The second ever edition of the $250,000 Blue Sapphire (1200m) has been won by a very promising young colt Lion Of Belfort who could be a roughie shot at the 2013 Coolmore Stud Stakes next month.
Prepared by local horseman Mick Price the son of Staute Of Liberty has been working their way through the grades in fine style, today’s Blue Sapphire 2013 result their first stakes victory.
It was also the horse’s third win on the trot, from just four career starts, following wins at Geelong and then Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
While the Blue Sapphire is yet to hold black type status, it is being groomed for a Group upgrade and Price believes it will prove a lovely form race for his smart winner.
“This will end up being a good group race,” Price said on TVN post-win.
“I think we’ll look back on the race and the good form.”
While the Blue Sapphire winner was certainly very good, the win could be mainly credited to a gun ride from jockey Damien Oliver who gave the horse a perfectly timed run.
Brett Prebble’s mount Va Pensiero hussled away on the inside to take up the early running and lead after settling.
Villa Verde then did some work to overtake and hit the front before being run down failing to see out a strong 1200m.
Race favourite Safeguard, for whom late money came in just before jump in a tight market, moved up to settle second while Daniel Clarken’s Blue Diamond winner Miracles Of Life was caught in traffic.
In a hustle-bustle finish it was Lion Of Belforst who burst through to knock over the well-tried Safeguard, Diamond Oasis out wide awarded third in a photo finish.
“It’s a credit to Mick and his training and the horse,” a modest Oliver said after the win.
“The horse makes his own luck.”
While wary to push the young winner in their opening campaign, Price is keeping options open for Lion Of Belfort who impressed him today the way he hit the line.
“A small field, bit of traffic, that’s the second time this horse has got stuck in traffic,” Price said.
“I think the race suited him…the horse was pretty brave.
“He was there under pressure after 1200 metres, that’s the main thing.
“It’s just a question of what we do with him from this point on, it’s only his first prep.
“But he’s a really promising horse.”
Price is considering an ambitious grand final aim, the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), but is far from confirming them a certainty.
“We’ve got the Coolmore there I suppose but we’ll just see what happens,” he said.
“We’ve always liked him.”
Held on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Victoria Derby Day on November 2, the Coolmore Stud Stakes is also the confirmed aim for today’s Thoroughbred Club Stakes winner Missy Longstocking.
Now is the perfect time to head over to Ladbrokes.com.au and get in on the Caulfield Guineas betting action for the big one this afternoon, Australia’s premier bookmaker offering DOUBLE THE ODDS on the three-year-olds in the field!
2013 Blue Sapphire Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 3 – 12/10/2013
|1||5||LION OF BELFORT||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||–||5||57kg||$8|
|2||3||SAFEGUARD||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.75L||7||57kg||$4.60F|
|3||4||DIAMOND OASIS||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1.25L||9||57kg||$14|
|4||7||VILLA VERDE||Shaun Dwyer||Michael Rodd||1.35L||8||55kg||$5.50|
|4||2||VA PENSIERO||Jason Coyle||Brett Prebble||1.35L||2||57kg||$14|
|6||1||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Nash Rawiller||2.6L||6||57kg||$5.50|
|7||6||MIRACLES OF LIFE||Daniel Clarken||Ms Lauren Stojakovic||3L||1||55kg||$5|
|8||8||GO AGAIN||Robert Smerdon||Ben Melham||4.25L||3||55kg||$71|
|9||9||PINOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||6L||4||55kg||$31|