A relatively new race on the Group racing calendar, the Sapphire Stakes was first held in 2002 and carried Group 3 status. Receiving an upgrade to Group 2 level in 2006, the race has been held at Randwick each year over 1200m since being introduced. Conditions of the race are set weights plus penalties and it is restricted to 3YO and older fillies and mares.
In 2016 the base weight is set to 54kg for mares and 53kg for fillies, with penalties applied by template for Group race wins. The race will carry total prizemoney of $300,000 with the winner to receive $180,000.
Of the 14 editions of this race, 3YO fillies have won 4, with mares having won the other 10. Some of the past winners include Arinosa, Atlantic Jewel, Court and the inaugural winner Fair Embrace.
The Sapphire Stakes forms a part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Sapphire Stakes Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 9th April 2016|
|Race Time:||17:15 AEST|
|Race Type:||Fillies & Mares Set Weights + Penalties|
|2016 Winner:||Two Blue|
|2016 Sapphire Stakes Odds|
|9||TWO BLUE||1ST||$21.70 (win)|
|13||SECRET AGENDA||2ND||$3.30 (pl)|
|8||BROOK ROAD||3RD||$3.60 (pl)|
|3||BRING ME THE MAID||-||-|
|7||I'VE GOT THE LOOKS||-||-|
|15||NO MORE TEARS||-||-|
Starting this campaign having only missed a place once in 16 starts and that was when taking on a hot field in the 2014 G1 Manikato won by Lankan Rupee, Bounding has missed the money in both her starts this time in. Last time out in The Galaxy she race close to the pace without cover and just didn’t have the same acceleration as those beating her home and she held 5th, beaten 2 lengths. 1st up in the Oakleigh Plate she was never closer than 3 wide throughout and was pushed 5 wide on the home turn and her run had ended by the 100m, finishing 9th. Getting out to 1200m for the first time this campaign, the mare has a record of 10: 4-4-1 over the trip and from 4 starts on a wet track has 3 wins and a 2nd.
Trained by James Cummings, the 4YO mare will be searching for the hat-trick of wins following successive wins at her only 2 starts since resuming. In the G3 Triscay she carried 54kg, raced on the pace and was challenged in the straight but fought gamely to land the win, defeating Peeping who has since won the G1 Coolmore. 2nd up in the G3 Birthday Card, carrying 55kg she settled mid-field and came wide on the home turn, hitting the front with 150m to run and holding on for the win. From 3 starts on soft ground, she is a 2 time winner, has won 3 times at the distance and gets in with 55.5kg at the set weight penalty.
A 7 time winner, Griante has a good record of 16: 3-4-2 for the 1200m journey and has 2 wins and 4 seconds on rain affected ground. Last start she secured her maiden Group 1 triumph, taking out the The Galaxy after gaining a start when initially being declared the 2nd emergency. Settling close to the pace, jockey Craig Williams waited as long as possible to angle into clear running and unleashed the mare’s powerful sprint. That was her 2nd up run following her 1st up effort in the G1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield when finishing 4 lengths from the winner Flamberge after having no luck in the run. Opening a narrow 2nd favourite she climbs from her 51kg under the handicap conditions of The Galaxy to 58kg at set weights in this.
Trained at Warwick Farm by Greg Hickman, Private Secretary tends to get back in her races and then come with one closing shot, so the outside barrier should not be too big of a concern. 2 starts back in the Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap over 1300m at Gold Coast she started favourite and fell 2 lengths short of getting to I Am Zelady. With 8 weeks until her next start in the G3 Wenona Girl over 1200m at Randwick, she flashed home in her trademark fashion to finish under a length from the winner, Savoureux. It has been 5 weeks since that run, and being kept fresh appears to suit the mare and from 3 starts on soft ground, she is a 2 time winner, while at 7 attempts over 1200m she has 2 wins and 2 seconds.
Held annually on the second day of The Championships, the Sapphire Stakes is a Group 2 horse race run at Sydney’s famous Royal Randwick Racecourse. The event, which is contested over 1200m, is restricted to fillies and mares aged three-years and older at set weights and penalties. It is widely recognised as a quality race for females over the short distance at the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. Horses which line up in the Sapphire Stakes are usually those who were competitive in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes or the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. With prize money of $300,000 up for grabs, the event attracts some of the best fillies and mares Australia has to offer.
Spinning Hill won the event back-to-back in 2000/01, while the explosive Atlantic Jewel (10 wins & 1 placing from 11 starts) was successful in 2012 ahead of taking out the Group 1 All Aged Stakes. The Mark Kavanagh trained mare was forced to retire prematurely because of injury, but not before grabbing four Group 1 victories and three at Group 2 level, and netting connections almost $1.6m in stakes.
|2016||TWO BLUE||PAUL KING||KRISTEN BUCHANAN||01:10.8|
|2015||AVOID LIGHTNING||TIM CLARK||LES BRIDGE||01:12.1|
|2014||COSMIC ENDEAVOUR||TOMMY BERRY||GAI WATERHOUSE||01:10.7|
|2013||ARINOSA||BRENTON AVDULLA||CHRIS WALLER||01:10.5|
|2012||ATLANTIC JEWEL||MICHAEL RODD||MARK KAVANAGH||01:08.9|
|2011||HURTLE MYRTLE||DAMIEN OLIVER||MATTHEW SMITH||01:10.6|
|2010||RENAISSANCE||JOSH PARR||PETER SNOWDEN||01:10.5|
|2009||COURT||GLYN SCHOEFIELD||CLARRY CONNERS||01:10.8|
|2008||BELONG TO MANY||JAMES WINKS||GAI WATERHOUSE||01:11.1|
|2007||FIRE SONG||MICHAEL RODD||GRAEME ROGERSON||01:12.9|
|2006||COOLROOM CANDIDATE||ZAC PURTON||KEITH DYDEN||01:10.6|