Group 1 performing filly Snitzerland may be the odds-on favourite to win Saturday’s 2013 Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide but rival trainer Robert Smerdon is confident his fellow three-year-old filly Shamal Wind can also be competitive in the Morphettville feature.
A total of 12 fillies and mares are accepted for in this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m), also known as the Sportingbet Classic, with the Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzerland the pronounced favourite to take out the race won 12 months ago by superstar sprinter Black Caviar.
Last seen running a brave second to Bel Sprinter in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 30 there’s certainly lots to like about Snitzerland and she does look the one to beat on Saturday.
Further down the Robert Sangster Stakes odds at a quote of around $11 is then Dubawi filly Shamal Wind who must improve greatly on her disappointing lead-up run when 14th behind the Chris Waller-trained Arinosa in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 20.
Smerdon is willing to forgive his filly that run and is hoping she can reproduce some of her better autumn form in the Robert Sangster including her very close third behind Lonhspresso at the Morphettville track in the Group 2 Centrebet Classic (1200m) last month.
“She never really got a crack at them last start and while it’s hard to quantify how she would have gone I’d forget the run,” Smerdon said.
Win or lose on Saturday Shamal Wind, whose only other Group 1 start was a disappointing 12th to Mrs Onassis in the Oakleigh Plate after she played up in the gates, will be sent to the paddock after the Robert Sangster for a well-earned rest ahead of a likely spring return.
“She’s got a great constitution and has come through her last run perfectly but this is definitely her grand final and will be her last run this preparation,” Smerdon said.
If Shamal Wind is successful in scoring an upset Robert Sangster Stakes result this year she will retain Victoria’s flawless record in the race with Victorian raiders having all eight editions of the event since it was upgraded to a Group 1 features in 2005.
Other notable hopes in the Robert Sangster Stakes 2013 include the recent Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes trifecta of the Peter Moody-trained Kulgrinda (1st), Darren Weir’s Ballarat-based mare Platelet (2nd) and the local David Jolly-prepared Avoid Lightning (3rd).
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