Peter Snowden’s talented Exceed And Excel filly Guelph has opened odds-on favourite to win Saturday’s 2013 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude at Caulfield Racecourse which punters will use as a guide to the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) back at the track on February 23.
Currently Guelph, who improved on her Gimcrack Stakes second when debuting last October to win first-up at Warwick Farm on January 26, is the $6 second pick behind undefeated Adelaide filly Miracles Of Life in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets.
That price is sure to firm if she is successful again this weekend saluting for the punters after opening at $1.70 to win the $150,000 Group 3 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) over the 1100m.
Drawn wide in barrier seven with Darley’s No. 1 rider Kerrin McEvoy, replacing her last start hoop Rod Quinn, engaged Guelph puts it all on the line as she faces a tough field of progressive fillies.
“I’ve been really pleased with how she has done since she got here and it is going to be interesting to see how the Sydney form holds up down here,” Darley’s Melbourne foreman Paul Snowden said.
“She’s drawn out so will probably have to go back to the second half of the field but hopefully she can finish off just as strongly as she did last time.”
Two of her seven rivals are also under $10 in the markets with stablemate Montsegur ($5) and the Peter Moody-trained Quest For Peace ($6).
New Approach filly Montsegur, a winner on debut at the track on Boxing Day, is not currently nominated for the 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes but connections will use her performance on Saturday to decide whether or not to pay the $55,000 late entry.
“She doesn’t have to win but would have to run very well to justify paying up for her,” Snowden said.
She was disappointing last time out when six lengths away sixth to Miracles Of Life in the Blue Diamond Fillies Preview and Snowden is hoping to see improvement third-up.
“That was the first time she’s been in a situation like that and she just wasn’t happy,” Snowden said talking about the fact Montsegur found herself caught back last time out.
“She had not had a trial going into that run so I’m expecting her to improve a hell of a lot on that run.”
Hard Spun filly Quest For Peace meanwhile has had just the one run to date when fourth to Snowden’s colt Kuroshio in a Listed sprint back in October last year, how she’s come through a four month spell crucial to her chances here and in the Blue Diamond if she goes all the way.
Other longer-priced hopefuls that have genuine claims on Saturday then include Moody’s other hopeful in grey Encosta De Lago filly Blue Palace ($11) who should get a gun run from gate one, and debutant La Ballerine ($17) whose trainer Mick Price vies for back-to-back wins in the race after saluting with subsequent Blue Diamond Stakes winner Samaready 12 months ago.
See below for the latest fixed win Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude 2013 odds, prices courtesy of our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au.
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2013 Blue Diamond (Fillies) Prelude Odds
Caulfield Race 4 – 2:35pm (AEST) – 09/02/2013
|3||QUEST FOR PEACE (4)||6.00|
|4||BLUE PALACE (1)||11.00|
|5||DRIFTING CUBE (2)||51.00|
|6||GODIVA ROCK (3)||26.00|
|7||LA BALLERINE (6)||17.00|
|8||MORE THAN AMEIRA (8)||21.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change