The highly-spruiked new race on the Caulfield Guineas Day card for this weekend will be the inaugural 2012 Blue Sapphire for three-year-olds, the event to host a scintillating showdown between Sizzling and Snitzerland.
While the staying three-year-olds will be facing off in the $1 million Group 1 The Age Caulfield Guineas (1600m) the sprinters will take to the Caulfield track this Saturday in the $250,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire (1200m) – a race being groomed to eventually receive Group 1 status as Melbourne’s equivalent to the Golden Rose in Sydney.
Last month the early Blue Sapphire 2012 nominations were taken by Racing Victoria with 105 hopefuls entered for the set weights clash.
One of the big name entries was Sizzling, Kelso Wood’s Group 1 winning Snitzel colt.
Sizzling has won five of their eight starts to date including the Group 2 Champagne Classic – BRC Sires’ Produce double.
Their Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign however was headlined by their culminating run in the Group 1 TJ Smith (1600m) which saw them narrowly beat home the Gai Waterhouse-trained Kabayan for the win.
Now after a fourth month break they will return to racing in the Blue Sapphire with Wood looking forward to their first-up run, Sizzling undefeated first-up, as they head towards the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, November 3.
Proving they were ready to defend that record was Sizzling’s smart win in a Flemington trial over 800m last Friday morning, an effort that had Wood beaming.
“He gave the leader four lengths at one stage but picked it up and won going away by nearly a length,” Wood said.
“Since he’s been in Melbourne he’s been going enormous. There have been no hiccups whatsover with him.”
The Blue Sapphire will be Sizzling’s first official start the Melbourne way of racing, the horse having raced exclusively in Queensland to date, but Wood has zero queries they will handle the direction change having seen their impressive work at Flemington.
“He went around the turns without any problems at all and I couldn’t be happier going into the race at Caulfield,” he said.
One of Sizzling’s biggest rivals on Saturday is then another Snitzel prodigy in Gerald Ryan’s ace filly Snitzerland.
Like Sizzling Snitzerland has won five from eight in their awesome career so far, four of those being at Group level.
Runner-up to Cox Plate favourite Pierro in the Golden Slipper back in April, Snitzerland will have the fitness edge on Saturday having had three runs (for three wins) this time in.
In August she enjoyed a big first-up victory over Driefontein in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill before travelling to Melbourne in September to take out both the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley – Ryan happy with the way she pulled up after the last.
Snitzerland is nominated for the big spring sprints in Melbourne with the $750,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 26 at Moonee Valley and the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the closing day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 10 both on the agenda.
In the current Manikato Stakes odds at bookmaker.com.au Snitzerland is the $9 third favourite behind Buffering ($4.20) and Sea Siren ($7.50).
Among the other notable 2012 Blue Sapphire nominees are the likes of Atlantic Jewel’s three-quarter sister Commanding Jewel, Golden Rose winner Epaulette, Adelaide galloper Jimando, Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Lady Of Harrods and Knight Exemplar.
Acceptances for the Blue Sapphire and all the other Caulfield races this weekend will be taken on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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2012 Blue Sapphire Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 13/10/2012
|1||A TIME FOR JULIA||Peter G Moody|
|4||AL ANEED||Mick Price|
|5||ALLEZ FLASH||Matthew Smith|
|6||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths|
|7||ARMED FOR ACTION||Anthony Freedman|
|8||AWESOME BRO (NZ)||Leon Corstens|
|9||BAITED BREATH||Anthony Freedman|
|10||BEAU JEZ||Mark Kavanagh|
|13||BERNICATTI (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh|
|15||BUSH AVIATOR||Danny O’Brien|
|16||CASINO SWOOP||John P Thompson|
|19||CHOSEN MOMENT||Anthony Freedman|
|20||CHURCHILL EXPRESS||Shane Fliedner|
|21||CLEARWATER BAY||David Hayes|
|22||CLINTON AFFAIR||Peter G Moody|
|23||CLOUD SONG||David Hayes|
|24||COMMANDING JEWEL||Leon Corstens|
|27||DEFIANT ANGEL||Anthony Freedman|
|28||DESTRUCTION||John P Thompson|
|30||DON’T BLINK||John O’Shea|
|32||ETERNAL OPTIMIST||David Hayes|
|34||EXTREME IMPACT||David Hayes|
|35||FERMENT||John P Thompson|
|36||FINAL IMPRESSION||Gillian Heinrich|
|37||FIRE THUNDERBOLT||Phillip Stokes|
|38||FIVE ROCKS||Bart Cummings|
|42||GENERAL GROOVE||Leon Corstens|
|43||GENERAL RIPPA||David Hayes|
|45||GET PRONTO||Anthony Freedman|
|46||GOLD RORY||Mark Riley|
|48||HERE DE PRINCESS||Chris Waller|
|49||HOSS AMOR||John O’Shea|
|51||KNIGHT EXEMPLAR||John O’Shea|
|53||LADY OF HARRODS||Russell Cameron|
|54||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price|
|55||LASHED OUT (NZ)||John & Chris Ledger|
|56||LET GO LENNI||Mick Price|
|60||MARINA SANDS||John P Thompson|
|61||MARYLAND||John P Thompson|
|62||MAURY||John P Thompson|
|64||MEMBERS JOY||Robert Smerdon|
|65||MRS GRAY||David Hayes|
|67||NECHITA||John P Thompson|
|68||OH SUSANNAH||Peter G Moody|
|70||PLANET VOYAGE||Peter G Moody|
|73||PRONTO PRONTO||Jason Warren|
|76||RAPPERS DELIGHT||David Hayes|
|79||REFLECTANCE||John P Thompson|
|80||ROLL THE BONES||John P Thompson|
|81||ROYAL AMATI||David Hayes|
|83||SATURN ROCK||Robert Smerdon|
|85||SEVEN DEGREES||Michael Kent|
|86||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien|
|87||SHARBO (NZ)||David Hayes|
|88||SIGMUND||John P Thompson|
|92||SPLASH OF MOET||Mark Minervini|
|94||STEEP||John P Thompson|
|95||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh|
|97||THE REVEREND||David Hayes|
|98||THIS IS YOUR LIFE||David Hayes|
|100||TINSLEY GREEN||Bart Cummings|
|102||VILLA ROMANA||David Hayes|
|103||VOLUME ONE||Michael Kent|
|104||WILD ERP||Michael Kent|
|105||YOUR SONG||Anthony Cummings|