2011 Sapphire Stakes Final Field & Preview – AJC Derby Day

A field of 14 fillies and mares have been accepted for this Saturday’s $175,000 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m), one of the nine Group races scheduled for the 2011 AJC Australian Derby Day at Royal Randwick.

The two early favourites among the Sapphire Stakes field this year have suffered an early blow with Graceful Anna and Zingaling drawing wide with gates 10 and 12 respectively.

David Pfieffer’s Canny Lad four-year-old Graceful Anna enjoyed early success this season running second in three Group races before her last start failure in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 19.

In February Graceful Anna ran second to More Joyous in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) and was runner-up behind Montana Flyer in the Group 3 Millie Fox Quality (1300m) at her next start.

Zingaling

Zingaling is one of the top fancies for the Sapphire Stakes despite her wide draw

She also finished a length away second behind Triple Elegance in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 5 before beating home just one other runner in the 14-horse Coolmore Classic field.

Stepping back from 1500m to 1200m on Saturday and also the drop back in class from a Group 1 to Group 2 event should see Graceful Anna return to form and punters will likely forgive the mare for her run in the Coolmore.

Meanwhile the Kris Lees-trained Redoute’s Choice mare Zingaling enjoyed an impressive first-up win in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 26.

This was Zingaling’s first Group assignment and after she handled that with ease she has been given another in the Sapphire Stakes.

The females that finished two-three behind Zingaling in the Birthday Card Stakes, Ladys Angel and Flying Success, are also backing up in the Sapphire Stakes on Saturday.

Prepared by Joseph Pride, Arena four-year-old Ladys Angel is a progressive mare that was beaten by just a long-neck in the Birthday Card Stakes.

Ladys Angel has drawn well for Saturday with barrier four and will be ridden by Tim Clark.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Flying Success will start out a little further from gate eight with star hoop Glen Boss in the mount.

Other major players in the 2011 Sapphire Stakes include Wenona Girl Handicap winner Ofcourseican (barrier six) and the Anthony Cummings-trained Turnstiles drawn on the rails with barrier one.

The most notable defector from the 2011 Sapphire Stakes field following nominations is Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily.

Connections have opted to run Crystal Lily in the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Saturday instead where she will again face off against the world’s fastest horse, Black Caviar.

The 2011 Yellowglen Sapphire Stakes is scheduled to jump at 4:20pm (AEST) as Randwick Race 8 on Saturday.

2011 Sapphire Stakes Final Field, Barriers & Weights

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 1340X92220 GRACEFUL ANNA David Pfieffer Hugh Bowman 10 56.5kg 104
2 2310X833X1 ZINGALING Kris Lees Jim Cassidy 12 56.5kg 98
3 21X7137X40 MARQUARDT (NZ) John P Thompson Jim Byrne 9 56.5kg 96
4 X71562X530 TRIM Peter Snowden 3 56.5kg 93
5 11X189317X DYSPHONIA Peter Snowden 5 56kg 96
6 02367X8338 DORF COMMAND Clarry Conners Dwayne Dunn 7 56kg 95
7 2727X3123X KANZAN Peter Snowden 13 56kg 93
8 12610X2115 OFCOURSEICAN Ron Quinton Christian Reith 6 56kg 90
9 32X331X572 PURRPURRLENA Grahame Begg Brenton Avdulla 2 55kg 96
10 12X7113X42 LADYS ANGEL Joseph Pride Tim Clark 4 55kg 88
11 243X425X97 HURTLE MYRTLE Matthew Smith 14 54kg 93
12 26X3126423 FLYING SUCCESS Gai Waterhouse Glen Boss 8 54kg 89
13 0X751330X4 KIMILLSY Kim Waugh Corey Brown 11 54kg 86
14 49134X1120 TURNSTILES (NZ) Anthony Cummings Craig Williams 1 54kg 86