Queen Lauryn showed why she is regarded as one of Australia’s most exciting bitches after she qualified fastest for the final of the $72,500 Group 1 Solo Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park tonight.
The multiple track record holder began well from box 6 to take up a threatening position behind early leader Uno Kissy ($19.90). Queen Lauryn ($2.40F) assumed the lead down the back straight and was never threatened, racing to a 1.25 length victory.
Sweet About Me continued her steady rise to stardom, winning her heat in 29.88. Beginning well from box 7, Sweet About Me ($1.90) led all the way to defeat the gallant Amelia Bale ($5.30) by ¾ of a length. Paul Bartolo’s chances of a second Sapphire Crown were improved when his new kennel star drew box 3 for the final.
Proven Polly provided Jason Thompson with yet another runner in a feature final when she led all the way to win her heat by six lengths in 29.88.
After winning the Group 1 Topgun at the Meadows last Saturday, Thompson will prepare favourite Nitro Burst for the Group 1 Vic Peters at Wentworth Park on Saturday, before his attention returns to winning his first Sapphire Crown. Three time Group 1 winner Betty’s Angel ($3.20F) was unable to recapture the form that led her to victory in the 2006 Sapphire Crown, finishing fifth in her heat.
Earlier in the night, Group 1 Laurels finalist Hot Puzzle ($3.90) flew from box 8 to score an impressive all-the-way victory in 30.02.
After leading clearly through the first turn, Hot Puzzle withstood considerable pressure from the hard-railing Miss Jim ($5.30) down the back straight, and then from favourite Violet Crumble ($3.80) to win by 1.25 lengths and qualify for her second Group 1 feature final.
Finlandia ($6.80) will have her second tilt at the Sapphire Crown after her last-gasp victory over Miss Mini Mouse ($3.40F) in 30.32.
Miss Mini Mouse began well from box 2 and appeared to have opened a race winning margin coming off the back straight, however Finlandia switched to the centre of the track to sweep over the top of the 2006 Melbourne Cup runner-up to win by half a length.
In addition to the $50,000 first prize, the winner of next week’s final will also receive a free service to leading American sire Kiowa Sweet Trey courtesy of World Class Sires.
The box draw for the Group 1 2008 Solo Sapphire Crown was performed trackside last night and has given Queen Lauryn one of her best box draws for some time and race favouritism, starting from box 2.
Group 1 2008 Solo Sapphire Crown Final
- Box 1. Violet Crumble Stan Ralph (Approx Pre Post Odds – $4.40)
- Box 2. Queen Lauryn Tony Brett (Approx Pre Post Odds – $2.80)
- Box 3. Sweet About Me Paul Bartolo (Approx Pre Post Odds – $5)
- Box 4. Amelia Bale Kylie Hunt (Approx Pre Post Odds – $26)
- Box 5. Proven Polly Jason Thompson (Approx Pre Post Odds – $11)
- Box 6. Finlandia Lisa Cockerell (Approx Pre Post Odds – $11)
- Box 7. Hot Puzzle Paul Anderton (Approx Pre Post Odds – $5)
- Box 8. Uno Kissy Ron Giles (Approx Pre Post Odds – $26)
- 1st Reserve Who Told Helen Jeff Britton
- 2nd Reserve Miss Mini Mouse Paul Bartolo
The Group 1 Solo Sapphire Crown is Ladies Night at Sandown Park, and to celebrate Sandown is offering free entry to all ladies. The first 250 ladies through the gate will also receive a free showbag.
The final of the 2008 Group 1 Solo Sapphire Crown will be held on Thursday 6 November 2008 at Sandown Park.
If you want to watch Queen Lauryn’s stunnig return to for you can see it here : Queen Lauryn Winning Her Heat Of The Group 1 2008 Sapphire Crown