The Melbourne Racing Club has today revealed the list of 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes first declarations, the $1 million two-year-olds feature to run as one of the major attractions of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Blue Diamond Stakes nominations of yearlings were first taken in July with a 1279 entries.
At first acceptance stage, which closed on Tuesday November 23, the connections of 536 now two-year-olds paid the $220 fee to keep their horse in contention for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) due to run at Caulfield Racecourse on February 25, 2012.
This figure is down 43 from the 583 Blue Diamond first acceptors in 2011.
The Blue Diamond Stakes winner this year was the Peter Snowden-trained, Darley-owned Sepoy.
After winning the Blue Diamond 2011 at just their fourth career start, ace Elusive Quality colt Sepoy has gone on to win six of his next seven starts including the Golden Slipper, Manikato Stakes and most recently the Coolmore Stud Stakes, the champion now a four-time Group 1 hero.
There are a total of seven Elusive Quality two-year-olds looking to hand the champion sire back-to-back Blue Diamond winners in 2012, three of which are prepared by Snowden with Union Gap, Drive and Rusambo.
The most promising of these three is Rusambo who has had two race starts to date finishing a brave third on debut to Pierro in the Listed Thoroughbred Breeders Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 1 before their last-start second to Amorino in the City Tattersall’s 2YO Plate (1000m) also at Randwick on October 15.
Gai Waterhouse’s Thoroughbred Breeders Plate winner Pierro is also among the Blue Diamond Stakes hopefuls, one of 20 for Sydney’s leading lady of racing.
Other notable Waterhouse-trained entries include Rosehill winner on debut on October 29 Pure Hustle and Redoute’s Choice filly No Looking Back who also won their maiden run at Warwick Farm on November 19.
The Darley Racing operation has another strong hand in the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes with a total of 33 juveniles still entered.
One of their other more noteworthy entries is Exceed And Excel filly Applegate who won their debut race, the Listed Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, November 1.
Another winner on debut that is being prepared for a Blue Diamond Stakes campaign next year is the Tony McEvoy-trained Commands colt Jimando.
Jimando looked ultra-impressive at Caulfield on October 12 when winning the Listed Inglis Debutants Stakes (1000m) by an easy three and a half lengths over Princeton Miss when ridden by Nash Rawiller.
Angaston-based McEvoy has nine from his stables featuring in the current list of Blue Diamond Stakes first acceptors including Typhoon Tilly, who ran fifth to Applegate on Melbourne Cup Day, and Maximus Moonard.
Fomalhaut colt Maximus Moonard was the eye-catching winner of the Listed Written Tycoon Champion Sire Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 12, a race another Darley-owned Blue Diamond Stakes-bound filly Vital ran sixth in.
Sponsors of the Blue Diamond Stakes, Patinack Farm, and their primary trainer John Thompson also boasts an impressive number of Blue Diamond Stakes hopefuls for next year with 41.
Stay up-to-date with the latest 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes field updates, news and betting information as it is made available over the coming months.
The next stage of acceptances will be the Blue Diamond Stakes second declarations taken on Tuesday January 10, 2012.
This is followed by third acceptances on Tuesday January 31 before the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes final field is released on Tuesday February 21, 2012.
The best Blue Diamond Stakes betting action including generous pre-field markets out early next year will be found online at Luxbet.