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Mick Price is confident he could have another Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly in his stables out to emulate the effort of Samaready from last autumn with the unraced La Ballerine who debuts at Caulfield in the $150,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) this Saturday.
The Caulfield-based horseman won the Blue Diamond Prelude with Samaready 12 months ago, the star daughter of More Than Ready going on to take out the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at her next run.
He will look to get that ball rolling towards a second successive Blue Diamond triumph this weekend when Tapit filly La Ballerine debuts in the fillies BD Prelude ahead of the main event on February 23.
La Ballerine is one of three fillies nominated for the Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) on Saturday along with Drifting Cube and Future Gains, the first of which is also nominated for the Blue Diamond Stakes, and Price is confident she is ready to show what she’s got.
“She’s had a couple of trials and got clobbered at Sandown in one but that was a good learning experience for her,” he said on Tuesday.
“She went well in a jumpout here last Tuesday and also trialled well last preparation.
“She worked well on the course proper this morning with a horse that has won in town and finished on terms with her.”
On Saturday La Ballerine, who Price admits does have a tough first-up assignment ahead of her, will be ridden by last year’s Blue Diamond winning hoop Craig Newitt who has partnered Samaready for all six of her career starts to date.
“She is clearly our pick but there are probably five or six of that sort of filly there but we do have an opinion of her,” he said.
“It’s all or nothing on Saturday. If she wins it’s off to the Blue Diamond but even if she can only run a place there is some valuable black type there.”
As for his other Blue Diamond Prelude nominees he said only one was likely to join La Ballerine in the final field with Drifting Cube, owned by the same connections as current Blue Diamond favourite Miracles Of Life, out to improve on her fifth on debut at Ballarat last month.
Red Ransom filly Future Gains meanwhile might be taken down a different path with Price guessing she might still be a season away.
“I think she is a filly of the future. She’s quick enough and goes good but I just want to monitor her during the week before deciding which way we go,” he said.
Price still officially has five two-year-olds in the mix for the 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes, La Ballerine one of four that has not won $15k or more and are at risk of not making the cut.
His highest-rated juvenile in the latest Blue Diamond Stakes order of entry is Resistant who, with $53,400 in prize money, sits number sixth on the ballot which is led by the Stephen Theodore-trained Crack A Roadie ($177,000).
Choisir colt Resistant ran fourth on debut at Sandown last November to Bulbula in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) before backing up 14 days later to score a narrow win in a 1100m Memorial Plate at Caulfield.
They currently pay $41 in the Blue Diamond Stakes futures odds which have undefeated Adelaide filly Miracles Of Life, who is still to be officially entered, installed as the $3.20 favourite.
La Ballerine is then a little further down the Blue Diamond betting markets at a quote of $51.
Price’s other Blue Diamond Stakes second acceptors are then Home Free and Jazz Song – both triple figure roughies in the markets.
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