The Group 1 Sapphire Crown is the premier bitches only race on the Australian greyhound racing calendar.
The series is open to the best 32 female greyhounds nominated, plus reserves, and is conducted over the 515m trip at Sandown Park each year.
The most recent edition of the Sapphire Crown was won by former NSW sprinter Maja Mahi Mahi for trainer Ashlee Terry.
Best bookmakers for betting on the Group 1 Sapphire Crown
With the best of the best bitches contesting the series, bookmakers are always on their toes ahead of the Sapphire Crown, releasing fixed odds markets on the heats as soon as the box draws are complete, giving punters ample opportunity to get some cash on their top picks.
Some of our recommended online bookies also offer all-in markets for the winner of the final prior to the heats being conducted, giving you the opportunity to land some generous odds if you think you can spot the winner early on in the series.
The race often holds big pools on the final, so there is generally plenty of value to be found for those playing the exotic markets too.
With lots on offer when betting on the Sapphire Crown, be sure to check out the form and prices throughout the series and watch for any market movers.
Odds are not yet available for the 2018 Sapphire Crown, but be sure to check this page in the weeks leading up to the final to secure the best betting odds on offer.
History of the Group 1 Sapphire Crown
Originally being run as the Sir Arthur Rylah Sapphire Crown, the race was first run on February 7, 1974 when taken out by South Australian star Bristol Sue which clocked 31.11 over the old 513m trip at Sandown Park. In those days, the race was run as an age restricted race for dogs and bitches.
In the early years, the race was run in late January or early February, until 1990 when it was moved to April or May. The race was relaunched in 2002 as the Sapphire Crown Classic and since that time has been a bitches only feature, with the event being conducted in November between 2002 and 2009, allowing it to act as a main precursor to the Melbourne Cup.
The race was not run in 2010, with the 2011 edition conducted in June. Since 2012 the final has been run throughout the month of May.
Since its inception, the race has been contested by some of the finest canine athletes in training, with names such as Token Prince, Bogie Leigh, Paua To Burn, Betty’s Angel, Queen Lauryn, Cindeen Shelby and Xylia Allen on the honour roll.
The aforementioned Paua To Burn is the only greyhound to win dual finals, with the NSW champion scoring brilliant victories in 2004 and 2005.
The race has been run as a group event since the introduction of group racing in 1995. For the first two years it was run as a group 3, before it was raised to group level from 1997 and 1999. Since 2000 the Sapphire Crown has been run as a group 1 race.
The recent runnings of the Sapphire Crown
Maja Mahi Mahi upstaged a sensational field including dual group 1 winner Striker Light, Laurels heroine Up Hill Jill and WA speedster Pepper Fire to reign supreme in the most recent edition of the Sapphire Crown. The daughter of Spring Gun and April’s Legacy had to fight off plenty of challengers throughout the run, but showed plenty of determination to score in 29.67.
2017 Sapphire Crown results
May 25, 2017. Sandown Park SGRC First Prize $100,000
Winner: Maja Mahi Mahi (Spring Gun x April’s Legacy) Born Oct 2013 Black Female
Owner: Middle Tote Syn. Trainer: Ashlee Terry.
Time: 29.669. Margins: 0.5 x 2.
Others in finishing order: Up Hill Jill, Striker Light, Pepper Fire, Flyrite, Princess Pout, Dash Of Rose, Call Me Gee.
Narralee scored a tremendous victory in the 2016 running of the Sapphire Crown, giving trainer Steve Creighton his first group 1 win in over 40 years as a trainer. The black bitch began exceptionally from box two and fought off a late challenge by Folio Bale to score by a head on the line.
2016 Sapphire Crown results
May 19, 2016. Sandown Park SGRC First Prize $100,000
Winner: Narralee (Aston Galilee x Prince’s Fay) Born: Jan 2013 Black Bitch
Owner: Mother and Sons Syn, Trainer: Steve Creighton.
Time: 29.47. Margins: 0.25 x 3.5.
Others in finishing order: Folio Bale, Cash In Motion, Mepunga Fame, Star Torana, skate Thin Ice, Shared Equity, Nymeria.
The 2015 edition of the race was won by Lamia Bale who gave trainer Steve Collins his first group 1 victory. Owned by Paul Wheeler, the daughter of High Earner and Maple Bale defeated a quality field including Angie Rocks, Elfen Bale and Cosmic Wise, scoring by a head in a fast 29.23.
2015 Sapphire Crown results
May 14, 2015. Sandown SGRC First Prize $100,000
Winner: Lamia Bale (High Earner x Maple Bale). Born: July 2012 Brindle Bitch.
Owner: Paul Wheeler, Trainer: Steven Collins.
Time: 29.23. Margins: Head x 5.25.
Others in finishing order: Angie Rocks, One Dee, Dyna Nico, West on Delly, Elfen Bale, Humming Birdhill, Cosmic Wise.
South Australian-owned bitch Oakdale Destiny scored her biggest career win in the 2014 Sapphire Crown for Jeff Britton and Angela Langton. The blue bitch defeated her litter sister and kennel mate Oakdale Flyer by one length at the finish, stopping the clock in 29.92 over the 515m trip.
2014 Sapphire Crown results
May 15, 2014. Sandown SGRC. First Prize: $100,000
Winner: Oakvale Destiny (Vapour Whirl x Foot Luce) Jul 2012 Blue Bitch
Owner: Nathan Wilson. Trainer: Jeff Britton.
Winners Time: 29.92. Margins: 1 x 1.25
Others in finishing order: Oakvale Flyer, Prue Bale, Amadeus Strikes, Te Amo, You Say Goodbye, Hot Dream, Zelemar Fever.
Champion bitch Xylia Allen scored a memorable success in the 2013 Classic, the first group 1 victory for the daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale who would go on to become one of the best chasers of her era. The 2013 field was one of the best assembled in recent years, with Xylia Allen defeating former Wentworth Park track record holder Punch One Out by one length in a slick 29.51.
2013 Sapphire Crown results
May 16, 2013. SGRC Sandown Park First Prize: $100,000
Xylia Allen ( Turanza Bale X Tayah Bale ) April 2011 Black Bitch
Owner: Janice Wheeler Trainer: Graeme Bate
Group 1 Sapphire Crown – honour roll
1974 – Bristol Sue
1975 – Dynamic Dean
1976 – Tawny Brad
1977 – Overflow Love
1978 – Rubin Caine
1979 – Monica’s Mist
1980 – Worthy Weston
1981 – Shamrock Flight
1982 – Wynlee Spirit
1983 – Rocky Pyramid
1984 – Currency Lass
1985 – Rembrandt
1986 – Sydney Dingaan
1987 – Rothwell
1988 – Hogan
1989 – Super Gun
1990 – Ravello
1991 – Heza Mullrook
1992 – Dashing Eagle
1993 – Magnacarter
1994 – Stylish Raider
1995 – Ben’s Surprise
1996 – Sarah’s Deano
1997 – Token Prince
1998 – Time Framer
1999 – Ashlee Jeanine
2000 – Dutchy’s Angel
2001 – Let It Be
2002 – Bye For Now
2003 – Bogie Leigh
2004 – Paua To Burn
2005 – Paua To Burn
2006 – Betty’s Angel
2007 – Que Sera Sera
2008 – Queen Lauryn
2009 – Cindeen Shelby
2010 – no race held
2011 – Amakler Girl
2012 – Peggy May
2013 – Xylia Allen
2014 – Oakdale Destiny
2015 – Lamia Bale
2016 – Narralee
2017 – Maja Mahi Mahi