Lee and Shannon Hope scored their first Group 1 victory when Fenway took out the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and the father/son training partnership have the chance to cap off a stellar season when Sabatini contests the 2015 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday.
Sabatini started her 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign with a strong win in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 14 and she proved that win was no fluke when she took out the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
The Street Cry filly was set a very tough assignment in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 14, but she was still able to run home strongly to finish second before she had no luck in running when fifth in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on April 18.
Hope said that Sabatini had handled her first interstate trip without any problems and he told Sky Racing HQ that the three-year-old was a genuine winning chance in the 2015 Robert Sangster Stakes, but will likely need some luck in running from barrier ten.
“It was always our long-term goal,” Hope said.
“We were planning on sending her to Sydney for the Sapphire, but we just thought it was too much of an ask for her because she had never been away from home.
“She had that run at Caulfield and her run was very good and she has settled in as good as she can over there.
“She is a three-year-old filly, so she gets a little bit of weight relief and she just needs luck in running.
“She has drawn ten which gives us options.
“There is only one corner and it is a straight run – a great dog leg and that is no problem.”
Sabatini is currently available at 2015 Robert Sangster Stakes odds of $10 and she is on the fifth line of betting with Ladbrokes behind Robert Smerdon-trained Vain Queen ($5), Challenge Stakes winner Miracles Of Life ($5), wet-track specialist Avoid Lightning ($7), and early market-mover Politeness ($8.50).
Blake Shinn has been booked to ride Sabatini in the Robert Sangster Stakes and he is chasing his first win in the Group 1 event after previously missing the placings on Solar Antiquity in 2006 and Ballet Society in 2005.