The 2017 ATC Sapphire Stakes – not to be confused with Melbourne’s Group 3 Blue Sapphire Stakes – is a quality Group 2 race held towards the tail end of the esteemed Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ at Royal Randwick Racecourse.
Run on the second Saturday of April the Sapphire Stakes is a 1200m sprint run under set weights plus penalties by a field of fillies and mares. Offering $300,000 in prize money the race is conducted on the same day as four Group 1 autumn features.
The autumn’s richest race – the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) – headlines the meeting and is joined by the Sydney Cup (3200m), ATC Oaks (2400m), the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) plus a host of Group 2 and 3 status support races.
Female sprinters may come into the Sapphire Stakes field via an earlier autumn run in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) held at Rosehill in March on Golden Slipper Stakes Day. Held on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ just a week before the Sapphire Stakes, the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) is another good lead-up.
A nice next-up option for Sapphire Stakes graduates could be the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m) later in the month, a race the 2016 Sapphire Stakes winner Two Blue finished runner-up in. Fillies and mares may also come back and contest a harder race like the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) over the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The ATC Sapphire Stakes 2017 is set to run on April 8, 2017.
|Date:||April 8, 2017|
|Track:||Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney|
|Conditions:||Fillies & Mares, Set Weights + Penalties|
2017 Sapphire Stakes Field
The ATC Sapphire Stakes field attracts a class line-up of fillies and mares looking to see out their prep with a lucrative Group 2 win or wind-up for a Group 1 target in Brisbane over the winter.
The official Sapphire Stakes 2017 field and barriers will be published in full below on Wednesday April 5, 2017.
2017 Sapphire Stakes Nominations
The ATC Sapphire Stakes nominations 2017 close on Monday April 3, 2017 and will be released here as soon as announced by Racing NSW.
Sapphire Stakes History
First run in 1998 the inaugural Sapphire Stakes was won by What Can I Say. It began as a Listed race run over 1200m. The event gained Group 3 status in 2002 and not long after reached Group 2 status in 2006. Up until 2016 it ran as a Group 2 race before being downgraded back to a Group 3 autumn event for 2017.
Plenty of quality mares have won the Sapphire Stakes including Court (2009), Atlantic Jewel (2012) and Cosmic Endeavour (2014).
|Sapphire Stakes Records:|
|Race Record:||1:09.23 set by Fair Embrace in 2002|
|Most Successful Jockey:||R.S. Dye claimed three successive Sapphire Stakes with What Can I Say (1998), Little Pattie (1999) and Spinning Hill (2000).|
|Multiple Winners:||Spinning Hill (2000 & 2001).|
Recent Sapphire Stakes Winners
See below for a full list of Sapphire Stakes winners and results going back to 2000.
|1st||Two Blue||1 minute 10.8 seconds|
|1st||Avoid Lightning||1 minute 12.12 seconds|
|1st||Cosmic Endeavour||1 minute 10.72 seconds|
|3rd||Belle De Coeur|
|1st||Arinosa||1 minute 08.9 seconds|
|1st||Atlantic Jewel||1 minute 08.9 seconds|
|2nd||Mid Summer Music|
|1st||Hurtle Myrtle||1 minute 10.6 seconds|
|1st||Renaissance||1 minute 10.5 seconds|
|1st||Court||1 minute 10.84 seconds|
|2nd||Belong To Many|
|1st||Belong To Many||1 minute 11.15 seconds|
|1st||Fire Song||1 minute 12.98 seconds|
|1st||Coolroom Candidate||1 minute 10.61 seconds|
|1st||Glamour Puss||1 minute 12.02 seconds|
|1st||Recurring||1 minute 10.47 seconds|
|1st||Fatoon||1 minute 11.43 seconds|
|1st||Fair Embrace||1 minute 9.23 seconds|
|1st||Spinning Hill||1 minute 10.3 seconds|
|1st||Spinning Hill||1 minute 9.79 seconds|