It will be a fillies-only affair for Team Darley and head trainer Peter Snowden in the 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes this month after connections announced the decision to bypass the million dollar feature with Exceed And Excel colt Kuroshio.
Darley still officially have three two-year-olds among the third declarations for the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), set to run at Caulfield Racecourse on February 23.
They will however only be represented in the Blue Diamond Stakes field by their female juvenile contingent with Kuroshio to race in a Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival event instead.
Kuroshio was considered one of the top chances for the classic too following their good win in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Prelude (1100m) last Saturday but they will instead focus on getting to the 2013 Golden Slipper in prime condition.
Instead of the Blue Diamond Kuroshio is likely to run in the $200,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on March 3 as they look to enhance their chances in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) back at the track a month later.
In the current Golden Slipper futures odds at bookmaker.com.au Kuroshio pays a generous $51 and Snowden said that all of their Slipper hopefuls had already debuted.
“Everything that is going to race in the Slipper has already raced,” he said.
“I have got no more unraced ones on the Slipper path.”
Snowden’s two official chances of a second Blue Diamond win in three years adding to the win by Sepoy back in 2010 are then Guelph and Berrichon.
It is a strong hand he will play too as Guelph is currently the $3.20 co-favourite along with the non-nominated Adelaide filly Miracles Of Life in the latest Blue Diamond Stakes odds.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel has had three runs so far producing two wins this time in with a first-up victory on Australia Day at Warwick Farm followed by her 1.5 length effort in the fillies’ Blue Diamond Prelude last weekend where she beat home talented stablemate Montsegur.
Montsegur is still also a chance at making the Blue Diamond Stakes field despite not currently featuring in the entries.
Darley and Snowden have until February 18 to pay the $55,000 late entry to get the daughter of New Approach into the Melbourne Festival of Racing feature – Montsegur currently paying $26 in the Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets.
They are also likely to pay up the same fee for Metastasio, the $8 fourth pick in the Blue Diamond markets, after the Street Cry filly won the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) by an easy three lengths at Caulfield on February 2.
Berrichon meanwhile is their $151 outside chance in the Blue Diamond, the fellow New Approach filly having debuted at Moonee Valley on February 1 with a distant sixth to Gregers over 1000m.
Snowden is happy with all of his hopefuls and believes this year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner will definitely be a filly.
“There is only two weeks to go so unless something comes out next week (in the Talindert Stakes), I think the fillies might have a decided advantage on the colts,” he said.
“The fillies seem to be a bit better than the colts from what I have seen.
“I think right across the board it has been that way, I have noticed since I have been here anyway.”
The 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes final field is due for release on Tuesday February 19 so stay tuned.
In the meantime get behind your favourites online now at bookmaker.com.au enjoying access to Australia’s largest range of fixed win horse racing odds!