUE Peter G Moody 11 54.5kg 95
17 FLYING SUCCESS Gai Waterhouse 15 54kg 89
18 GIRLS GO RACING Gregory Hickman 22 54kg 82
19 HURTLE MYRTLE Matthew Smith 16 54kg 93
20 KIMILLSY Kim Waugh 21 54kg 86
21 MYSTERIOUS LIGHT Gerald Ryan 23 54kg 74
22 PARRIWI Kris Lees 13 54kg 83
23 SHABANA Gregory Hickman 24 54kg 67
24 TURNSTILES (NZ) Anthony Cummings 17 54kg 86
25 STEPS IN TIME John O’Shea 12 52kg 68