The Blue Sapphire Stakes is a Group 3 sprint for three-year-old colts, geldings and fillies over 1400 metres at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne on the second day of the MRC spring carnival – a mid-week meeting that features the Group 1 Thousand Guineas.
The race is run under set weight conditions. Colts and geldings carry 57 kilograms and the fillies 55 kilograms.
Blue Sapphire Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1400m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Blue Sapphire Stakes: 16/11/24
What Time Is The Blue Sapphire Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Blue Sapphire Stakes: Caulfield Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Blue Sapphire Stakes
To live stream the Bletchingly Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Blue Sapphire Stakes
The current prizemoney, as of mid-2022, is $500,000.
The most recent winner from 2021 was Extreme Warrior.
He seemed to be a mildly promising racer, at least according to form. He ran second in his first race, the Listed grade Debutant Stakes at Caulfield in 2020. He was second again in January of 2021 in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview Colts and Geldings. After a fifth in the Blue Diamond Prelude in his next race, he was relegated to Echuca, where he won a maiden race and was promoted back to Caulfield. He promptly won the Blue Sapphire Stakes in a romp of almost four lengths from Profiteer.
The connections may have been overconfident, but many gallopers have been thrown into a Group 1 fray in the hopes of lightning striking, but the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington was not the source of any such lightning.
A win in the Listed Bel Esprit stakes at Caulfield in April of 2022 earned him a slot in The Goodwood in May of 2022, but running 18th of 19 must have sealed his fate. It was his last race before heading for the breeding sheds.
No reason to risk his stud fees. He has a valuable pedigree with Extreme Choice for a sire. That line runs back through Not A Single Doubt, Redoute’s Choice, Danehill and Danzig.
His three wins and two placings from seven jumps earned nearly $300,000, so he was not a washout – he just was not a Group 1 horse.
His win in the Blue Sapphire was so convincing that some hailed it as the potential birth of a major star. That may have been the case if he had kept racing, but his poor showings in his two Group 1 jumps seemingly convinced his connections that he was too valuable as a stud to risk racing extensively.
History of the Blue Sapphire Stakes
When the race first jumped in 2005, it was for two-year-olds and was called the Blue Sapphire Classic. Starting in 2008 it was the Blue Sapphire Stakes. In 2012, the MRC began calling it the Redoute’s Choice Stakes. That great galloper, however, was not sending any sponsorship money MRC way, so the race is now the Catanach’s Jewelers Blue Sapphire Stakes.
It certainly is fitting to have a jeweller name associated with a race with the name of a precious gem, although we do recall earlier times when we were quite fond of a premium dry gin by that name.
The MRC changed the race to a three-year-old event in 2012 and moved it from the first day of the carnival to the second day in 2014, which is the Wednesday meeting.
It was run for the first time in 2005 at Sandown Racecourse Hillside and it was 1250 metres then. When it moved to Caulfield for 2006, it was abbreviated to the current trip of 1200 metres and run as an unlisted race.
By the time the race was changed to a three-year-old race, it had attained Listed status. It remained thus until 2016 when it was turned into a Group 3 race.
The MRC is known to move races around on their racing calendar and there were past Blue Sapphire Stakes races that were held during the autumn part of the season.
We checked the database for horses named Blue Sapphire and found 11 examples. There were three that could possibly have been namesakes, one each from Great Britain, Ireland and New Zealand. We then noticed that the one from Ireland and the one from New Zealand both foaled in 1997 and gave the same sire, a stallion named Blues Traveler.
Curiosity aroused, we dug in to discover that the Blue Sapphire from New Zealand foaled in the last month of the year. He won $2,500 from three jumps and not even the MRC names races for horses of that ability level. We did not find a D.O.B. for the Irish Blue Sapphire, but with the determination that they were from different dams, we chalked it up to the practice of shuttling stallions between hemispheres to match the cycles of breeding mares.
Dare we say it? Blues Traveler did some traveling.
Now, we pause briefly to wash out our ears and get the awful voice and screechy harmonica of the band Blues Traveler out of our heads.
Venue for the Blue Sapphire Stakes
After the first year of 2005, the race has been staged at Caulfield Racecourse.
Caulfield stages quality racing throughout the year and is famous for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup in October. The winner of the race then has the opportunity to try for the Cups Double by winning the Melbourne Cup a couple of weeks later.
We have a complete examination of the racecourse on another page of this website that includes everything you would want to know and we would encourage anyone with an interest in the history of Australian Thoroughbred racing to have a visit to our page and the course itself.
Racing History of the Blue Sapphire Stakes
There is not an extensive racing history for the Blue Sapphire Stakes, since it has only jumped 18 times, but here is what we can report with accuracy.
The first winner of the race was Readyforcatherine.
The Blue Sapphire was by far her best win and most of her racing was done on country tracks. She did manage to accumulate $271,000 in earnings. That figure required her to race 33 times for six wins and nine placings.
Served by top stallions, she produced five named foals between 2008 and 2017. Neither of her three black type foals surpassed her in earnings and certainly only a fraction of what sires Fastnet Rock, So You Think, Exceed And Excel and Flying Spur earned by racing.
Next came Green Birdie in 2006.
He was a gelding that won over $2.7 million and we have to admit honestly that we did not expect to see that sort of money from a winner of this sort of race. We will not even sledge him from needing 51 jumps for six wins and nine placings, the same win/place result for Readyforcatherine, the only difference being the number of jumps.
The Blue Sapphire was his third jump. His first two had resulted in a win and a third. He destroyed the field for the win.
He did the bulk of his racing at Sha Tin and the inflated prizemoney there does somewhat overshadow his stakes earnings. When he returned to Australia in 2012, he failed to place above fourth from 11 tries.
