Inform your bet on the Blue Diamond Stakes with odds, race facts & best bets.
Group 1 racing returns with the CF Orr Stakes to be held at Caulfield on February 10 the first race at the elite level in 2018 and the 31st of 72 for the racing season.
Although officially beginning in Summer, the Melbourne Autumn Carnival starts with the running of the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on January 26 and concludes at the same venue with the William Reid Stakes on March 23.
Sydney will play host to its Autumn Carnival with Group racing to return for 2018 with the Expressway Stakes at Rosehill on February 3 with the first G1 of the Sydney Autumn at Warwick Farm on March 3 with the running of the Chipping Norton Stakes.
The Sydney Carnival will include the Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill and The Championships at Randwick with a total of 21 races at the highest level to be held during March and April in the New South Wales capital.
Chris Waller landed the most wins at G1 level throughout the Autumn in 2017 with four victories, with all four recorded in Sydney. Waller’s wonder mare Winx scored 3 of those victories with the other win coming via Foxplay in the Queen Of The Turf.
In Melbourne across the Autumn, Darren Weir and the team of David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig shared the spoils of most Group 1 wins with three each. Two of Weir’s victories came with Black Heart Bart and the third with Humidor in the Australian Cup.
The Hayes/Dabernig team landed the Blue Diamond Stakes with Catchy and tow of the big three Victorian Sprints with Sheidel taking the Oakleigh Plate with Joao Moreira up and Redkirk Warrior taking the Newmarket Handicap.
In 2018 The Waterhouse/Bott team looks to be building strongly for the Sydney features. While in Melbourne the Darren Weir stable will once again be strong. The Hayes/Dabernig operation have picked up Group performers So Si Bon and Spieth heading in to the Carnival however they may not be ready by the Autumn.
Hugh Bowman scored the most victories across the Autumn at the elite level with six victories, three of those when aboard Winx.
Tommy Berry scored his third successive TJ Smith Stakes victory aboard Chautauqua when the grey flash sprouted wings down the Randwick straight to score. Berry made it two G1 wins for Team Hawkes for the Autumn when landing the Randwick Guineas aboard Inference.
Brad Rawiller was a dual G1 winner aboard Black Heart Bart with victories at Caulfield in the Orr and Futurity. Damian Lane was the only jockey with Group 1 success at Sydney and Melbourne in the Autumn with the Australian Cup when riding Humidor and the Australian Derby aboard Jon Snow.
2018 will see Hugh Bowman to the fore with Winx, while Kerrin McEvoy who was a three-time winner last Autumn may miss the Carnivals this year as he recovers from surgery to a broken hand.
Corey Brown will have some key rides as the Melbourne Cup winning hoop has retained his form into 2018 having recently taken out the UBET Summer Crown Jockey bonus for performances over the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival.
In 2017 the only equine stars to record multiple victories were Black Heart Bart and Winx.
After landing her third successive Cox Plate in the Spring, Winx is being aimed at more riches this Autumn with the mare already a red figure favourite to claim the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Redzel is the without doubt the best sprinter in Australia and the Snowden trained gelding will have his sights set firmly on the TJ Smith Stakes run over the same Randwick 1200m course that he claimed The Everest on.
Sunlight will likely press towards the Golden Slipper following her Magic Millions triumph while the Doncaster Mile is always an interesting battle with the likes of Egg Tart, Aloisia and last year’s runner-up Happy Clapper possible contenders for the famous Randwick mile.