David Brideoake’s last start The Galaxy winner Griante is the headline nomination taken for the Sapphire Stakes 2016 on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ at Royal Randwick this weekend.
One of the key support races on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day program outside the four elite level majors, this year’s $300,000 Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) attracted 29 early entries.
Of the fillies and mares in the mix for the set weights plus penalties clash, the highest rated is Good Journey five-year-old Griante who saluted in Group 1 company last time out.
A winner of seven of her 27 career starts to date, Griante became a million dollar earner at Rosehill on March 19 when beating home Shiraz by three quarters of a length in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m).
It was a much improved effort off her first-up 12th to Flamberge in Caulfield’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and if she accepts for the Sapphire Stakes she will be racing at Randwick for the first time since her second to Avoid Lightning in the same race last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Also coming off Group success last start is James Cummings-trained Sultry Feeling, the Encosta De Lago four-year-old taking out the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at the same meeting as The Galaxy.
That was her second win from as many starts this time in after her first-up Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) success at Randwick in mid-February over subsequent Coolmore Classic champ Peeping.
Other Birthday Card Stakes runners in the mix for Saturday’s Group 2 at nomination stage include the Ron Quinton-trained runner-up Lucky Can Be and rising eight-year-old Cradle Me who was fourth past the post still under a length off the winner.
Also high up the Sapphire Stakes rating and a graduate from The Galaxy is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Bounding.
The five-year-old daughter of Lonhro was fifth past the post in the Rosehill feature beaten only two lengths.
Team Snowden have also nominated for Flippant who is out to improve on her seventh to Southern Legend in the listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) and Choisir six-year-old I’ve Got The Looks who won a barrier trial at Warwick Farm last Friday.
Super consistent this time in and second in the Darby Munro Stakes was Bjorn Baker’s Stratum filly Egyptian Symbol.
Also nominated for the Sapphire on Saturday, the flying three-year-old is yet to finish out of the money in her nine career starts.
Third to Mahuta in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January, her latest assignment was only last Saturday when third to Tempt Me Not in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) on Doncaster Mile Day.
Returning to racing in the Sapphire Stakes are the likes of the Joe Pride-trained Belle Of The Turf Stakes winner at Gosford in January Ammirata and the Gerald Ryan-trained Peace Force who has a strong Randwick record (3-1-2-0).
Other notable entries include the lightly-raced Divine Centuri having her first run outside of Queensland and Ciaron Maher’s Street Boss filly Petits Filous who has won five of her six starts to date.
Check out the full Sapphire Stakes 2016 nominations below, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday.
Before then make sure you’re ready for the weekend’s top racing action by opening a new account at Ladbrokes.com.au where depositing and quoting the code BETBONUS will see you enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets!
2016 Sapphire Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick Racecourse – 09/04/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||8x4160x386||AFLEET ESPRIT||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||91|
|3||211108370x||BERRY DELICIOUS||M||4||Jason Coyle||91|
|4||x202x13x95||BOUNDING||M||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||107|
|5||2497x380x0||BRING ME THE MAID||M||4||Ciaron Maher||96|
|6||171x793x27||BROOK ROAD||M||5||Kris Lees||97|
|7||545x511x54||CRADLE ME||M||7||David Pfieffer||103|
|8||1×21||DIVINE CENTURI||F||3||Stuart Kendrick||65|
|9||1×11233323||EGYPTIAN SYMBOL||F||3||Bjorn Baker||81|
|10||211x9x14x7||FLIPPANT||F||3||Peter & Paul Snowden||83|
|13||1180×35338||I’VE GOT THE LOOKS||M||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||99|
|14||1x1274x562||LUCKY CAN BE||M||4||Ron Quinton||82|
|15||2813920×41||MISS PROMISCUITY||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||102|
|16||18×1331211||MISS SETON SANDS||M||4||Tony McEvoy||95|
|17||1×4195141||NO MORE TEARS (NZ)||F||3||Stephen Marsh||86|
|19||30×6420143||PALAZZO PUBBLICO||M||4||Matthew Smith||77|
|20||2x21x2930x||PEACE FORCE||M||6||Gerald Ryan||98|
|21||11110×1||PETITS FILOUS||F||3||Ciaron Maher||90|
|22||603278×249||PRESS REPORT||M||4||Lee Curtis||84|
|23||116617×622||PRIVATE SECRETARY||M||6||Gregory Hickman||94|
|24||16×7554489||QUEEN OF KARIBA||M||4||John Sargent||80|
|25||0x1221x270||SECRET AGENDA||F||3||Mick Price||87|
|26||11x24111x3||SHEIDEL||M||4||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||99|
|27||4x14394x11||SULTRY FEELING||M||4||James Cummings||99|
|28||21227222×6||TWO BLUE||M||7||Kristen Buchanan||96|
|29||8x13641x05||VEZALAY||M||4||Leon & Troy Corstens||95|