Gerald Ryan wanted to get on and ride Snitzerland in the straight, part-owner Neil Werrett would admit only to having to ''cheer hard'' - and jockey Corey Brown said the race would have haunted him if she had been beaten. It won't after Snitzerland kept her unbeaten record as a three-year-old with a gutsy win in the Blue Sapphire at Caulfield yesterday. The margin was only a half-neck from Fire Thunderbolt with another half-head to Lankan Rupee in third but that had looked highly unlikely inside the final 300 metres. ''I should have had her rolling off some soft sectionals and it would have been my fault if she had got beat,'' Brown said. ''She just toughed it out and that was probably her best win for me.'' Snitzerland was the only filly in the race and did all the work outside Lankan Rupee before lifting in the final 100m to turn away all challengers. ''I just wanted to get out there myself and lift her because I knew there was more there,'' Ryan said. ''I'm sure Corey could feel me next to him. She was the smallest horse in the race and she came out and did that. It tells you something about her. She is really a female version of Snitzel.'' Werrett added: ''That was just gutsy, she is a very good filly.''
Mick Price tried something a bit different with Instinction during the week and it didn't work. Well, at least not the way he had hoped, anyway. Price wanted to put the four-year-old over a couple of 60cm hurdles and he dug in his heels. ''We tried for 20 minutes and he just refused every time,'' Price said. ''It was a change in routine. Who knows, it might have helped.'' Instinction came out and won the Weekend Hussler Stakes with an exciting turn of foot, which has Price looking to the top level later in the carnival. ''There was plenty of speed there and that helped him,'' he said. ''We want to get out to a mile. Because he is still a bull [stallion] I would like get a group 1 with him.''
Werrett's partner, Lena Attebo, did not wear any jewellery to Caulfield yesterday but she left the track adorned in a Blue Sapphire necklace after Snitzerland's win. The three-year-old filly fought back to win and at the presentation Attebo put the prize straight on. ''I knew there was a reason I didn't have anything on,'' she said. ''It is a nice piece and it is great to wear something we have won.''
NORZITA RULED OUT
Flight Stakes winner Norzita was scratched from the Thousand Guineas after a lacklustre piece of work yesterday. Bart Cummings's stable foreman and grandson, James, said it was an easy decision to end the campaign. ''She was flat this morning and I think the owners have made the right decision,'' Cummings said. ''She has had enough and deserves a break. To win a group 1 race at her sixth start in her first preparation was a great effort.'' Commanding Jewel, a half-sister to last year's winner Atlantic Jewel, has been promoted to favourite at $5.50.