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Darley Racing may be looking down the barrel of a four-pronged assault on this year’s Blue Diamond Stakes 2013 but it is Guelph who their head trainer Peter Snowden rates as their best chance, the young filly running in this Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond (Fillies) Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel burst into Blue Diamond Stakes contention on Australia Day after her smart first-up win in the Vinery 2YO Plate over 1000m at Warwick Farm.
That was Guelph’s second career start following a debut some four months earlier when a good second to Brilliant Bisc in the Listed Gimcarck Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick.
Connections have had Guelph paid up for the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 23 every step of the way knowing that she was likely their best chance in the Melbourne Festival of Racing Classic.
A lot of the pre-Blue Diamond attention over the past month however has been on her currently non-nominated stablemate Metastasio who put herself in the mix with a winning debut in the Nursery Plate (1100m) at Flemington on January 19.
She backed up from that 2.5 length win with another even more impressive victory retaining her undefeated status when beating home Kona Breeze again this time by three lengths in the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
After that win Metastasio jumped right up to the third line of Blue Diamond Stakes betting at a quote of $7, markets led by another non-nominated filly in Miracles Of Life ($3.20).
Positive comments this week by Snowden, however, naming Guelph as his favourite of the Blue Diamond chances has seen a resurgence of love for her and she is now the $6 second pick in the futures markets.
“She is a lovely big filly,” Snowden said.
“She will have to be closer in a Blue Diamond but she has shown a lot.”
The pedigree is certainly right for Guelph as her dam Camarilla won the 2007 Blue Diamond Prelude before her luckless fourth to Sleek Chassis in the Group 1 feature.
Camarilla would then go on to win the Group 1 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes two starts later.
The next shortest-priced of the four Darley-owned Blue Diamond hopefuls is then Kuroshio ($21), the Exceed And Excel colt running in the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude this weekend.
Kuroshio has had three career runs so far, winning their opening start at Flemington during the spring in the Listed Herald Sun Superracing Stakes.
He also ran third in the Inglis Debutants Stakes that season before resuming with a good first-up second crossing just a quarter of a length away behind the Peter Moody-trained Dissident, who also backs up in Saturday’s BD Prelude, in the Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview.
Darley’s other major Blue Diamond Stakes 2013 player is then Montsegur who is also yet to be entered, a $55,000 late entry fee to be paid by February 18 if they are to run.
The New Approach filly is the longest-priced of Snowden’s quartet in the Blue Diamond odds at $26 after she backed up from her Boxing Day win to finish a disappointing sixth to Miracles Of Life in the Listed Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) on January 26.
Like Guelph Montsegur will also run at Caulfield this Saturday in the Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) which will give connections, bookies and punters a better idea about whether or not she will go all the way to the million dollar feature.
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