Robert Sangster Stakes - 1200m, Morphettville R7
The Sangster is the only Group 1 race in Australia this week, as Adelaide gets its time to shine. Restricted to fillies and mares only, it has still assembled an excellent field of proper high class sprinters, highlighted by five Group 1 winners.
Passive Aggressive is the early favourite, and who could deny the claims of a horse that has claimed Giga Kick as a scalp this preparation? She is coming off a flop in the TJ Smith, where she gave up the ghost a little after helping set a strong speed, but perhaps the heavy track was to blame there. The other question mark for her is whether she is truly at her best at 1200m, or is 1000-1100m more her go.
Plenty of others in this race are coming off a Group 1 WFA run in open company, albeit not to the same level as the TJ.
Bella Nipotina (2nd), Roch N Horse (3rd), September Run (4th) and Chain of Lightning (9th) all contested the William Reid back in March.
Bella Nipotina has since gone to WA and run brilliantly in the Quokka behind Overpass and Amelia’s Jewel. She is arguably in the top half dozen sprinters in Australia, and is just so good almost every time she goes around.
The best work of Roch N Horse and September Run is usually reserved for the Flemington straight, but both have shown they are more than handy around a turn as well. Chain of Lighting isn’t threatening in these races, and you wonder if she is more of a 1400m mare than pure sprinter.
Espiona is coming off a seven week freshen after her win in the Coolmore Classic during the Sydney carnival, but is another that might find 1200m too short for her liking.
Zapateo is having fantastic season for Godolphin with four wins at Group 2 and 3 level, and earns another crack at a Group 1 after failing to make an impression in the Oakleigh Plate back in February. She will love any sting out of the track, but has come up with a sticky draw in a field of this quality.
Marabi is the interesting runner. Last year’s Oakleigh Plate winner, where she made her career record 7 from 7, has only raced once in the last 13 months. She was beaten 3.5 lengths in the Lightning Stakes, which is a tough assignment for any sprinter let alone one as inexperienced as her. She will be much better around a corner.
The two three-year-old’s, Ruthless Dame and I’mlovin’ya, add another dimension to the race. Ruthless Dame is the pick of these, having been just shaded by Jacquinot earlier in the year, and following that up by finishing in front of In Secret at Group 1 level. She has unfortunately drawn wide again, but could be right in the thick of things if luck goes her way.
Marabi, Passive Aggressive and Seradess will provide the speed, which should ensure a genuine tempo and allow every horse to have their chance.
Selections: 1.Bella Nipotina 2.Marabi 3.Ruthless Dame 4.Roch N Horse
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds