Ian Fortune

It was only on Sunday when we got the chance to really digest the display of Susie Sapphire in the quarter finals of the Bresbet Easter Cup that it really hit home how significant the run was.

It’s been well noted that she was one of the truly great Derby winners of all time, but her latest run was a loud and clear warning that she could be as good, if not better, in the coming months than she was in 2021.

Posting a sizzling 3.34 sectional from trap five, she hit the third turn in 16.96 before staying on secure a 29.45 success. Given the fact that she was over three lengths faster than the next heat winner, it was a clear indicator that she is returning to her very best.

It also got me thinking, how dos the 16.96 equate to her runs through last year’s Derby. The answer is very favourably. It will come as no surprise to any that her best run in the Derby came in the decider when posting a sensational 16.88 to the third turn.

But prior to that run she had posted 17.12 twice in the opening rounds, 17.04 in the third round and quarter final, while she posted 16.96 in the semi-finals. That fact that she clocked 16.96 on Saturday in only her third comeback run on a cold February evening suggests she could well go even faster.

Whether she does or not, it’s clear she is going to take some stopping in the Bresbet Easter Cup and the 7-4 on offer with the sponsors for outright glory looks perfectly fair.