The oldest runner in the field, Amakler Girl ($7.40) jumped straight to the lead from box 1 and was never headed, leading all the way to defeat fast-finishing favourite Tonneli Bale ($3.60) by 1¼ lengths. Aston Elle, the best supported runner leading into the race having been backed in from $7 into $4.40, finished a gallant third a further ¾ of a length away after tracking Amakler Girl throughout the race.
“We’re just delighted, very proud of her,” said ecstatic trainer Robert Stack.
Despite Amakler Girl’s impressive win from box 1 in her heat, Stack had hoped to draw box 8 for the final given her outstanding record of eight wins from 14 starts from that alley. However ‘the cherry’ would prove no hindrance to her chances of Group 1 glory as she set slick sectionals to slash almost three lengths off her previous best time around the Lightwood Road venue.
“I’m very happy with the time,” said Stack with a grin.
“For her to do what she’s done at her age is remarkable. She doesn’t know she’s almost four years old.
A reserve for this race in November 2009, it took until May this year before Amakler Girl competed in her first Group final, the Group 2 Ladies Bracelet in Sydney.
“We (Robert and his wife Gloria) have been involved in greyhound racing for 45 years, and this is our first Group race win. Hopefully there will be plenty more to come.”
The win improved her record to an impressive 27 wins from 70 starts, while the $50,000 first prize almost doubled Amakler Girl’s career prizemoney to $109,115.
The Macro Meats Sapphire Crown – Australia’s richest race for bitches – boasts one of the finest honour rolls in Australian greyhound racing, with Bogie Leigh, Paua To Burn, Betty’s Angel and Queen Lauryn among recent winners.
On a big night at Sandown Park, three greyhounds wearing the number six rug won, meaning that any group that had prepaid for the night out had their money refunded.