While not holding black type status, Saturday’s Blue Sapphire Stakes 2013 is still shaping up as a top Caulfield Guineas Day feature for three-year-olds including Daniel Clarken’s reigning Blue Diamond Stakes winner Miracles Of Life.
Last seen running a distant second to Thump in the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27, the Adelaide-trained Not A Single Doubt filly Miracles Of Life is looking to get back in the winner’s stall.
Her last victory was a Group 1 effort at the Blue Diamond Stakes in February, a run she’ll be out to reproduce in the lucrative $250,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire (1200m).
The race attracted just nine hopefuls, Miracles Of Life to be ridden by Lauren Stojakovic from the inside alley.
There are plenty of classy types in the mix too including three last start winners.
The top rated of those after back-to-back wins is Tony McEvoy’s Iconic (barrier six).
Another interstate raider the Bel Esprit gelding won over the 1000m at Caulfield on September 21 and looks right in it going up to the 1200m with Nash Rawiller to ride.
“He was super impressive and showed a real liking for Caulfield,” McEvoy told AAP speaking of Iconic’s last start success.
“He’ll love the extra 200 metres of the Blue Sapphire.”
The other last start winners are then the Mick Price-trained Lion Of Belfort after their third on the trot after wins at Geelong and Moonee Valley respectively, and the lightly-raced Hawkes’ galloper Pinova in just their third career run who broke their maiden status on September 18 at Bendigo.
Lion Of Belfort will be ridden by Damien Oliver on Saturday, with Price confident they can be competitive with the right run.
“I thought he would be a really nice horse if he made a progression from Geelong to Moonee Valley,” Price told AAP.
“That wasn’t a bad race at Moonee Valley last start.
“He had to get out of traffic, it’s a tough 1200 metres at Moonee Valley and he was strong to the line and through the line.
“I think it was the win of a horse who is going to go on and he’s probably going to be our best chance on Saturday.”
Other better known three-year-olds in the mix then include Jason Coyle’s dual Group winner Va Pensiero coming off a fifth to Zoustar in last Saturday’s Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, the consistent Vain Stakes winning Peter Snowden-trained Safeguard and Lonhro colt Diamond Oasis for John O’Shea.
Rounding out the field are then Not A Single Doubt grey Villa Verde and the Robert Smerdon-trained Go Again.
2013 Blue Sapphire Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 3 – 1:25pm (AEST) – 12/10/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2x1152x1||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Nash Rawiller||6||57kg||84|
|2||x1290x1145||VA PENSIERO||Jason Coyle||Brett Prebble||2||57kg||92|
|3||1x1x14||SAFEGUARD||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||7||57kg||91|
|4||1433×712||DIAMOND OASIS||John O’Shea||James McDonald||9||57kg||76|
|5||211||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||5||57kg||71|
|6||1111×42||MIRACLES OF LIFE||Daniel Clarken||Ms Lauren Stojakovic||1||55kg||100|
|7||11x270x2||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||Michael Rodd||8||55kg||82|
|8||15×64||GO AGAIN||Robert Smerdon||Ben Melham||3||55kg||66|
|9||0x1||PINOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||4||55kg||63|