Australia’s premier bitches only feature will jump tonight at Sandown Park with eight of the nation’s most consistent and talented females vying for a taste of $100,000 in the group one Sapphire Crown. The race will commence at 9:55PM and offers a fantastic insight as who can lay claims to the being best bitch in the land with two of the industry’s biggest trainers going head to head with three runners each.
Jason Mackay came to Victoria on a mission; to snare the Sapphire crown. To achieve this feat he brought with him three of his best girls and they did not disappoint – with all three qualifying for a crack at the prize.
BOX ONE: Arguably the best of Mackay’s chances has drawn in the desirable rails alley, with NSW sensation Punch One Out looking to add to her very impressive resume. The brilliant black speedster qualified last week from box eight when defeating Victorian Desalle Bale by four and three quarter lengths in a scintillating 29.32 seconds (BON) and in doing so notched up her 17th career victory. Punch One Out comes into the event with excellent credentials including two track records at Wentworth Park (29.27 seconds) and Richmond (29.90 seconds) whilst she also holds an imposing record from the cherry with four wins and three placings from seven starts. She will be the favourite and is the one to beat but must begin a bit better than last week or she runs the risk of getting crowded.
BOX TWO: Beginning from the checks is the highly talented three year old Desalle Bale who as mentioned chased home Punch One Out in last week’s heats. The 28 kilogram chaser is trained by master mentor Graeme Bate who as mentioned also has three runners in the final. As an excellent beginner Desalle Bale is boxed to be the early leader however there will be plenty of speed mustering from behind looking to run her down. With this being said she is as tough as they come winning 23 from 53 starts including a personal best of 29.46 seconds over the track and distance.
BOX THREE: The second runner from Jason Mackay’s kennels will jump from box three with Tricky Jade wearing white. The January 2011 whelp by Bit Chilli out of Navigator Miss is a speedy customer and ran a handy race last week at what was her only her second run at Sandown when finishing second six and a half lengths off the airborne Xylia Allen. Whilst her talent is undeniable this is a dramatic rise in class against the nation’s best and she will be giving away plenty of experience to her competitors with just seven starts under her belt. Despite this she has all the makings of a genuine group class bitch with some scorching times on the board at Wentworth Park (29.56 seconds BON), Richmond (30.41 seconds BON) and Sandown (29.56 seconds) so she is capable of running into calculations but will have to be at her best.
BOX FOUR: Jason Thompson’s group winning bitch El Brooklyn lines up from the four in the final tonight- the same box where she started in her heats when claiming the race in emphatic fashion. Beginning like a rocket the white and blue bitch gave nothing else a chance leading from box rise clocking a fast 29.53 seconds over Sometimes Speedy. The daughter of El Galo has been an absolute marvel on the racetrack claiming 24 of her 42 race starts with stakes earnings in excess of a staggering $274,000. The only concern is that she has been a bit hit and miss of late; albeit against the top class of dogs. If she is at her best tonight with a clean getaway she is right in this event despite the awkward draw.
BOX FIVE: Up and coming bitch Evie’s Entity has drawn horribly in box five for Devon Meadows mentor Lyn Smith with the daughter of Mogambo and Girl Aloud definitely preferring to be boxed closer to the rails. The black chaser is from a highly promising litter and has the great record of 20 starts for ten wins and five placings including a triumph in her heat last week. Beginning moderately from box four, the 29 kilogram chaser managed to work her way into third position around the first turn before dashing past her competitors to score in a swift 29.48 seconds. Evie’s Entity has blossomed since joining Smith’s kennels just five starts ago winning her last four race appearances. Her biggest obstacle is that she can be a bit tardy at box rise however the runner on her direct outside is not overly fast early and she could get a nice run into the race on the outside of El Brooklyn. Certainly a value runner.
BOX SIX: Graeme Bate has had huge wraps on Xylia Allen for a long time and she proved why she is so special once again last week when taking out her heat in a slick 29.51 seconds. After an ordinary beginning, the daughter of Turanza Bale was knocked left right and centre in the run to the first turn and had every right to finish down the track. In a demonstration of chasing tenacity, Xylia Allen regained her momentum and was able to mow down her opposition to score by six and a half lengths on the line. Box six is a worry especially when you are not the best beginner however she only needs to be thereabouts in the early stages and she should be going close.
BOX SEVEN: Graeme Bates last finalist in the group one event is Orthia Bale who will jump wearing black. The black bitch is yet another pup out of Amity Bale, with three of her brothers lining up in the group two Harrison- Dawson earlier in the night. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan ran a great race when finishing second to Evie’s Entity in her heat last week however as a winner of 6 from 43 she may find this a bit too much particularly out wide from box seven.
BOX EIGHT: Rounding up the field is the sizzling speedster Sometimes Speedy who will be aiming for her 25th career win in the feature. With two starts at Sandown over the past fortnight she will be better for both runs and should avoid the early scrimmage boxed out wide in the pink. The Collision bitch is an all over flying machine with hot winning times at Wentworth Park (29.61 seconds) and Unibet Gardens (29.40 seconds) since joining Mackay’s kennel at the beginning of the year, however whilst she should avoid trouble out wide she will have to begin at her best in order to place herself ahead of the action and into the lead
FIRST RESERVE: Grand old marvel Hot Irish ran a great race to finish third behind Punch One Out last week. She is all heart and is always close to the money so despite the fact that age may be just starting to take its toll, she must be respected if she gains a start.
SECOND RESERVE: Jason Thompsons fantastic Got A Moment is second reserve after running third behind Evie’s Entity last week. The top liner should be kept in contention if she gains a start, especially if she happens to sneak into an inside box.
Sapphire Crown Tips
1 PUNCH ONE OUT
6 XYLIA ALLEN
5 EVIE’S ENTITY
2 DESALLE BALE