A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse is confident in both her chances as she prepares to launch a two-pronged assault on the 2015 Blue Sapphire Stakes field at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse on Wednesday.
The field for this season’s $350,000 Listed Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) is down to just seven starters following the early scratching of the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Von Maestro.
Two of the remaining three-year-olds in the mix for the lucrative set weights sprint are prepared in Sydney by Tulloch Lodge trainer Waterhouse who saddles-up stablemates Raphael’s Cat and Dark Steel from barriers six and three respectively.
Of the two the better fancied in the latest Blue Sapphire Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering an exclusive Best Tote or SP + 20% on the feature this week, is Raphael’s Cat paying $11 for the win in markets dominated by three other hopefuls.
Current $3.10 top fancy is John O’Shea’s last start Warwick Farm winner Mogador who is followed in the markets very closely by the rails-drawn Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) winning Exceed And Excel colt Kinglike ($3.20) for Peter Moody and Lindsay Park’s Keen Array ($3.30) who boasts a 50% winning strike rate over his six start career to date.
Blake Shinn rides Raphael’s Cat who has won two of his four starts so far, most recently over 1200m at Canterbury on August 19.
Shinn was aboard that day as well as in the Danehill Stakes down the Flemington straight on September 12 where the Redoute’s Choice colt was far from disgraced crossing one and a quarter lengths off the winner Kinglike who is at the much tighter odds to win this Wednesday’s rematch.
“He was very impressive running a nice second in the Danehill and he’s done very well since,” Waterhouse told Racing Victoria speaking of Raphael’s Cat.
“He is a big, solid colt by Redoute’s Choice that is working really well and relaxes really well in his races.”
Waterhouse’s second chance at a maiden Blue Sapphire Stakes victory Dark Steel is the outsider in the field and markets paying $26.
He has a gun draw and a gun hoop in Damien Oliver aboard, but needs to improve on a last start 12th to Bon Aurum in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at the track in September 26.
Another son of Redoute’s Choice, Dark Steel won over 1200m at Canterbury before that and could appreciate both the step down in class and distance, as well as the better barrier after doing it tough from 11 of 16 in the Prelude.
“Dark Steel has made a quantum leap since his last run,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s superbly bred being by Redoute’s Choice out of the good mare Weiner and I think he might be the surprise package in the race.
“I’d be quite happy if either of them wins the race but I think they’ll fight out the finish.”
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