A very smart collection of fillies and mares have gathered for the running of the second Group 1 race scheduled for Morphettville on Saturday, the G1 Sportingbet Sangster Classic. Leading the hopes of the local horses is last year’s winner Platelet who holds favouritism in a very open betting race at $5.00. She’ll face tough competition from a number of well credentialed interstate visitors including the 3yo fillies Villa Verde and Gregers who are two of a bunch of horses threatening Platelet in the market at $6.00 each of two. Also at $6.00 is Shamal Wind whilst Driefontein, winner of the lead-up race the Irwin Stakes is at $8.00 along with another smart filly in the shape of impressive last start winner Politeness.
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1. PLATELET – B Rawiller (5)
The 5yo Strategic mare has followed a similar preparation for her defence by running second, as she did last year, in the Irwin Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago. Starting the 9/10 on favourite, she sat on a good speed from an inside gate but was no match late for Dreifontein who won by 1.3 lengths. Had to push forward from an inside draw last start but has drawn perfectly here in gate 5, allowing her to track the pace. Rarely runs a bad race and will be right in the mix here.
2. DRIEFONTEIN – V Duric (11)
The Gai Waterhouse trained galloper didn’t enjoy the weather and wet tracks of Sydney recently, finishing second to last in both the G2 Breeders Classic and G2 Mille Fox Stakes behind Catkins and Red Tracer respectively. She was back on top of the ground last start in the Irwin Stakes (1100m) and finished well from mid-field for a solid 1.3 length win over Platelet. Will have to do a little work from a wider gate but cannot be dismissed on her last start.
3. SHAMAL WIND – M Zahra (4)
Made it two wins from three starts this preparation with a strong two length win up the Flemington straight three weeks ago in an Open Class (1000m) race. Good effort last start and the return to her won sex here will suit her well. She ran ninth in this race last year but her lead-up form this time around is much stronger. She’ll get back from gate four but with a solid tempo up front – and a bit of luck in the run – she’ll be steaming home late.
4. A TIME FOR JULIA – L Nolen (9)
Each of her four runs in this preparation have been very good and include victory in the G3 Bellamaine Stakes (1200m) and G3 Roy Higgins Stakes (1200m). Her most recent start saw her tackle the 1500m of the G1 Coolmore Stakes where from a good draw, she secured a nice run in transit and stuck on well to finish fourth (2.7 lengths) from Steps In Time. She’s been given five weeks freshen up since that run for the return to the 1200m, has drawn a little awkwardly out in gate nine but going too well this time in to leave out of calculations.
5. SATIN SHOES – J Holder (7)
The Clarry Connors trained mare has had three starts back from a lengthy spell with the best of them being her most recent effort, a seventh of ten (3.7 lengths) in the Irwin Stakes. She drew the inside barrier and led but was no match for her challengers late. She’ll find this no easier than her last start and hard to see her turning the tables on her opposition here.
6. MOLTO BENE – D Tourneur (3)
Can be a hard mare to catch but on her day, possesses a finishing burst that would see her right in the mix here. She returned from a spell in the Irwin Stakes but made little impression in the run home after settling at the tail of the field and finished second to last, 5.4 lengths from the winner Driefontein. Second up last time in, after a much better fresh run, she produced an outstanding effort to win the Listed Tavern Stakes (1400m). Will get back from gate three and have the pace on she’ll required but needs to be taken with plenty of trust.
7. JUST DISCREET – M Neilson (2)
The Exceed and Excel mare has contested three Stakes races in Adelaide since resuming from an eighteen week spell with her most recent effort being a third to Driefontein and Platelet in the Irwin Stakes. That followed a solid effort in the Listed Manihi Classic to slick sprinter Angel’s Beach. A solidly run 1200m on this track, where her record reads 10:2-2-3, suits her ideally at this stage of her preparation. Ran a luckless eighth in this race jumping from gate four and will need some luck from another inside draw this year given she’ll get back but, if that luck does come, look for her to be finishing well.
