Race 5

IT’S no surprise to see leading owners Emilio and Mary Rosati in the winners’ circle on Breeders Challenge Day at Club Menangle.

And beautifully-bred mare Sapphire Stride added to the fanfare when she scored a surprise win in today’s Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Group One for four-year-old mares.

What did surprise, however, was the price: Sapphire Stride was sent out at the amazing odds of $36.20 on the TAB before leading most of the way to defeat Hey Porsha and Dolly Braveheart, scoring by a head in a 1:52.7 mile rate.

Disappointment of the race was the $1.30 favourite Ameretto (Ash Grives), who settled down near last and couldn’t make up the ground in the straight before finishing a close fourth.

In a field of young drivers, John McCarthy could probably be classed as a veteran, even though he’s only mid 50s, but he took Emilio Rosati’s advice and showed the youngsters a thing or two.

“I thought she’d be quick out and I might struggle to get to the lead (from gate five),” said a jubilant McCarthy after scoring on the Belinda McCarthy-trained mare.

“But they just didn’t come at me in the straight.

“I was getting a bit tired near the line  . . . but so were they and she just kept boxing on.”

McCarthy [senior] described Sapphire Stride as a nice mare:

“We had a good barrier today and it might have been different if we didn’t and this win has made it really good for her as a broodmare later on.

“Emilio said you go show them – and today we did.”


Amanda Zammit

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