2014 Group One Sapphire Crown – Heats Preview

The best 32 bitches in Australia will be at Sandown on Thursday night to contest the heats of the Group One Sapphire Crown over the 515 metre distance.

Last year’s Sapphire Crown went to Xylia Allen over Punch One Out and El Brooklyn.

Heat One – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 1 at 7:00pm)

2014 Temlee champion Zelemar Fever (1) returns to Victoria to try and add another Group title to her list this year. She has been placed in her last six starts at Cannington and last raced on 26 April. She has two wins at Sandown to her credit with a best of 29.56. She’s also had six wins from box one and is one of the main chances in the race.

Wise Ella (4) has been racing in some tough company at her last couple of starts (Campaspe Will, Innocent Til) and will relish the return to racing against other bitches. She has placed thirteen times at Sandown (six wins) and has recorded 29.52. She has been leading in most of her runs before the recent rise in class.

You Say Goodbye (2) is a last start winner at Ballarat over 450 metres in the best time of the meeting. She has 12 career wins from 39 starts and has good early toe. Her best form is from wider boxes so it remains to be seen if the draw will favour her.

Lady Goldenpaw (3) enjoys racing at Sandown for trainer Rob Britton. She has three wins and two placings from seven starts and a best of 29.66. She is a consistently good beginner and could lead from box three. She needs to be in front to be a chance of winning.

Quick Succession (8) was a finalist in the recent Group Three Ladies Bracelet final at Wentworth Park. She was the fastest heat winner into the final but didn’t begin from box seven. She is drawn unfavourably again here.

Heat Two – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 2 at 7:25pm)

Recent Dubbo Cup winner (in track-record time) Tricky Jade (6) makes the trip down from NSW for Martin Hallinan. She was a finalist in this race last year and has scored at Sandown in 29.56. If she brings her Dubbo form to Sandown she should account for herself well.

The interesting runner in the race is noted stayer Born Ali (7). She hasn’t raced since running third at Wentworth Park on 12 April over the 720 metre distance. Prior to contesting the staying trip, Born Ali did contest eight sprint events at Sandown for two wins and four placings and a best of 29.70. She has been leading staying events but may struggle to lead a sprint event. With a clear passage in running she is capable of doing anything.

Prue Bale (3) is still hit and miss with her form and recently stepped up to middle distance racing. She is dropping back to the sprint and is jumping from a box she has won four times from. Her best at Sandown is 29.42 but she has only won once at the track from nine attempts over the distance.

Oakvale Flyer (4) was a finalist in the recent Group Two Bogie Leigh Futurity at Albion Park, finishing fourth. She is only lightly raced with five wins from 11 starts, with three of those wins coming at Sandown. She’s gone all right on the clock, with a best of 29.53 and she has also won from box four.

Heat Three – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 3 at 7:44pm)

Easter Egg finalist Magic Display (3) will be having her first start on Victorian soil. Her biggest asset is her early speed and she will need to utilise that at her first look at the track. She ran a personal best of 29.71 at Wentworth Park last week and looks to be getting stronger each time she races.

Te Amo (4) is another bitch with good early speed having her first start at Sandown. She is extremely consistent at box-rise and this should make things interesting if Magic Display times the jump right.

Hot Dream (5) has won her last two at Sandown, both from box three. Prior to those two wins she had been racing over the 595 metre distance at Sandown. She has hit a purple patch of form recently but may find things a little harder from the squeeze draw.

Cosmic Wise (8) ran third to Black Magic Opal two starts back and contests this heat with 10 wins at Sandown under her belt. Her form from wider boxes isn’t flash so she is going to need to some luck in running.

Heat Four – Group One Sapphire Crown (Race 4 at 8:08pm)

This is a really tough heat on paper, featuring Mepunga Moss (1), Gone To Heaven (2) and Ritza Hattie (4).

Mepunga Moss (1) won four in a row at Sandown during March and early April before being unplaced at Albion Park and Warrnambool. Sandown is a happy hunting ground for her as she has won eight times at the track for a best of 29.45. She is well suited by the inside draw.

Gone To Heaven (2) has been racing consistently around Cannington and possesses good early speed. She also loves box two, with the draw putting her right in contention.

Ritza Hattie (4) went ever so close to taking out the Ladies Bracelet, going down by just under two lengths to Zipping Willow in a fast 29.44 at Wentworth Park last weekend. She has two wins at Sandown with her fastest being 29.37. Her box manners have been good of late.

Amadeus Strikes (3) has won two of her last three but she isn’t always the best away so it will be interesting to see where she settles in the race considering all the speed drawn around her. She is a very strong bitch so if she’s in a handy position she could loom as a threat to the three already mentioned above.

Lady Toy (6) is a rough each-way chance. She has won her last three at Sandown despite having no early pace. Her best is 29.82 and if there’s any sort of mix up she could sneak up into the placings.

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