Avoid Lightning Takes Out Sapphire Stakes

Avoid Lightning has rounded out Day 2 of The Championships in style for trainer Les Bridge this afternoon; mustering a strong turn of foot in the final straight at Randwick to take out the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

Avoid Lightning beat Griante in a sprint-off to win the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Avoid Lightning beat Griante in a sprint-off to win the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Jumping from the gates well, Tim Clark settled the Blevic mare on the heels of early leader Fine Mist, who set a noticeably quick tempo away from the barriers and approaching the bend.

Offered a clear racing line upon arriving wide on the final straight, Avoid Lightning steadily spooled-up and charged forward; locking in a fierce sprint battle with Griante before poking clear in the final 50 metres; Fine Bubbles boxing on for third.

Clark has partnered Avoid Lightning through most of her 26 start career to date and was thrilled to return the winner’s circle aboard the gutsy mare in the 2015 Sapphire Stakes.

“She’s been a wonderful mare and obviously had conditions to suit today, being wet,” Clark said.

“I put her outside the speed today and they challenged her 300 out; Griante probably just got a margin on me inside the furlong but she’s all heart and she gave me everything she had and really proud of her.

“She’s not very pretty to look at but she’s got a big heart and she’s just thrived since she’s been in Sydney and this is the race he’s (Bridge) targeted her at the whole prep.”

Bridge was thrilled to have saddled Avoid Lightning to success in the 2015 Sapphire Stakes but revealed he was worried when Clark led the six-year-old wide rounding the bend.

“I’ve had a lot of good mares and have trained horses for 50 years now and she’s the best wet-tracker,” Bridge said.

“I got a shock and wasn’t really happy to be truthful but the way the track’s playing I knew Timmy didn’t want to be too wide on her or too far back.

“They didn’t go that hard; they gave her a pretty cheap run up there.

“She’s just a quality mare and that’s what they do.”

Punters who backed Avoid Lightning to win the 2015 Sapphire Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au have been paid out on generous $3.70 odds for success!

2015 Sapphire Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 3 AVOID LIGHTNING Les Bridge Tim Clark 7 55.5kg $3.40F
2 4 GRIANTE David Brideoake Steven Arnold 0.5L 1 55.5kg $7
3 7 FINE BUBBLES Kris Lees Zac Purton 2L 11 55kg $51
4 13 FINE MIST Bede Murray Jason Collett 2.2L 3 53kg $18
5 10 PERON Peter G Moody Tommy Berry 2.4L 9 54kg $10
6 9 CHLOE IN PARIS Ciaron Maher Damien Oliver 2.8L 10 54kg $4.80
7 2 BOUND FOR EARTH David Vandyke Blake Shinn 2.9L 5 56kg $31
8 8 ATMOSPHERICAL David Pfieffer Glen Boss 3.2L 4 54kg $12
9 11 BELLE DE COEUR Chris Waller Joao Moreira 3.4L 12 54kg $18
10 12 ONEMOREZETA Kris Lees Jim Cassidy 3.7L 8 54kg $31
11 6 SHAMALIA Bart & James Cummings Hugh Bowman 7.4L 6 55kg $6
12 1 VILLA VERDE Anthony Cummings Brenton Avdulla 13.2L 2 56kg $26


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