Peter Snowden plans to stick to a proven formula with his ace young filly Applegate who will be given the chance to emulate the Blue Diamond Series clean-sweep achieved by her superstar stablemate Sepoy last autumn.
During last year’s Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival the now four-time Group 1 hero Sepoy scored the rare and incredible feat of winning all three races in the Blue Diamond Series.
He started with a three and a half-length victory in the Preview, won the Prelude by the same margin a fortnight later and then hit the big time with his commanding four and a half-length annihilation of his rivals in the $1 million main event.
Despite his Blue Diamond Triple Crown, Sepoy was not awarded the series bonus for winning all three races due to the small nine-horse field in the Preview which was ruled too small under the bonus conditions to be eligible.
Twelve months later and Snowden again has a very smart two-year-old right in the Blue Diamond mix with Exceed And Excel filly Applegate.
Applegate made her race debut at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last year, narrowly hanging on to beat home Snitzerland by the smallest of margins in the Listed Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) after overcoming barrier 14 of 16.
Third placed in that race was the Mark Kavanagh-trained Alezan Thunder who went on to win at Sandown by four lengths in December before her game third behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained fillies Driefontein and No Looking Back in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast last Saturday.
Yet to race since her maiden start, Applegate is preparing to go via the classic Blue Diamond path and is schedule to race next-up in the fillies’ $100,000 Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on Australia Day, January 26.
She will then go to the $125,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 11 before, all going to plan, she takes her spot in the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes field.
“She had a small break after that run (on Melbourne Cup Day) at Flemington and she’s come back really well,” Paul Snowden, son of Peter and the stable’s Melbourne foreman, said.
“We’re looking to run her in the (Blue Diamond) Preview on Thursday week.
“She still held that little bit of residual fitness.
“She just had a couple of weeks off, but she’s back again and slowly built up into Thursday week’s race.
“It’s another four weeks after that run until her grand final, which is the Diamond, so hopefully she can get there in one piece and be competitive on the day.”
Futures Blue Diamond Stakes odds were released by Luxbet this week with the Waterhouse-trained More Than Ready gelding Raceway, four length winner at Warwick Farm on January 7, topping the markets at a quote of $4.40.
Applegate occupies the fifth line of Blue Diamond Stakes betting paying $13, equal with John Thompson’s Gimcrack Stakes winner Hussousa.
Check out the full 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes odds and betting options now open at Luxbet and get your early picks locked in at the guaranteed best prices.