Chris Waller’s fillies dominate the nominations...
Former $101 roughie in the early 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes odds, Mama’s Choice raced her way right into contention for the $1 million event over the weekend when she upset former favourite Jimando in the Chairman’s Stakes.
Registered this year as the $100,000 Listed Emirates Airline Stakes (1100m) and run as Race 4 at Caulfield on Saturday, the Chairman’s Stakes result proved Tony McEvoy’s Inglis Debutants Stakes winner Jimando as a false favourite for the Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 25.
He was easily beaten first-up as the $2.40 favourite on Saturday by two runners when finishing just over half a length third behind $31 upset winner Mama’s Choice and runner-up Formidable ($6).
Prepared by the most successful Blue Diamond Stakes trainer in history, David Hayes who has taken out the juvenile’s classic five times previously, Redoute’s Choice filly Mama’s Choice made the best race debut possible.
After finding herself worse than midfield early she and jockey Dwayne Dunn made a stunning run to the line, sweeping past the field to become Hayes’ maiden two-year-old winner of the season.
“She was pretty impressive wasn’t she?” Hayes said after the win.
“She joined in very quickly, put it away just as quickly, then switched off.
“That turn of foot from the 400m to the 200m was very impressive.
“We’ll be right in it (the Blue Diamond) I’d say, we’ve hit form at the right time.
“Often in this era, it never happened in the old era, Diamond winners step out around now.
“I’m happy and relieved that one’s stepped up at the right time.”
Dunn is also no stranger to Blue Diamond success having won the feature for four years consecutively, his streak ending in 2008 aboard the Hayes-trained Reaan which was his third win in Melbourne’s prestigious two-year-olds’ event for Hayes.
The hoop’s debut Blue Diamond Stakes winner was Undoubtedly in 2005, the same year Mama’s Choice’s dam Red Hot Mama finished 15th.
From six Blue Diamond rides, Dunn boasts not only a quartet of wins but two third place finishes as well, and after Saturday’s ride he is confident Mama’s Choice is the right type to add to his, and Hayes’, imposing record.
“She hit the line nice and it’s good for David to get back with his two-year-olds,” Dunn said.
“The favourite was probably out there today and she was able to nail it.
“First time at the races and she should learn a lot.
“I’ve had six goes (in the Blue Diamond) for four wins and two thirds so it’d be nice to put another one up there.
“She’s got a good pedigree and I picked her out of the paddock about eight months ago so let’s hope it’s a Blue Diamond winner.”
Dunn was also very impressed with the way Mama’s Choice made up ground after giving her rivals a good start, and indicated that stepping up to the 1200m for the Blue Diamond would work perfectly in her advantage.
“She was a long way back off them, tracked through the corner really well and zoomed to the line,” he said.
“The extra 100 metres of the Diamond will be ideal.”
Jimando eased out to $8 in the Blue Diamond Stakes 2012 odds at Luxbet after his failure on Saturday, markets now led by the Mick Price-trained Red Ransom filly Malasun at $6.
McEvoy said he would make some alterations to Jimando’s gear between now and Blue Diamond Day with the hope of turning things around.
“I have three weeks,” he said.
“I have time to go home and muck around with the blinkers and winkers and see how effective he is.”
Still, Jimando’s price is shorter than that of his conqueror from Saturday, Mama’s Choice at $9 to win the Blue Diamond Stakes.
She looks a nice pick based on pedigree especially.
Her sire Redoute’s Choice was the 1999 Blue Diamond Stakes winner, and has sired two of Dunn’s four Blue Diamond winners to date also with Undboutedly (2005) and Nadeem (2006).
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2012 Emirates Airline Chairman’s Stakes Results
Caulfield Race 4 – 04/02/2012
|1||11||MAMA’S CHOICE||David Hayes||Dwayne Dunn||–||9||54kg||$31|
|2||10||FORMIDABLE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||0.5L||7||55kg||$6|
|3||1||JIMANDO||Tony McEvoy||Blake Shinn||0.6L||2||58kg||$2.40F|
|4||7||PRONTO PRONTO||Jason Warren||Andrew Mallyon||3.1L||4||56kg||$12|
|5||5||ADJUSTER||Byron Cozamanis||Billy Egan||3.3L||10||56kg||$101|
|6||9||WAKEEL||David Hayes||Craig Newitt||3.5L||8||56kg||$41|
|6||6||AT THE TAP||Ken Keys||Craig Williams||3.5L||5||56kg||$26|
|8||3||IF I COULD (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||4.75L||11||56kg||$3.70|
|9||2||TIMELY TRUCE||Ricky Maund||Glen Boss||5.5L||3||56kg||$21|
|10||8||SOURCE CODE||John McArdle||Danny Nikolic||8L||6||56kg||$31|
|11||4||YOCTO||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Luke Nolen||8.4L||1||56kg||$41|
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