Euroa-based trainer David Hayes will saddle-up at least two live-wire chances in the two editions of the 2013 Blue Diamond Prelude at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday as he looks to improve his chances of taking out the $1 million feature at the end of the month.
In the $150,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (Colts & Geldings) (1100m) he has nominated two hopes with Great Esteem and Fast ‘N’ Rocking but it is only the latter who is likely to be paid up for at final acceptance stage on Wednesday.
The Fastnet Rock colt has had two starts to date and showed nice improvement in their most recent on Australia Day at Caulfield.
After debuting when seventh to Kuroshio in the Listed Herald Sun Superracing Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last October Fast ‘N’ Rocking resumed off a four month break to cross a luckless fourth behind the Peter Moody-trained Dissident in the Listed BD Preview on January 26.
Hayes is hoping they can progress again when they go up to Group 3 company on Saturday with the colts and geldings Blue Diamond Prelude 2013 to feature the likes of their debut conqueror Kuroshio from the stables of Peter Snowden, Preview winner Dissident and Gai Waterhouse’s Inglis Classic champ Marseille Roulette.
Current Blue Diamond Stakes betting is led by non-nominated Adelaide filly Miracles Of Life at $3.20 after her win in the fillies Preview last start.
Fast ‘N’Rocking meanwhile is only rated a $41 chance along with the unraced Great Esteem, a price that will only firm if they can score an upset on Saturday which Hayes believes they could be capable of following some strong work this week.
“I was really pleased with his work this morning,” Hayes said on Monday.
“He went very well and had the better of Bulbula who won the Merson Cooper Stakes on Sandown Classic Day.”
In the Blue Diamond Prelude Fillies’ edition this weekend Hayes also has two nominees with Blue Diamond Fillies Preview fourth placed Mount Zero and Blue Palace.
While Mount Zero is at $61 to win the Blue Diamond Stakes and travelling along nicely, Encosta De Lago grey Blue Palace is at the longest current price of $301 for the million dollar showdown.
She will look to race better than that price on Saturday which will be just her second career start.
Blue Palace debuted at Caulfield in early December and, after proving difficult to get into the barriers, held on for a good third behind Kiss A Rose having been held up throughout the run.
She was to have had her second run in the Inglis Nursery but was withdrawn after rearing at the gates, Hayes hoping to have no problems at the gates this weekend with the untapped runner.
“I thought she ran brilliantly at Caulfield and then just flipped over in the gates in Sydney and was ordered by Stewards to barrier trial twice before being able to start again,” he said.
“She has been ticking over nicely over the last couple of weeks and should be able to run very well there at Caulfield on Saturday.”
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