The 2017 Robert Sangster Stakes form guide is essential reading for racing fans ahead of the $1 million feature race for fillies and mares at Morphettville Racecourse on Saturday afternoon.
Some of the Autumn Carnival’s best racehorses have been confirmed in the 2017 Robert Sangster Stakes field including English, Sheidel and I Am A Star, but we have analysed every confirmed starter and emergencies, in order to help you find the Robert Sangster Stakes winner.
English has been a strong and consistent performer for Gai Waterhouse throughout her entire racing career and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Robert Sangster Stakes. A Group 1 winner having taken out last year’s edition of the All Aged Stakes (1200m), the Encosta De Lago mare resumed this time for a smart win in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), but was unable to make up the distance late when seventh in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m). She appeared to have won the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) before being swooped late by Chautauqua on Day 1 of The Championships and on that run alone, should just win this race. Drawn centrally, Ben Melham will take the ride on the mare.
Sheidel is another mare who has found typically excellent form this time in and she is primed to go one better than her impressive run for second in last year’s Sangster. Sent to the paddock after running second to Takedown in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in her native Perth, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor stormed home to win the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up this time, before hitting the line well to finish fourth in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m). While somewhat going amiss in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at her last start in March, Sheidel has the notable advantage of Joao Moreira in the saddle once more this weekend and is a live chance.
Secret Agenda relished the heavy going when she flew home to win the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships, but she’ll need to improve if she is to repeat that effort and win a maiden Group 1 crown on Saturday. The Not A Single Doubt mare does have several impressive black type wins to her name and she should have little issue finding a position off the early pace from a wide draw in the Robert Sangster Stakes.
One of two standout performers for former South Australia-based Andrew Noblett this time in, Super Cash has the makings of a Group 1 winner and form around some of the country’s best sprinters. Having defeated the likes of I Am A Star and Chautauqua in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) first-up, the Written Tycoon mare placed mid-field in the Newmarket Handicap last time and has reportedly relished a freshen-up.
Viddora has followed a traditional path towards the Robert Sangster Stakes and has drawn ideally into the field in barrier 3. Having finished second in the Listed Manihi Classic (1100m) first-up, Viddora has since won the Group 3 RN Irwin (1100m) and is legitimate chance of finishing in the first five, with some luck in running.
Egyptian Symbol has been a strong and consistent performer for Bjorn Baker through recent seasons and is a legitimate chance of delivering the trainer his second career Group 1 title this weekend. the Stratum mare returned to the races to win the Wyong Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Classic (1200m) on December 22nd, but was unable to justify her favouritism in the Magic Millions Plate (1300m) in early January after being caught on pace. She should find an ideal position just behind the speed from barrier 8 and will look to outsprint her rivals in the final straight.
Local runner Cavaloce is yet to produce her best in 2017 and it would take a career-best effort to win that Robert Sangster Stakes. Trainer Will Clarken is pleased with the benefit taken by the Testa Rossa mare since her first-up run in the Manihi Classic, but the quality of this race suggests that it is probably a bridge too far.
Now Or Later
Now Or Later will make her Australian debut in the Robert Sangster Stakes and the mare is a serious chance of posting an upset at odds on Saturday. Winner of the Group 3 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes (1600m) in Ireland last May, the daughter of Bushranger ended an impressive campaign fourth in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes (1600m) during the Royal Ascot Carnival. Her tough ability at longer distances in Britain is sure to put her in good stead in this race and she will be partnered by leading hoop Craig Williams.
Scarlett Billows has been anything but consistent, but the mare is capable on her day and it is close to impossible to write off any horse that is saddled by Darren Weir. The Street Boss mare is sure to have taken benefit from a first-up run for eighth in the Caulfield Newmarket (1200m) on April 22nd, but probably has too much improving to do to factor into this race.
I Am Zelady
Sprint king Joe Pride saddles I Am Zelady in the Robert Sangster Stakes and with positive jockey Noel Callow in the saddle, it is not impossible picturing the horse finishing in the first three at good odds. The I Am Invincible mare has posted three wins and a further eight minors through her seventeen career starts so far and should relish the conditions of the Robert Sangster Stakes, from a good draw (barrier 7).
