The heats of the Group One Sapphire Crown have been run and won at Sandown on Thursday night.
The name “Britton” featured heavily as Linda Britton won two heats, Jeff Britton won one heat and finished second in another and Rob Britton won the final heat.
Two sets of sisters also feature in the final. You Say Goodbye and Hot Dream are by Premier Fantasy – Hello Sienna (Bond – Hello Gal) and Oakvale Flyer and Oakvale Destiny are by Vapour Whirl – Foot Luce (Hallucinate – Scarlett). Remarkably, Oakvale Flyer and Oakvale Destiny stopped the clock at the same time of 29.57 in separate heats.
The fastest qualifier for the final is Zelemar Fever (1). The Linda Britton trained bitch by Bombastic Shiraz – Noaki Pace (Spiral Nikita – Leprechaun Pace) set the standard at 29.34 when taking out the first heat. She began well from box one, but it was Lady Goldenpaw (3) who took the early lead. She didn’t have it long though as Zelemar Fever (1) slipped to the lead around the first turn, taking full advantage of the rails run. You Say Goodbye (2) qualified for the final after getting clear down the back to finish five and a half lengths behind Zelemar Fever. The Stephen McKenna trained bitch began slowly, tried to muster around the turn and was checked but luckily got the run along the rails down the back.
It was Jeff Britton’s turn to rug up a winner in heat two as his recent Group Two Bogie Leigh Futurity finalist Oakvale Flyer (4) finished too strongly in 29.57. It was her sixth win at Sandown in her short 12 start career. She sat back in third early and worked her way into the lead turning for home. Race favourite Prue Bale (3) was handy, having the sit on early leader Mahogany Saphire (9), but Oakvale Flyer got the better of both and the Andrea Dailly trained Prue Bale, a black bitch by Go Wild Teddy – Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) had to settle for second, nearly two and a half lengths behind Oakvale Flyer.
Linda Britton returned to the winner’s circle in the third heat as Te Amo (4) debuted beautifully at the track, leading all the way in 29.70. The Cosmic Rumble – Osti’s Bride (Hallucinate – Osti’s Lass) bitch recorded a fast first split of 5 seconds flat and made her own luck in front, winning by three lengths. The field behind her suffered varying degrees of interference. Especially (1) and Cairnlea Ella (8) were the worst affected and they were the ones sitting second and third turning for home. Paul Galea’s Hot Dream (5) pounced on the opportunity to move up into second spot and finish with a wet sail.
Amadeus Strikes (3) caused an upset in the fourth and final heat, leading all the way to win in 29.51 at a price of $17.80 for trainer Rob Britton. The black bitch by Bombastic Shiraz – Forgetful Lucy (Larkhill Jo – Sensation Lee) is a talented conveyance and the win in this heat was her 22nd career victory. She finished a length ahead of Jeff Britton’s Oakvale Destiny who absolutely powered home from the rear of the field. The favourite, Ritza Hattie (4), copped a lot of interference after beginning moderately and she was unable to make an impact.
The box draw for the final should see Zelemar Fever start the early favourite as she has drawn suitably in box three. Here is the full draw:
1. Prue Bale – Andrea Dailly (29.72)
2. You Say Goodbye – Stephen McKenna (29.70)
3. Zelemar Fever – Linda Britton (29.34)
4. Hot Dream – Paul Galea (29.89)
5. Oakvale Destiny – Jeff Britton (29.57)
6. Te Amo – Linda Britton (29.70)
7. Amadeus Strikes – Rob Britton (29.51)
8. Oakvale Flyer – Jeff Britton (29.57)
9. Lady Toy – Norm Gost (29.57)
10. Mahogany Saphire – Elsie King (29.78)