The 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes field has been released; with fourteen talented fillies and mares set to contest the Group 1 event at Morphettville on Saturday.
Platelet has been included in the Robert Sangster Stakes (Sportingbet Classic) field and has the chance to become the first horse in history to win the race in back-to-back years.
The Strategic mare returned to the races with a narrow win in the 55 Second Handicap (955m) at Moonee Valley on March 21 and started the Group 3 Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville as an odds-on favourite, but finished second behind Driefontein – just like she did last year before going on to win the Robert Sangster Stakes.
Driefontein stamped herself as a leading Robert Sangster Stakes contender with her win in the Irwin Stakes, but may need a little bit of luck on Saturday after drawing barrier 11.
The Fastnet Rock mare is chasing her maiden win at Group 1 level, after finishing sixth in her three previous tilts at the highest level of racing, and will be partnered by leading Melbourne jockey Vlad Duric.
Another mare taking winning form into the Robert Sangster Stakes is Shamal Wind, who has drawn ideally in barrier four for the $400,000 event.
Shamal Wind returned to the races with a narrow win in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 1 and was far from disgraced in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22 before returning to winning form with a comfortable victory in the Braybrook Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 5.
Peter Moody and Luke Nolen combined to win the 2012 Robert Sangster Stakes with equine superstar Black Caviar and will combine again with A Time For Julia in the Group 1 event this weekend.
A Time For Julia (barrier nine) started her autumn preparation with a narrow win in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 8 and finished second behind Red Tracer in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1 before winning the Group 3 Roy Higgins Tribute Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 15.
The Redoute’s Choice mare was given her maiden opportunity at Group 1 level in the Coolmore Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 and worked home fairly to finish fourth; with the four-year-old set to face an easier field on Saturday.
Other Victorian-trained gallopers that have been included in the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes field include Nigel Blackiston-trained You’re So Good (barrier one), last start winner Halle Rocks (barrier 12), the consistent Gig (barrier 13), talented filly Gregers (barrier ten) and Bell Stakes winner Politeness (barrier eight).
Headlining the local hopes in the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes is talented filly Miracles Of Life, who is chasing her first race win since she took out the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 23 last year.
Miracles Of Life resumed with a sixth place finish in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on March 1 and was narrowly denied a breakthrough win in both the Listed Manihi Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on March 29 and the Listed Redelva Stakes (1050m) at the same venue on April 12.
Trainer Daniel Clarken is confident that Miracles Of Life is close to her best form, but jockey Lauren Stojakovic will need to be at her best after the three-year-old drew the outside barrier for the race.
Rounding out the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes field are veteran mare Satin Shoes (barrier seven), the Phillip Stokes-trained duo of Molto Bene (barrier three) and Just Discreet (barrier two) as well as Challenge Stakes winner Villa Verde (barrier 11).