The $350,000 Group III MRC Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield on Wednesday drew a strong field of three year-old sprinters with powerhouse filly Formality (3f Fastnet Rock x Jolie’s Shinju, by Jolie’s Halo) proving too good.
Prepared by the Hayes / Dabernig training partnership, Formality was a brilliant winner of the Group II ATC Silver Shadow Stakes and Furious Stakes in Sydney at her first two runs back from a spell before an unplaced effort in the Group I ATC Golden Rose.
Winning rider Kerrin McEvoy blamed himself for her defeat in the Golden Rose, but put things right for this assignment.
She travelled forward to sit in second place and zoomed to the line, holding off a challenge from Jukebox to win the 1200 metre sprint by a long neck.
“I didn’t give her a great ride in the Golden Rose … and she is probably just a sprinting filly,” McEvoy said.
“She was back in trip here and she is a very strong girl.
“Crown Witness just rolled along and I was happy, it was just a matter of pressing the button and we did that at the 300m and it was game over.
“She had a lovely run and she showed a good turn of foot they couldn’t get near her.”
Formality was a modest $120,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the Coolmore draft by Inglis as agent and runs for Coolmore and partners for whom she has won five of nine starts earning nearly $800,000 in prizemoney.
She will take on the colts again in next month’s Group I VRC Coolmore Stud at Flemington on Derby Day.
Bred by Dr K Tan and foaled and raised at Coolmore, Formality is the best of four winners from four foals to race from 2009 Singapore Horse of the Year, Jolie’s Shinju (Jpn), a daughter of the Halo sire Jolie’s Halo.
A two year-old full brother to Formality will be offered at the NZB Ready to Run Sale as Lot 174 and he’s going to be popular after breezing earlier this week in 10.43 seconds.
Jolie’s Shinju has foaled this spring producing a filly by Choisir.