David Brideoake’s Group 1 placed mare Griante is one of the headline final acceptors for the last on the Royal Randwick card this Saturday, the Sapphire Stakes 2015.
Randwick is host to a bumper 10-race program for Day 2 of The Championships on the weekend, the action coming to a close at 5:15pm (AEDT) with this year’s $300,000 Group 2 Drummond Golf Sapphire Stakes (1200m).
A final field of 13 fillies and mares are due to face off in the last on Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day, including Good Journey four-year-old Griante who is down in class after a top effort in elite company in Melbourne.
Second-up winner of the Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) at this track and distance on March 7, Griante went to Moonee Valley last time out for a brave third when beaten under two lengths by the winner Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
She returns to Randwick for her second run at the track and drops back to a race against her own kind here with Steven Arnold retaining the ride and the duo drawn ideally in barrier one.
Also drawn well are Bede Murray’s last start Warwick Farm winning filly Fine Mist with gate three and the Anthony Cummings-trained Villa Verde in barrier two out to improve on an eighth behind Sweet Idea in Rosehill’s Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) from last month.
Coming off a better lead-up run is the Bart & James Cummings-trained Shamardal four-year-old Shamalia who won the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) defeating former Golden Slipper winner Mossfun on March 21.
She did it from barrier seven (of eight) with Hugh Bowman aboard that day and now heads to Randwick, where she boasts a top record of two wins and a third from four starts, with Bowman retaining the ride in gate six.
One on her outside in barrier seven for jockey Nicholas Hall is then Robert Smerdon’s Summoned Stakes winner from the spring Politeness, running for the first time since her third to Tycoon Tara in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in mid-February.
Also coming via the Birthday Card Stakes meanwhile is the David Vandyke-trained local daughter of Northern Meteor Bound For Earth who ran a nice fourth first-up with improvement to come.
Other notable Sapphire Stakes hopes this autumn include last year’s runner-up Avoid Lightning last seen running 10th in The Galaxy, Kris Lees’ progressive filly Onemorezeta coming off a Gosford Guineas third and in-form Chloe In Paris who won three on the trot in Melbourne before her fifth in The Galaxy.
See below for the full Sapphire Stakes 2015 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2015 Sapphire Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 10 – 11/04/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1384x69x88||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||2||56kg||102|
|2||5x4428x9x4||BOUND FOR EARTH||David Vandyke||Blake Shinn||5||56kg||92|
|3||12113x1x30||AVOID LIGHTNING||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||8||55.5kg||107|
|4||x44180x413||GRIANTE||David Brideoake||Steven Arnold||1||55.5kg||100|
|5||21x44571x3||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||7||55.5kg||98|
|6||148x0310x1||SHAMALIA||Bart & James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||6||55kg||95|
|7||7151542×85||FINE BUBBLES||Kris Lees||Zac Purton||12||55kg||91|
|9||32x52x1115||CHLOE IN PARIS||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||11||54kg||97|
|10||7x85040x20||PERON||Peter G Moody||Tommy Berry||10||54kg||96|
|11||5233x6046x||BELLE DE COEUR||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||13||54kg||87|
|13||5161×17101||FINE MIST||Bede Murray||Jason Collett||3||53kg||82|