Battle of the States in the Sapphire Stakes

Friday, 26 June 2020

The Group 3 Sapphire Stakes at Doomben on Saturday is a full scale State-of-Origin clash – and Queensland needs to lift.

The field of 12 is a battle of six a piece for Queensland and NSW (with a little help from Victoria).

The NSW-trained runners are: Delactation Girl (Kris Lees), Sure Knee (Chris Waller), Strome (Gary Portelli), Tricky Gal (Matthew Smith), Shuhood (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott). Interstate back-up comes with Melbourne’s Teleplay (Mick Price and Michael Kent (Jnr). In the Maroon camp are Baccarat Baby (David Vandyke), Paint The Town Two (Bevan Laming), Krone (Tony Gollan), Red Stina (Rex Lipp), Mewstone Rock (John Symons and Sheila Laxon), and Barefoot (Tony and Maddysen Sears).

The Sapphire, previously run as the Glenlogan Stakes, was elevated from Listed status to Group 3 in 2011.

Since then no Queensland-trained filly or mare has been successful. The last Maroon success in this event was in 2008 when Quizzical Lady won for Bruce Hill and Brad Pengelly.

Gollan who has enjoyed another stellar season in 2019-20 with over 104.5 metropolitan winners to date took over the training of Krone this preparation. The mare was previously prepared by the Price-Kent training partnership at Caulfield.

Krone has tackled black type events in 16 of her 18 starts and her past two runs indicate she is racing as well as any time in her career.

Her effort last start when fourth in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes was full of merit considering she had to go back to last off a wide barrier. Krone should settle much closer to the pace from gate six.