Plenty of hype has surrounded Ravi’s ability since she made her debut in late 2015, but she is potentially another mare who needs this run to find her best form. Posting a valuable stakes win in the Listed Just Now Handicap (1300m) in Brisbane on December 10th, the Redoute’s Choice mare resumed this time for fourth in the Sapphire Stakes and was impressive to the line. Having trialled well at Hawkesbury since, Ravi will be partnered by Kerrin McEvoy on Saturday, but has been charged with overcoming a wide draw.
Formerly based in South Australia, Miss Gunpowder has clearly relished a transfer to the Lindsay Park operation and will carry winning form into the Robert Sangster Stakes. A stakes winner, Miss Gunpowder is proven amongst fields similar to this, but generally in races contested at 1400m and a mile. Similarly to her stable mate Sheidel, Miss Gunpowder has drawn awkwardly into this field and will need luck in transit.
A Lotta Love
A Lotta Love returned to the races for fourth in the Caulfield Newmarket and will need to improve tenfold if she is a winning chance in this race. The Al Maher mare has been consistent throughout her twenty-six career starts, but she is yet to salute in black type company.
Beautiful Flyer is one of the rank outsiders in the Robert Sangster Stakes field and that tag is probably justifiable. Having finished fourth in a pair of South Australian minor sprints in March and April, the Solo Flyer mare returned to winning form in the Suzie Reynolds Handicap (1200m) a fortnight ago, but has drawn the carpark and is likely to be caught at the tail of the field for the entire race.
Lake Como is another horse that is likely to find the going in the Robert Sangster Stakes a little too difficult, but the mare is capable of a strong performance on her day and would not look out of place rounding out the top five. Having beaten a number of notable horses to the line to win the RSL BM84 (1200m) at Flemington last time out, the Pins mare could get lost from barrier 14 and will require luck.
Every Faith will contest the Robert Sangster Stakes first-up and there is nothing to suggest that she is a winning chance, particularly in this class. The Not A Single Doubt has been best at staying trips throughout her career and could easily get lost in transit from the rails draw this weekend.
I Am A Star
I Am A Star has returned to racing in typically outstanding fashion this year and is a serious chance of winning the Robert Sangster Stakes, particularly with only 55kgs in tow. Becoming the first three-year-old to win the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at the conclusion of a strong 2016 campaign, the daughter of I Am Invincible took a couple of runs to return to winning form this season, but posted consecutive triumphs in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) through March. Drawn well in barrier 2, I Am A Star will be partnered by regular hoop Dean Yendall.
Missrock has produced a number of smart efforts this time in and is another filly that would not look out of place winning this race, at great odds. Resuming for a smart win in the Mrs Mac’s Family Bakery Sprint (1100m) on March 4th, the Fastnet Rock filly failed to fire in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m), but responded with a close second in the Sapphire Stakes last time out. Drawn ideally in barrier 5, Missrock will be ridden by in-form hoop Damian Lane.
Legless Veuve is another filly that is capable of brilliance on her day, but she has drawn the carpark in the Robert Sangster Stakes and it will take a monumental effort for her to win the race. Winner of the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 4th, the Pins filly failed to produce much in either of the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) or Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but responded well for second in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago.
Hear The Chant
Hear The Chant is the final filly confirmed in the capacity Robert Sangster Stakes field and is perhaps lucky just to have made the running list. The daughter of Nicconi won a Flemington sprint over 1100m on March 18th, but was unable to match the late pace when ninth in the Selangor Turf Club Handicap (1200m) on April 8th.
Sweet Sherry is yet to produce much through her two starts this time in and it is tough to see where she will settle in the run and how she will stack up in this field, should she gain a start in the Robert Sangster Stakes.
Selenia has only been competitive at best this season and will find it extremely difficult to win the Robert Sangster Stakes, should she gain a start.