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‘Boy’ and ‘Baby’ claim Sandown spoils

Amron Boy claimed his second Group 1 trophy and Baby Jaycee celebrated an overdue G1 breakthrough on a memorable night of racing at Sandown Park on Thursday.

After brilliantly winning the G1 Silver Chief at The Meadows in December, Amron Boy, trained by Brooke and Jamie Ennis, added the $160,500 Sportsbet Harrison-Dawson (515m) to his resume.

Amron Boy started $2.30 favourite from box two, despite finishing second in his heat behind G3 Launching Pad winner Trooper Tears, the $4.80 second elect.

Amron Boy began sweetly, and the writing was on the wall when he took advantage of his inside draw to hold fastest heat winner Dundee Smokey ($6) out in the run to the first corner.

Amron Boy broke clear approaching the home turn and powered clear to defeat the late-closing Kai Bale ($16.80) by 4.5 lengths in a flying Best Of Night 29.13sec.

The son of Zambora Brockie and Miami Fernando, which turns three in July, has now won 17 of his 44 starts, with the $100,000 winner’s purse boosting his earnings to a tick below $600,000.

“We’ve had a massive opinion of him from day one and always thought he was capable of winning Group 1 races and probably multiple Group 1s,” Jamie Ennis told Sandown’s Jason Adams.

“Luckily enough that was his second tonight and it’s even better to share it with Jim (Psaila, part-owner). He’s not young anymore and speaking to him after the race, he got such a big thrill.

“Leading up to this race, we’ve had a few issues with the ligament in Amron Boy’s back, but we seem to have got on top of that now and obviously his last couple of runs have been better.

“I’m sure that over the next month or so he’ll improve even more.”

While Amron Boy deserved a second ‘major’, likewise, nobody would begrudge Baby Jaycee and veteran Heathcote trainer Bob Douglas breaking a G1 hoodoo in the star-studded $160,500 Group 1 Sportsbet Sapphire Crown (515m).

In a vintage renewal of the female feature, Magic Muffin (box 1) went to the boxes $3.60 favourite, shading country cups ‘Queen’ Kelsey Bale (box 4) at $3.70, Baby Jaycee (box 6) $3.90 and defending champion Wow She’s Fast (box 7) at $4.30.

Striving to add to her world record prizemoney tally of $2,389,995, Wow She’s Fast came out running to lead rounding the first turn, but the race changed complexion dramatically when she was checked and put out of play.

Baby Jaycee then railed to the front and held Magic Muffin at bay, scoring by half a length in 29.70sec, with Kelsey Bale finishing third.

Ironically, Baby Jaycee, a daughter of Bernardo and Leprechaun Storm, was bred by Paul Bartolo and wife Diane, who train runner-up Magic Muffin.

WATCH: “The Babe has done it again!” BABY JAYCEE (B6) claimed a deserved Group 1 victory when holding MAGIC MUFFIN (B1) at bay to win the Sapphire Crown Final (515m) in 29.70sec.

The Sapphire Crown was Baby Jaycee’s fifth appearance at G1 level, and she’d had to settle for second place in the Australian Cup, Golden Easter Egg, and National Futurity, while she was also runner-up in the G2 Sandown Laurels.

“She’s a class act and she’s been knocking on the door, so I don’t think anyone would begrudge her winning,” Bob Douglas told Jason Adams.

“I thought she was out of it when Wow She’s Fast hit the front and then all of a sudden the race changed complexion and she was back in the race.”

It was Douglas’ second Sapphire Crown victory, having won the race back in 1992 with Dashing Eagle, before it became bitches-only.

“That was 40 years ago. I rode my horse here back in those days!” Douglas quipped.

The appetizer to Thursday night’s G1 double header was four heats of the G1 Sportsbet Sandown Cup (715m), the final of which will be run next Friday.

The Britton family won three of the four runoffs – First Picked (Robert Britton), Korda (Jeff Britton) and Dirt Farmer (Tim Britton) – with NSW visitor Cawbourne Magic (Andy Lord) the odd one out.

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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