We found a fresh mystery when we went after the reports for the 2007 winner. We ourselves do not have winners prior to 2012, the year the race was switched from two to three-year olds. One source gives the winner as Emjay Hussay, but we could find no record of a horse by that name, leading us to suspect a typo. Perhaps he was the ones that took the band America through the desert.
Gold in Dubai won the race in 2008.
He won a little over $570,000 from 36 jumps for 5 wins and 14 placings. He did not have any Group wins, but he did call time on his career with a Listed race win, a second in another and a second in his final race at Listed level.
Recently, looking into the history of the Thoroughbred Club Stakes, we expressed surprise to find a galloper of Sunline’s quality even being in, much less winning the race.
Our jaws hit the table and bounced onto the floor when we discovered that the winner in 2009 was none other than THE Black Caviar.
We suppose that since she was just two years of age at the time, she had to start somewhere. Like many of those that won the race before her, the Blue Sapphire was her third jump. She won by eight lengths for her third win before running the table to win 22 consecutively.
She won almost $8 million from 25 jumps for 25 wins that included every major Group 1 sprint, although she did not win any of the major two or three year old races such as the Golden Slipper Stakes.
We have often observed that great racers often make average breeders and this is certainly the case for Black Caviar. Two named foals by I Am Invincible accounted for a mere $30,000. Exceed And Excel stood for her first foal, Oscietra from 2014. Oscietra won only $36,000.
A foal by Snitzel was unraced. Price of Caviar by Sebring from 2015 won almost the exact same amount as Oscietra.
A 2017 foal, Ready For Caviar by More Than Ready earned under $5,000.
We have a page devoted to Black Caviar that supplies further details on what was arguably the best sprinter of Australian racing history.
Smokin' Joey was the 2010 winner.
He was a gelding by Encosta De Lago and he won almost $1.5 million, but that figure required 63 jumps for nine wins and nine placings.
He won quite a few Group 3 races and finally broke through for a Group 1 win in The Goodwood in May of 2014.
The winner from 2011, the final year the race was for two-year-olds, went to City Of Song. She won nothing above Listed level and has not produced any significant progeny.
The first year in which the race shifted to three-year-olds, 2013, Snitzerland was the winner.
The name sort of gives away that he was by the champion racer and stud Snitzel.
Snitzerland won almost $2 million from 20 jumps for eight wins and six placings, after which she headed for stud.
Her win in the Blue Sapphire capped a streak of four consecutive wins. Her final win was the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
Four named foals supplied two stakes winners, the best being Hard Landing by All Too Hard that won about $225,000.
An U.S.A. bred horse named Lion Of Belfort won in 2013.
He never won above Listed and he left no progeny record.
We recognised the name of Eloping from 2014.
She made 24 jumps for seven wins and four placings to win over $1.2 million. She never won above Group 3, but she was well placed in some better races to account for her stakes.
Her 2019 foal by I Am Invincible, In Secret, earned over $90,000 from two jumps. In Secret is still racing, but she last race at Scone in May of 22 to win the Vinery Woodlands Stakes and what the future plans for her are, well, a big secret.
The winner from 2015 was the gelding Keen Array.
He earned over $950,000 from 40 jumps for seven wins and six placings. His best win was the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington in 2017.
The 2016 winner, Flying Artie, was a flyer.
He won over $1.2 million despite racing just seven times for three wins and three placings. He had a brief stretch where he won the colts and geldings division of the Blue Diamond Prelude, ran second to Extreme Choice in the Group 1 Blue Diamond and third to Capitalist and Yankee Rose in the Golden Slipper Stakes. Following the win in the Blue Sapphire, he cruised to a comfortable win in the 2016 Group 1 Coolmore Stud at Flemington for his best and final win.
He is a prodigious sire, with his best to date being a 2018 gelding out of Palace Rock. That galloper is named Giannis and he has won almost $340,000 from 10 jumps for one win and two placings.
It could have been more, but Giannis is a Chris Waller horse, so like many from Waller’s stable, he is trialed incessantly.
Then again, who are we to tell Chris Waller how to train and we won’t, so long as he does not tell us how to write racing articles.
The mare Formality by Fastnet Rock was the winner of the Blue Sapphire in 2017.
She raced just 13 times for five wins and three placings to earn close to $900,000. She had placings and high finishes in major races, but she never quite produced at Group 2 or Group 1 level.
We found no named progeny to her credit.
Written By by Written Tycoon earned over $1.8 million from 11 jumps for six wins and one placing.
Like father, like son in this case. Written By won the Blue Diamond Prelude, the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes in a 2.5 length romp over Enbihaar, and the Group 3 Pago Pago at Rosehill. The Blue Sapphire was his final win and he jumped only four more times before jumping codes and standing stud, where he has three named foals from 2020 and 2021, so no telling what might come of any of those.
Anaheed by Fastnet Rock was a good one, winner in 2019.
She collected over $1.5 million from 15 jumps for five wins and three placings. She won at Group 2 level and had good runs in Group 1 races without a win.
We could not locate a replay of Anaheed’s win, but her class is evident in the replay of a trial she ran at Randwick, which can be viewed at the below link.
The final two winners through the 2021 edition of the Blue Sapphire were Ranting and Extreme Warrior that we detailed at the beginning of this article.
For a newer race, the Blue Sapphire Stakes has fielded some good gallopers, including the incomparable Black Caviar.
The race may always be a filler for spectators at Caulfield to watch the Group 1 Thousand Guineas, but it does afford a chance to see good three-year-olds that could produce Group 1 wins, possibly even under weight-for-age conditions.
Blue Sapphire Stakes Past Winners
|2023||Run Harry Run|
|2013||Lion Of Belfort|