8. YOU’RE SO GOOD – S Arnold (1)
The 4yo Savabeel mare has been trying very hard to win a race this preparation, having been placed three of her four starts this time in and running a close up fifth (2.4 lengths) in the other behind Catkins in the G2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m). She led in the Emancipation and from an inside gate here, may have to be used up a little to hold her position otherwise, could find herself awkwardly positioned on the turn. Going well but over this trip, think she’ll find a few too slick.
9. HALLE ROCKS – D Yendall (12)
After a string of close up finishes, the 5yo Fastnet Rock mare broke through at her most recent start, enjoying the soft conditions of the Open Class Fillies and Mares at Caulfield a fortnight back. From near last on the turn, she produced a big finish to catch the handy Kneeling and Elite Elle who dead-heated for second. This is her first attempt at a Group race and whilst she’s been competitive at Listed level in the past, think for her to be able to figure in the finish here, she’ll need a rain affected track.
10. GIG – D Dunn (13)
Prouduced a gallant effort two starts back under 60kgs when out-bobbed on the line by Red Fez in a BM 84 Fillies and Mares race at Flemington before sneaking home along the fence when second (beaten 6 lengths) to Sistine Demon last week at Caulfield. Drops back from 1400m to 1200m here on the quick back-up and will find the quality of opposition no easier.
11. VILLA VERDE – M Rodd (6)
Enjoyed a lovely run in transit and finished well late to beat a smart field in the G2 Challenge Stakes first up before producing the run of the race in the G1 The Galaxy Stakes (1100m). From last on the turn, she made up many lengths and pushed through traffic over the last 100m to finish third (1.5 lengths) to Tiger Tees. Her next and most recent start saw her only hold her ground on a very heavy track in the G1 T J Smith when eighth (5.6 lengths) behind star sprinter Lankan Rupee. She’ll go better on a firmer surface and from gate six, should be in an ideal position to stake her claim in the straight.
12. MIRACLES OF LIFE – L Stojakovic (14)
The Not A Single Doubt filly won the Blue Diamond Stakes in February last year but, although she has gone close, especially in her last two starts, she hasn’t registered a win since. She pushed Angel’s Beach to a head in the Listed Manihi Classic before finishing well to again run second, this time by a length, to Minaj in the Redelva Stakes. Going well at present but takes on some very smart fillies and mares at this level and the outside draw is of no help whatsoever.
13. GREGERS – C Williams (10)
David Hayes’ 3yo filly kicked off this campaign three starts ago in the G1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and did a magnificent job to run fourth (2 lengths) to Lankan Rupee. She then finished well under 58kgs to run second to Anatina – who at her next start ran second in the G1 The Galaxy, before finishing fourth (1/2 length) in the G1 William Reid Stakes a month ago. Outstanding efforts this time in and top quality form all around her. Back to her own sex here, she’ll be very hard to beat.
14. POLITENESS – (8)
The Street Sense filly relished the heavy conditions and genuine pace up front last start in the G3 P J Bell Stakes (1200m) on ATC Derby Day a fortnight ago and zipped home from last down the centre of the track to record, what was in the end, a soft 1 ¼ length win over Cosmic Endeavour – an impressive winner last weekend. Connections would love to see another wet track that would help this filly take the step up in grade she faces here. Whilst she is capable of a good run regardless, on a firmer surface though, would think there a few in the field who she’ll find too good.ň
Driefontein will come across from her gate and think they’ll have to make the decision on Miracles of Life who has drawn the outside gate, to push forward. Satin Shoes will also be up on the speed along with Platelet and A Time For Julia. Think the fillies have it here with Gregers and Villa Verde. Both youngsters are in sensational form this campaign and the Open G1 form references that surround each of their starts reads very well for this race. With Villa Verde drawing slightly better, leaning to her over Gregers. A Time For Julia is another who has some strong form on the board this time in and although drawn a little awkwardly in nine, might be able to secure enough of a run behind the good tempo to be involved in the finish.
- VILLA VERDE
- A TIME FOR JULIA