Trainer-of-the-moment Gai Waterhouse has confirmed plans to target next month’s Blue Diamond Stakes 2012 during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival with her Magic Millions Classic hard-luck story No Looking Back.
A brilliantly-bred daughter of Redoute’s Choice from 2006 Magic Millions Classic winner Mirror Mirror, No Looking Back was first over the line in last Saturday’s $2 million MM Classic on the Gold Coast when making just her second appearance following a win on debut at Warwick Farm back in November.
Despite beating her better-fancied stablemate Driefontein to the post by a quarter-length, No Looking Back was regulated into second position by stewards after a protest by the original runner-up’s jockey Tommy Berry was upheld.
Both fillies are now considered genuine candidates for the world’s richest juvenile’s race, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill’s Easter Saturday meeting on April 7.
Firstly, however, No Looking Back will look to atone for her controversial defeat and reward her devastated connections by winning the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 25.
“No Looking Back will head to Melbourne for the Blue Diamond,” Waterhouse confirmed.
Won last year by Darley-owned superstar Sepoy, who went on to salute in the Golden Slipper Stakes as well, the Blue Diamond Stakes 2012 entries currently feature 165 two-year-olds following the release of second declarations earlier this week.
In the ante-poste Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets at Luxbet No Looking Back is rated a $15 chance, odds led by her boom stablemate Raceway at $4.40, an emphatic four-length winner at Warwick Farm on January 7.
Waterhouse firmly believes that No Looking Back will be even more impressive when she gets to Melbourne, the filly always having worked well racing the Victorian way.
“I’ve always remembered what Hugh Bowman told me when she won her last race,” Waterhouse said.
“He told me he thinks this filly is far better on her Melbourne leg.”
Bowman had the ride on No Looking Back in her debut on November 19 when she overcame barrier 10 of 10 beat her Nash Rawiller-ridden stablemate Blazing Snitzel by three quarters of a length in the WF 100 Club Returns 2012 Handicap (1000m).
Rawiller had the controversial Magic Millions Classic mount, the result of which Waterhouse has been reflecting on, crediting the competitive nature of No Looking Back.
“Many would have thought that No Looking Back did not have the same chance as her stablemate as she hadn’t raced since beating another stablemate Blazing Snitzel a handful of weeks earlier,” Waterhouse said.
“But the one think I had seen early in the piece with this filly was that she is a tough as teak and has an amazingly competitive nature.
“The many photos I have seen of the two tensely fighting out the finish shows neither lying down believe they could each win the race.”
There is a chance that No Looking Back will have a run between now and Blue Diamond Stakes Day with the $125,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) over 1100 metres at Caulfield on February 11 the likely option should Waterhouse opt to give her a lead-up.
“I think what really shows with two-year-olds is that if you have them fit, they only need to be rested in the lead-up to the big races,” Waterhouse said.
“Just look at Sebring (Waterhouse’s 2008 Golden Slipper Winner) who had something like six weeks between the Golden Slipper win and his previous start.”
To get behind any of the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes hopefuls including top elect Raceway and the improving No Looking Back, visit Australia’s leading online bookmaker Luxbet today.