Sunlight in strike zone for Group 1 sprint

Tony McEvoy knows he has a winning formula with Sunlight and he’s not expecting things to change when his star sprinter runs in the Group 1 TAB Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Sunlight’s second-up record stands at three victories and a third, one of the wins being the 2019 Newmarket Handicap, and McEvoy says it will look even better after Saturday. McEvoy said although Sunlight finished second to Gytrash first-up, that run had only boosted his confidence.

“I thought her first-up run was really good and she’s shown improvement as she always does from her first-up run,” McEvoy said.

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Sunlight is well placed to snare another Group 1 win on Saturday. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“She’s dropped five to six kilograms in her body weight since that run, which is what I expected. I think she’s well placed taking on fillies and mares. It’s going to be a lot easier than taking on Gytrash. There’s no Gytrash in this field.”

TAB fixed odds has Sunlight as a $2.90 favourite even after she drew barrier 16.

She comes into barrier 14 if the emergencies don’t run, and the past three TAB Classic winners have started from barriers 16, 15, and 13.

Sunlight will be ridden by Barend Vorster, who also rides McEvoy’s other Group 1 runner on Saturday, Silent Sovereign, a $9 chance in the Schweppes Oaks (2000m).

Silent Sovereign, a last-start winner at Group 3 level at Morphettville, has kept improving.

“She was stakes-placed last year and we’ve always thought she’d improve and get better, which is what has happened,” McEvoy said.

“I thought she was really strong the other day and she was only second-up. She’s the fresh horse on the scene, and she’s fit enough and I think she’s good enough to win.”

Silent Sovereign heads into the Schweppes Oaks win winning form. Picture: Atkins PhotographySource:Supplied


Grahame Begg is more than comfortable with his “fresh is best” approach to the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) with Beauty Bolt at Morphettville on Saturday.

“I’ve kept her fresh intentionally,” Begg said. “She had a good jumpout at Sandown last Tuesday and I was really pleased with her. She runs her best races when they are spaced and 2000m is up her ally. She’s in good enough order to win.”

Begg said that last spring Beauty Bolt boasted form around several of her rivals on Saturday, including a fifth in the Edward Manifold Stakes behind Moonlight Maid and a fourth in the VRC Oaks when that filly ran third.

“She’s got form all around the fillies she’s taking on from last spring and I’ve kept her fresh on purpose as that’s where she’ll derive an advantage,” Begg said.

Trainer Grahame Begg has kept Beauty Bolt fresh for the Schweppes Oaks. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

The daughter of Redoute’s Choice resumed with a first-up win at Sandown Hillside over 1300m in a Benchmark 64. She then ran eighth behind Oasis Girl over 1400m at Caulfield on April 4 and Begg was happy with the run.

“That was the day where on-pacers dominated and she missed the start and didn’t really handle the conditions, but she hit the line well,” he said.

Beauty Bolt, a $26 chance with TAB, will be ridden by Dean Holland, who spent two weeks in isolation in Adelaide after arriving from Victoria for the South Australian carnival. He will also ride star two-year-old Away Game in the TAB Classic.

Originally published asSunlight in strike zone for Group 1 sprint

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