All those involved in the Mick Price-trained More Than Ready filly Samaready are looking towards the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes in February with an air of confidence after the smart youngster scored a tidy win on debut at Flemington over the weekend.
Going out as a $6.50 chance in the first at Flemington on Saturday, Samaready displayed her potential as a genuine contender for the prestigious $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield during next year’s Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival as jockey Craig Newitt rode her to an eye-catching one and a quarter length win over the David Hayes-trained Mrs Gray in the $70,000 Spotless Plate (1000m).
Victoria’s leading juveniles’ race, the Blue Diamond Stakes 2012 on February 25, is now a very real possibility for Price and Samaready.
One person firmly on the filly’s bandwagon is race jockey Newitt who was quick to credit her as having the class of a Blue Diamond-type.
“She’s not overly big, but she’s a very nice compact filly who’s always shown us a great deal,” Newitt said on Sunday.
“She was nowhere near fully wound-up yesterday.
“To come out and do what she did and run the time she did it just goes to show she’s well above average.
“She could have led those yesterday.
“Mick said to me, ‘she’s underdone, have something take you into the race’.
“She travelled pretty cleanly behind the leader, but not overly strong.
“She put them away pretty quick and the best bit was when she put them away she ran to the line solidly.”
Samaready ran the 1000 metres on a Dead (4) Flemington track in 56.81 seconds.
In comparison this year’s superstar Blue Diamond Stakes winner Sepoy won his debut race at Flemington on a Dead (4) in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes over the 1000 metres in 57.58 seconds.
It was also a nice time compared to those ran by 2012 Magic Millions 2YO Classic hopefuls Noogoora Burr (57.51) and Discreet (57.67) on a Good (3) Eagle Farm course on Saturday for their wins in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes and Calaway Gal Stakes over the same distance.
Price confirmed he was unsure how Smaready would perform on Saturday, and that he was pleasantly surprised with the ease in which she found the line.
“I thought she might be a bit underdone,” he said.
“I’ve been away a week in Hong Kong and my staff were telling me she was lying down all day and sleeping.
“But she’s very sound, not shin-sore, and her knees are good.
“I thought she looked a little tubby in the mounting yard and I said to the guys if she was to win, there is a lot of improvement in her.
“She’s a genuinely good filly, she has a great temperament and I’m pointing her to the Blue Diamond.
“She has a very bright future. She’s a Blue Diamond filly for sure.”
Samaready was purchased for $150,000 at the Australian Easter Yearling Sales and is a half-sister to Group 2 Karrakatta Plate winner in Perth Night War.
Should she go all the way and win the Blue Diamond Stakes 2012, Samaready would be the first official winner in the feature for Price after Roedean was disqualified in 2003 after returning a positive swab after being first over the line back in 2003.
And that wasn’t the only time Price came close to Blue Diamond Stakes glory.
In the same year (2003) he prepared the third-placed Halibery, before World Peace ran third to Alinghi after rearing at the start in 2004 and Perfectly Ready finished third to Undoubtedly in 2005.
Now likely to be sent for a short break, Samaready is expected to resume racing on February 11 at Caulfield in the fillies’ $125,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m), bypassing the Listed Preview on January 26, before the main event a fortnight later.
“The Prelude, being the 1100 metre race two weeks later, looks a better lead into the Blue Diamond,” Price said.
Get all the latest 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes field and betting updates by bookmarking us here at Races.com.au.
To be the first to back the Blue Diamond Stakes nominees when markets are released, sign up with Australia’s ace online bookmaker Luxbet today and enjoy a $400 bonus welcome bet simply by entering the code BONUSBET when you make your first deposit!