Robert Smerdon will look to secure his second Blue Diamond Stakes victory and has a live chance with Property. To be partnered by Joao Moreira who has never before ridden at Caulfield, the ‘Magic Man’ will be looking to be the first overseas based rider to capture the Group 1 event. Not in the original nominations, connections have paid $55,000 to gain entry as a late nomination. The Starcraft colt started his career at Caulfield over 1100m and was run-down by Catchy in the latter stages. Back to 1000m for the Diamond Preview, he was settled mid-field and finished strongly in slick closing sectional times to clear out for a strong win. Taking on the Diamond Prelude back to 1100m, he again settled mid-field and closed out strongly, defeating Pariah and Wait For No One. Opening All-In Price $8, top price $15.
David Hayes knows how to prepare a Blue Diamond winner and two of his five victories in the race have been with fillies. With six runners in the race that can be the first Blue Diamond winner that Hayes has trained in partnership with son Ben and Tom Dabernig, Catchy looks the pick. Starting her career over 1000m at Moonee Valley in December, she settled at the rear and unleashed a strong sprint to score a half-length victory. Taken to Caulfield for over 1100m, she settled much closer to the speed, finishing best in securing a dominant 2.25 length win defeating Property. In the Fillies division of the Diamond Prelude she was again ridden quiet in the small field and hit the line well to take a narrow victory. With Craig Williams having a choice of some top chances in the race he has chosen Catchy. Opening All-In Price $12, top price $13.
The Ciaron Maher trained Jukebox fared well at the barrier, landing gate 4, looking to become Maher’s maiden 2YO Group 1 winner. Starting favourite at Geelong in a set weights 1100m, he carried 58kg and after settling on the pace was able to forge clear to record a 1.25 length victory. Set for the Inglis Premier at Caulfield, he again settled handy to the speed and when unleashed, ran down to the line strongly to record a two length victory. Importantly that race was over the same trip as the Blue Diamond, with the only other runner in the field having previously covered the six furlong trip being Muraahib. Craig Williams rode the Snitzel colt to both his victories, yet with him opting to ride Catchy, has opened the door for 2009 winner Luke Nolen to take the ride. Opening All-In Price $16, top price $16.
Fastnet Rock filly Roomooz has had winkers added to her gear to try to keep her a little more focused. In the fillies Diamond Prelude she jumped from barrier 1 and on settling was three horses back on the fence. Blocked for a run she was angled across heels and was a length and a half behind Catchy when finding clear space was left a little flat-footed as the sprint really went on from that point. Taking time to wind up, the last 100m the filly found the line strongly, officially beaten 1.75 lengths. Starting a short priced favourite at her race debut, the Tony McEvoy trained filly was a dominant winner at Morphettville over 1000m. An impressive trial winner at Geelong leading into the Prelude run, four-time Diamond winning jockey Dwayne Dunn takes the ride. Opening All-In Price $17, top price $26.
A race for 2 Year Olds of both sexes, the Blue Diamond is the first Group1 for the ‘babies’ in the racing season. It was first held in 1971 and has been a feature of the Melbourne Racing Club’s Autumn carnival in a bumper day of racing at Caulfield.
The race has traditional lead-up events separated by sex with Listed Blue Diamond Previews and Group 3 Blue Diamond Preludes held in successive fortnights leading into the Blue Diamond Stakes. The race is run over 1200m and held under the conditions of set weights with colts and geldings to carry 56.5kg and fillies carrying 54.5kg.
Total prizemoney on offer is $1.5m with the winner to receive $900,000, making it the richest 2YO race conducted in Victoria. The 2016 winner was the Mick Price trained Extreme Choice, ridden by Craig Newitt. Some great horses have been successful in the past and it has also been a good race to win for prospective stallions with winners such as Manikato (1978), Zeditave (1988), Hurricane Sky (1994), Redoutes Choice (1999), Bel Esprit (2002) and Sepoy (2011).
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 25th February 2017|
|Race Time:||15:10 AEST|
|2016 Winner:||Extreme Choice|
|2017 Blue Diamond Stakes Odds|
|2015||Pride Of Dubai|
|2013||Miracles Of Life|
|2009||Reward For Effort|