The inaugural edition of the 2012 Blue Sapphire has been won by super filly Snitzerland this Caulfield Guineas Day, the odds-on favourite digging deep to get the job done in a thrilling finish that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Gerald Ryan’s impressive daughter of Snitzel secured her fourth straight win this time in having won the San Domenico, Danehill Stakes and the Champagne Stakes in the lead-up to today’s $250,000 Blue Sapphire (1200m).
While she didn’t produce her usual scintillating late burst to put them away today, Ryan saw another side of this versatile filly as she had to really knuckle down to win this one, but that’s what good horses do.
“Each run this time in she’s just displaying different qualities,” Ryan said.
“She dug really deep today, she was strong.”
Snitzerland won the jump but just couldn’t quite cross over with the previously undefeated Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee, who looked great in the yard, holding the lead early while Phillip Stokes’ Adelaide raider Fire Thunderbolt settled into third on the outside of the favourite.
Jockey Corey Brown continued to let Snitzerland idle outside the leader with second favouirte Sizzling, resuming after a Group 1 win in Brisbane during the winter, about half a length away on the turn for home.
It was a three horse battle across the field on the straight with Snitzerland struggling to hold position from challengers Lankan Rupee and Fire Thunderbolt.
In a cracking finish Snitzerland ($1.95) came back from the dead in a spectacular race to beat home an eye-catching Fire Thunderbolt ($18) by a long neck while Lankan Rupee ($5) finished third.
Happy with the effort of his Blue Sapphire winner, Ryan also credited the effort and class of the outstanding runner-up.
“The second horse was really good also I reckon,” Ryan said.
“He made us work.
“If anything they may have been going a bit slow for us.
“But she did good, she got the job done.”
The Rob Heathcote-trained Sizzling meanwhile was far from disgraced in fourth. He jumped pretty well but didn’t quite have the early speed and he came from well back after getting shoved along to finish right up there.
He will definitely improve and be hard to beat next race and looks a good miler. They were a bit sharp for him fresh at this distance but in no way would connections be disappointed by the Snitzel colt’s three-year-old debut.
Despite the feeling that Snitzerland may be looking for a little more distance, Ryan will continue preparations for the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 3, during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“I’ll have to do a bit of thinking between now and the Coolmore,” he said.
“But she’s won four in the row, what more can you do?
“She’s beaten the clots more than the fillies….I couldn’t run that.
“She’ll go to the Coolmore, it’s just up to me to get her fresh and well and ready for the 1200-metres at Flemington in three weeks, I’ve got three weeks.
“She’s won on every track she’s raced on.
“She’s pretty bomb proof, she’s going good, she’s going bloody good.”
Owner Neil Werrett agrees.
“She really guts it out today,” he said after the win.
“She put her head down and Gerald’s done a great job to get her fit and Corey’s rode a great race.”
See below for the full 2012 Blue Sapphire results and finishing order.
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2012 Blue Sapphire Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Guineas Day Race 2 – 1:05pm
|1||10||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Corey Brown||–||4||55kg||$1.95F|
|2||3||FIRE THUNDERBOLT||Phillip Stokes||Craig Williams||0.2L||5||57kg||$18|
|3||5||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||0.3L||2||57kg||$5|
|4||1||SIZZLING||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||0.5L||7||57kg||$5|
|5||7||GENERALIFE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1.5L||1||57kg||$11|
|6||6||EXIMIUS||Mick Price||Glen Boss||2.75L||3||57kg||$81|
|7||2||BOBAN||Anthony Freedman||Steven Arnold||3.5L||8||57kg||$41|
|8||4||MAURY||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||5L||9||57kg||$151|
|9||9||LASHED OUT (NZ)||John & Chris Ledger||Michael Walker||25L||6||57kg||$201|
|–||8||GOLD RORY||Mark Riley||Nash Rawiller||–||0||–||–|