Unbeaten filly Atlantic Jewel heads a group of 19 horses nominated to contest the Group 2 2012 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday as part of a bumper Australian Derby Day card.
Whether or not the star Mark Kavanagh-trained horse lines up in the final field is still to be decided, with Kavanagh also nominating her for the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes.
The star filly definitely has the ability to compete with the likes of Rain Affair and Foxwedge in the TJ Smith but Kavanagh is keeping his options open given she is racing for the first time since being spelled in October.
A daughter of Fastnet Rock, Atlantic Jewel burst on to the scene last year, winning five races including the Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas by three lengths ahead of Mosheen.
Also returning from a spell is Tony Noonan-trained five-year-old who will be looking to start fresh after a disappointing spring campaign.
The mare showed promise during the Brisbane winter campaign by winning the Group 2 QTC Cup but was unable to finish better than fifth in three starts in the spring.
Leading trainer Peter Moody has one horse nominated, with Mid Summer Music set to bounce back from a first-up seventh in the William Reid Stakes.
The distance should suit the six-year-old, with five of her nine career victories having come at 1200 metres.
Gai Waterhouse has two horses nominated with last-start winner Hallowell Belle and More Than Ready mare More Strawberries who is returning from a spell.
Another last-start winner included in nominations is the Peter Snowden-trained Celts who is coming off a narrow victory in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes on March 31.
The $175,000 Group 2 event stands as a key support race on an action-packed card that includes the Australian Derby and TJ Smith Stakes.
Markets will open later in the week for the Sapphire Stakes and the best place to bet is at bookmaker.com.au.
With sensational odds and a $300 bonus bet offer for new customers, it is little wonder the Australian owned bookie is the Races.com.au favourite.
2012 Sapphire Stakes – Nominations
|1||ATLANTIC JEWEL||Mark Kavanagh||110|
|2||BORN TO ROCK||Michael Moroney –|
|3||BOUND TO BLUSH||John O’Shea||71|
|6||EVER THE SAME||Anthony Cummings||80|
|7||GRACEFUL ANNA||David Pfieffer||98|
|8||HALLOWELL BELLE||Gai Waterhouse||99|
|9||LADYS ANGEL||Joseph Pride||98|
|11||MID SUMMER MUSIC||Peter G Moody||103|
|12||MISS BINDI (NZ)||Colin & Cindy Alderson||–|
|13||MISS UPSTART||Bob Thomsen||73|
|14||MORE STRAWBERRIES||Gai Waterhouse||102|
|16||PHENOMENAL LASS||Joseph Pride||90|
|17||POTIONS||John P Thompson||85|
|18||ROSE OF PEACE||Gary Portelli||95|
|19||VARENNA MISS||Tony Noonan||104|