The $175,000 Sapphire Stakes is set to run as one of nine Group races held at Randwick Racecourse this Saturday April 9, 2011.
The Group 2 Sapphire Stakes will be run over a sprinter’s distance of 1,200 metres and is a set weights race open to fillies and mares aged three-years-old and upwards.
Avenue is one of the many high profile nominations for the 2011 Sapphire Stakes.
The four-year-old mare finished sixth last start in the Group 1 Sportingbet Classic at Morphettville, but won the Group 3 Irwin Stakes two starts back.
Avenue has won eight of her 19 career starts, giving her a won percentage of $42%.
Also nominated for the 2011 Sapphire Stakes is Crystal Lily, who is also nominated for the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes that will also take place on the day.
Crystal Lily’s connections will be trying to decide whether to try and tackle Black Caviar in the TJ Smith Stakes, or compete in the Sapphire Stakes, where the young filly has a better chance of winning.
The Stratum filly has won four of her 12 starts and has finished a gallant second to Black Caviar in her last two starts.
Included in the 2011 Sapphire Stakes final field is Kris Lees’ lightly raced Zingaling.
Zingaling finished first in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill on March 26, 2011, and is a definite threat to the remainder of the 2011 Sapphire Stakes field.
Kris Lees says that if all goes well in the Sapphire Stakes, Zingaling will go onto more stakes level races, including the $150,000 Listed Darley Crown at Hawkesbury.
“She will go to the Sapphire Stakes in a couple of weeks, the Darley Crown at Hawkesbury and the Dark Jewel at Scone,” Lees said.
Lees is confident that Zingaling will be able to perform at her best in this Saturday’s Sapphire Stakes.
“She’s had a couple of little setbacks and we have given her a couple of trials before racing her this time,” Lees said.
“She is a tough honest mare who always gives her best.”
Also included in the 2011 Sapphire Stakes final field is David Pfieffer’s Graceful Anna and Clarry Conners’ Dorf Command.