Three-year-old filly Sabatini is the headline act of Lee & Shannon Hope’s stable and the father and son training team will need to make some bid decisions where the filly is concerned soon.
Sabatini has had a great autumn campaign already, winning her first two starts and running a very close second in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) on Saturday. The filly previously contested a Group One race in the spring – the Thousand Guineas (1600m) in which she finished third – and her trainers are keen to get her back to racing at the highest level.
Shannon Hope revealed his stable is weighing-up Group One options in both Sydney and Adelaide after Sabatini came through the 2015 Kewney Stakes very well. The Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 11 would be the target in Sydney while the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) would be a possible race at Morphettville on May 2.
“We’re just going to weigh up whether we go to Sydney for the Queen Of The Turf or freshen her up for Adelaide and a race like the Robert Sangster,” Hope told Racing Victoria.
“She’s a Group 3 and Group 2 winner now so we’ve really got to try and aim her at the Group 1s. On Saturday’s run maybe we should have been in Sydney for the Coolmore.
“If you look at her sectionals, I think she ran 10.84 twice and then 11.59 for the last 600m which is not far off the time Brazen Beau ran in the Newmarket.”
After running third to Amicus in the Thousand Guineas on October 11, Sabatini was spelled for four months before resuming in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) on February 14. She began nicely and settled in an ideal spot, fourth on the rails. The filly was travelling well, blocked in the straight but got a split at the 150 metres to finish too well to win by three-quarters of a length.
Two weeks later, she won the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) by one length. Sabatini began well from her inside barrier and settled nicely in fifth place on the rails, following an average tempo. She improved between runners rounding the home turn, challenged strongly at the 200 metres, and hit the front with 100 metres to go to win in a good style.
Sabatini was the $3 favourite in the Kewney Stakes at Flemington on Saturday, running half a length shy of Wawail in second place, just missing out on a third-straight victory but delivering an eye-catching finish.
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