It was just a small field of seven contesting the feature race at Caulfield Wednesday afternoon, the Listed Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m), but that didn’t stop it from being an interesting race.
Eloping was easing favouritism before the race, lengthening from $2.70 out to $3.50 at Ladbrokes.com.au, but she proved successful in the end.
The three-year-old filly was first to break the line and maintained the lead throughout the entire race, winning two lengths off Sultry Feeling.
However she was in danger of losing the lead from Tudor at the beginning, who retained the fence run and made Eloping work for her lead but she left clear around the turn and just kept digging with 200m left.
Sultry Feeling finished in second from Husson Eagle in third.
Jockey Stephen Baster had nothing but praise for the filly following the eventful run, calling her a “little star”.
“[Tudor] made me work for it but [Eloping] is a great filly and she has been great to me,” he said directly after the race.
“She went to the line with her ears pricked, she did it quite easy. Every time she’s gone round she’s improved.”
Trainers Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison were both impressed with the win.
“She’s a ripper [to train], just an absolute pleasure to have around. She never puts a foot wrong and race day she just does what she does,” Widdison said after the win.
“She looked like she was a bit gassed there for a little while and then all of a sudden she kicked like she usually does; she’s just a great horse,” Morgan added.
“We’ve thought about Western Australia, there’s a $750,000 race for three-year-olds so if the travel arrangements are made correctly there’s a possibility we’ll go there.
“Coolmore might be too strong for us but there is a fillies race in the same carnival, so we’ll just see how she pulls up and make up our minds where she goes.”
But Widdison was less decisive about not running in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
“You’d think [she’d be competitive in the Coolmore] wouldn’t you?” Widdison said.
“We would have to be tempted to have a go.”
The Blue Sapphire Stakes win now bumps Eloping up to a $1 million earner.
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2014 Blue Sapphire Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||7||ELOPING Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||–||2||55kg||$3.50F|
|2||8||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||1.75L||5||55kg||$9.50|
|3||4||HUSSON EAGLE||Patrick Payne||Michael Rodd||2.5L||3||57kg||$5.50|
|4||2||TUDOR Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Doug Harrison||Craig Williams||2.9L||1||57kg||$7.50|
|5||3||NICOSCENE||Anthony Freedman||Mark Zahra||3L||7||57kg||$26|
|6||6||SUPIDO Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Michael Kent||Luke Nolen||3.2L||6||57kg||$4.60|
|7||5||BURNING PASSION||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.95L||4||57kg||$6|