Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield Last Chance for Sprinters

Last Group race of the season; first Group race of the season?

The Australian thoroughbred racing season is flexible, which is all right, as the horses only know that they are being asked to run. They jump when the barrier drops and they stop when their hoops ease off and pull back on the reins, so the distinction of last or first is not all that significant.

This year, the Bletchingly Stakes falls on July 29, making it the last Group race of the year. Held at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, it is a Group 3 1200-metre weight-for-age race that was first staged in 1994.

It was graded Listed at that time, but when good horses started to take part, it was elevated to Group 3 in 1997.

Last year’s winner was Lord Of The Sky. The six-year-old bay entire by Danerich from Princess Abassi has averaged just over $39,000 for the 26 races in which he has taken part. His six wins and five second-place finishes average over $92,000, so he has been a steady, if not spectacular, earner. The Bletchingly Stakes was his best win to date. When he was tried in the Group 1 Galaxy at Rosehill, he was dead last. Damien Oliver was aboard for the Bletchingly win, but other notables, including Hugh Bowman, Patrick Moloney and Zac Purton have steered him, with mixed results.

The Bletchingly Stakes appeals to runners concluding their winter campaigns, along with spelled horses launching spring carnival campaigns.

This year’s field has not yet firmed, but in the past, runners from the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes, have jumped, with some going on to the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes of the Group 1 Memsie Stakes. The form guide for the race will be available on the Wednesday preceding the race.

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