The Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) was the first Group race running at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday with Sabatini delivering a clear, strong win.
The Lee & Shannon Hope-trained filly was a $10 hopeful in the Ladbrokes.com.au betting market but managed to beat home race favourite Royal Snitzel ($2) with Fontein Ruby ($11) in third.
Royal Snitzel only jumped ok while Fontein Ruby was deep on course and tracked wide in the lead, a neck in front round the turn. At the 200 metre mark Sabatini ran up behind the leader looking to get an out, bolting out to the lead and running the trip and finishing two lengths clear of her rivals.
Nick Hall delivered a beautiful ride on the resuming filly that was last seen running third in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) back in October.
Shannon Hope was well pleased with the first-up win from Sabatini, who is nominated for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7.
“She’s come back in good form after a really nice jumpout at Cranbourne a fortnight ago,” the co-trainer said.
He wasn’t sure if the filly had what it took to win despite her track work, considering the noise surrounding the other runners.
“We drew the gun barrier and got a good ride stuck in behind the leaders.
“Nothing is set in concrete [for the upcoming autumn] but she holds a nomination for the Guineas, we’ll just see how she pulls up today but she’s got a lot of possibilities.
“She seems to be very tough and thrives on racing.”
The 2015 Kevin Hayes Stakes is just the beginning of Group racing at Caulfield this Saturday, highlighted by the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) later this afternoon.
Open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account today to receive a $250 bonus match on your first bet.
2015 Kevin Hayes Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||Nicholas Hall||–||1||57.5kg||$10|
|2||6||ROYAL SNITZEL||Mick Price||Dale Smith||0.75L||3||56.5kg||$2F|
|3||1||FONTEIN RUBY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||0.85L||7||58.5kg||$13|
|4||2||AFLEET ESPRIT Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||3.6L||2||58.5kg||$5|
|5||8||BOUNDARY||Heath Conners||Brad Rawiller||3.8L||5||56kg||$21|
|6||7||THINKING OF YOU (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4L||4||56kg||$5|
|7||4||LUCKY RAQUIE||Gerald Ryan||Chad Schofield||6L||6||57.5kg||$41|
|–||3||AMICUS Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||–||0||–||–|