Race of The Day Sunday July 22
14:555 furlongs (1000m)

Sapphire Stakes (Group 2)

Curragh

  • Current Favourite  Mabs Cross
  • Current Odds 2/1
Race Analysis Runners 7 Going Good (Good to Firm in places) Distance 5 furlongs (1000m)

Race Overview

A high-quality five furlong Group 2 sprint that is invariably won by a real speed merchant, the race was established in 2001 and is open to three year olds and upwards. It usually attracts a strong challenge from Britain, and this year’s renewal is no exception.

Most of the contenders have competed at the highest level, with races such as the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot often proving a good guide to this event, as has the prestigious Rockingham Handicap from the Curragh Derby meeting three weeks earlier. Last year’s winner, the admirable veteran Caspian Prince, trained by Michael Appleby, will attempt to defend his crown.

 

  • Up to £100 in Bet Credits

    • Generous bet credit offer
    • All across leader
    • Claim your Welcome Offer today!
  • £100 First Deposit Bonus

    • Great bonuses
    • Quick fire markets
    • Sign up for a £100 Deposit Bonus!
  • Bet £10 Get £30 in free bets

    • Regular promos and bonuses
    • Excellent customer support
    • Claim your free bets!
    • Great content and markets
    • Excellent offers
    • Click for a top welcome offer!
    • Simplest mobile app
    • Competitive odds
    • Claim LeoVegas's Welcome Offer!

Favourite Mabs Cross

Represents the Michael Dods yard that won this race two years ago with the flying Meccas Angel, and this filly looks from a similar mould. She was an excellent third in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and sets a high standard

Horse racing Aidan O'Brien

Other Contenders

Last year’s winner Caspian Prince retains his form and will be a popular choice, along with Battle of Jericho, who outpointed him here last time out, and his fellow Aidan O’Brien-trained Washington DC. Last term’s smart juvenile Havana Grey is another others with claims in what promises to be a very good race.

Race Analysis

Caspian Prince has been a remarkable servant and at the age of nie is still a smart performer. He won this race 12 months ago when edging out the high-class Marsha and showed he retains all his ability when failing by just a short-head to give 15lb to Battle of Jericho over course and distance alst time out. He is now 11lb better off with that rival and has obvious claims on that basis to reversing the form.

Aidan O’Brien’s Battle of Jericho has really come into his own this season and is improving fast so deserves plenty of respect. He has it all to do at the weights though on his defeat of Caspian Prince last time, and a stronger contender may be his enigmatic stable companion Washington DC, who won the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint at this track last summer over 6 furlongs, but showed his effectiveness at the minimum trip when failing by just a head to beat the flying Battaash in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock in May. He never figured at Royal Ascot last time, but an improved display is a definite possibility.

MABS CROSS, however, looks the one they all have to beat. Michael Dods’ mare, a winner of five of her 10 starts to date was very progressive last year and has continued to improve this campaign. She outpointed the speedy Judicial in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May, then failed by just three-quarters-of-a-length to reel in Battaash (Washington DC second) having missed the break in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock. She jumped off on terms at Royal Ascot and ran a fabulous race to be third behind Blue Point and Battassh in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes, staying on strongly having had to switch to make her challenge.

Her Royal Ascot third is the best form on offer here and if the daughter of Dutch Art runs to a similar level she will take some stopping.

The dark horse of the race is Karl Burke’s Havana Grey, winner of the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes as a juvenile last year and also runner-up in the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville and the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster last September. He hasn’t yet produced that level of form this campaign in two starts in the spring, but was beaten less than two lengths by Mabs Cross at Newmarket (when made favourite). He’s been given a break and may well return refreshed, so it is very much worth keeping an eye on the betting markets for any signs of confidence in this talented colt.

Read review

Betting.net Selection

Mabs Cross
2/1
Read review

Betting.net Danger

Havana Grey
9/1

Top Free Bets

View all
Sportnation free bet for Betting.net
  • Great content and markets
  • Excellent offers
  • Click for a top welcome offer!
Leovegas free bet offer for Betting.net
  • Simplest mobile app
  • Competitive odds
  • Claim LeoVegas's Welcome Offer!
mansionbet free bet on Betting.net
  • Sleek and intuitive
  • Vast betting options
  • Click to join!
Paddypower 20 risk free offer for Betting.net
  • Go-to bookmaker for punters
  • Top class promos and offers
  • Claim your Paddy Power Welcome Offer!
Show all free bets & offers
Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.