|Class||WFA for fillies and mares|
Bella Vella ($41)
The Robert Sangster Stakes - known by its sponsor name as the TAB Classic - is one of the highlights of the Adelaide Autumn Carnival. With a big prize purse of a million bucks on the line, some of the best sprinters from interstate make the trip down to Morphettville to take on the quickest local hopes.
What makes the Robert Sangster unique amongst Australia's WFA sprint classics is that it is only open to female horses. The mares and three-year-old fillies battle it out on the big Morphettville track, with the winner to claim bragging rights as well as a hefty prize check for its owners.
The Robert Sangster Stakes was inaugurated back in 1983 as the Swettenham Stud Stakes. But after well-known Adelaide horse owner Robert Sangster passed in 2004, the race was renamed in his honour.
Some great fillies and mares have triumphed in the race over the years. None have been better than Black Caviar, who bolted in in 2012.
The Robert Sangster Stakes also provides a good form reference for the Goodwood that takes place a fortnight later. The Goodwood probably just shades the Robert Sangster as the best sprint race in South Australia. But this in turn makes the Robert Sangster a more interesting race, as punters look for horses that don't get the luck in running.
Speaking of the punters, they haven't had the best time of it in recent editions. Since Black Caviar's win in 2012, the shortest-priced winner was Miracles of Life in 2015, that got home at $4.20. With a few other winners in double-figure odds, this suggests what a competitive race the Robert Sangster has become.
The 2018 edition saw Shoals burst down the centre of the track with a barnstorming run. She left her competitors in her wake, and proved herself the class horse in the field.
In 2019 Spright was far too good after coming from last on the turn to run over the top of her rivals.
It was her turn to prove that she was the class runner and she prevailed by a comfortable margin of more than a length.
This year's edition was touted as a two-horse race between classy mare Sunlight and tough colt Away Game.
Neither ended up running a place, with local hope Bella Vella making every post a winner to produce a boilover.