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