Victorian horseman Mick Price picked the perfect Sydney target for his progressive mare Secret Agenda who saluted in the last at Royal Randwick on Saturday in an upset Sapphire Stakes 2017 result.
The lead-up form from the Not A Single Doubt four-year-old was questionable with Secret Agenda coming off an unplaced fifth in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington in late March.
She stepped-up notably in class then for her first Sydney run since a second in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) last autumn, going one better in the $300,000 sprint this season for the strong win.
Ridden from a wide alley by Damien Oliver, Secret Agenda was kept just off the pace in a tightly bunched field for card closer Day 2 of The Championships.
Tempt Me Not, who eventually weakened right out of the finish, led the fillies and mares around in the set weights plus penalties clash ahead of the likes of Thames Court and Robbie Laing’s nice Fastnet Rock filly Missrock.
Tracking mid-field on the back of a Group 3 win at Rosehill was the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Shamardal five-year-old Artistry ridden by Hugh Bowman who earlier rode Winx to victory in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
There was only four lengths covering the field as they turned for home, Secret Agenda and Oliver moving up once on the straight to take up the lead on the outside.
She drew clear and went on to win the Sapphire Stakes a length clear of the spring’s Crown Oaks fifth-placegetter Missrock, with Artistry rounding out the trifecta in third.
There’s a good chance the best out of the Sapphire Stakes could be South Australian-bound this Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival targeting the $1 million Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 6.
Back the next autumn racing winner at the best price online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Sapphire Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 10 – 08/04/2017
|1||3||SECRET AGENDA||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||–||11||55.5kg||$9.50|
|2||13||MISSROCK||Robbie Laing||Damian Lane||1.3L||1||54kg||$21|
|3||2||ARTISTRY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||1.5L||6||55.5kg||$4.80|
|4||11||RAVI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||2.9L||13||54kg||$3.60F|
|5||7||SAVOUREUX||Kris Lees||Sam Clipperton||3.1L||12||55kg||$51|
|6||5||THAMES COURT||David Brideoake||Christian Reith||3.7L||7||55kg||$11|
|7||12||HIEROGLYPHICS||Anthony & Edward Cummings||Craig Williams||4.3L||14||54kg||$31|
|8||14||UNEQUIVOCAL||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Jay Ford||5.6L||5||54kg||$41|
|9||9||TEMPT ME NOT||James Cummings||Tim Clark||5.8L||3||55kg||$21|
|10||6||ZESTFUL||Kris Lees||Jason Collett||6.1L||8||55kg||$17|
|11||15||PAINTED FIRETAIL||John O’Shea||Tommy Berry||7.1L||2||54kg||$15|
|12||1||TYCOON TARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||7.2L||10||57kg||$6|
|13||16||LEAMI ASTRAY||Robert & Luke Price||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.7L||4||54kg||$71|
|14||4||OCEAN EMBERS||Shea Eden||Luke Nolen||8.5L||9||55.5kg||$15|
|–||8||SERENE MAJESTY||Peter & Paul Snowden||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||10||DENMAGIC||David Pfieffer||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|