Two gallopers are currently sharing top spot in the 2015 Sapphire Stakes odds for the last at Royal Randwick on Saturday with Avoid Lightning and Shamalia shaping up as the two to beat.
Bringing the action of a bumper Day 2 of The Championships to a close on Sydney this weekend, the $300,000 Group 2 Drummond Golf Sapphire Stakes (1200m) runs as Randwick Race 10 at 5:15pm (AEST).
In the latest Sapphire Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au both the Les Bridge-trained Blevic mare Avoid Lightning and Bart & James Cummings’ four-year-old Shamalia are installed as the $5.50 co-favourites.
Drawn in barrier eight with Tim Clark to ride, six-year-old Avoid Lightning is after her first win since a Group 3 over this track and distance in October last year.
Third to Cosmic Endeavour in last June’s Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in Brisbane, she boasts a top Randwick record of three wins and a second from five starts and will appreciate a return to the track this weekend.
Her latest run was a disappointing 10th behind Sweet Idea in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 21, and the drop back to Group 2 company will suit on Saturday.
Younger rival Shamalia meanwhile is up in class after an impressive two length win over former Golden Slipper winner Mossfun in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on The Galaxy Day.
She too has a nice Randwick race record of two wins and a third from four previous runs at the track, her latest being behind the now retired Deep Field in a Listed race over 1100m during the spring.
Hugh Bowman stays on the up-and-comer and the duo is drawn nicely in barrier six.
It is a fairly open market with the next best in betting at $6.50 being Tommy Berry’s mount Peron out in barrier 10, Peter Moody’s Husson five-year-old out to improve on her last start 12th in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.
The other single figure hopes for the Sapphire Stakes win on the weekend are then market mover Griante ($8) on the rails, the Ciaron Maher-trained Chloe In Paris ($8.50) and Politeness ($9) for Caulfield’s Robert Smerdon.
Steven Arnold retains the ride on Good Journey four-year-old Griante who is up from Mornington, the mare coming off an ace run for second in the William Reid Stakes and looking for her second win in three starts after success in the Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on March 7.
Fellow four-year-old Chloe In Paris is also looking to return to the winner’s stall after a brave run in elite level company, the recent Listed Bob Hoystead Stakes (1000m) winner at Flemington last seen running fifth in The Galaxy.
Politeness meanwhile jumps from barrier seven with Nicholas Hall aboard for the fourth time on the trot, the daughter of Street Sense last seen running third in a Caulfield Group 3 from mid-February.
Also in the mix at more generous odds are then the likes of Atmospherical ($10) in gate four with Glen Boss a late booking for the ride and Belle De Coeur ($13) with the outside barrier to overcome.
See below for the full Sapphire Stakes 2015 betting odds, fixed win prices open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will be matched by the house up to $250 with use of the code BETBONUS!