Cranbourne horseman Michael Kent has accepted for his promising Stratum filly Godiva Rock in this Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes 2013 giving the youngster their chance to step it up to the big time.
The $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) has this year drawn a capacity field of 16 two-year-olds including Kent’s lightly-raced Godiva Rock.
This weekend will see her step out for just the second time following a third on debut when defeated by the Peter Snowden-trained duo of Guelph and Montsegur in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 9 when ridden by Michael Rodd.
She will face many of those same rivals again on Saturday with Guelph and Montsegur two of the three fillies, along with Chairman’s Stakes winner Metastasio, out to hand Snowden and Darley with another Blue Diamond Stakes crown this weekend – their most recent being with the since-retired super colt Sepoy two years ago.
There will be a jockey change for Godiva Rock too with Rodd engaged to ride the Mark Kavanagh-trained Fastnet Rock filly Casquets.
Rodd was aboard Casquets for her third on debut behind Gregers in the Sportingbet Plate at Moonee Valley at the start of the month but was replaced by Stephen Baster last Saturday when the up-and-comer earned her Blue Diamond start with a tight win in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington.
She was partnered by Craig Williams, riding Stephen Theodore’s returning Cranbourne galloper Crack A Roadie in Saturday’s race, during a searching piece of work at Cranbourne on Monday morning impressing Kent enough to accept her in the Diamond field.
“She worked really well over half a mile (800m), home three (600m) and ran some nice time,” Kent said.
“She’s been coping really well and has come on a lot since her first run and you can tell from her work that she’s a lot more switched on mentally.”
He is cautious to announce Godiva Rock as a genuine Blue Diamond chance however believing she is still likely a season off her peak and that the big field at Caulfield could prove a problem for her this weekend but will still give her the chance to prove him wrong.
“I’ve got a feeling she’ll be a better three-year-old over further and at this stage she might be better suited down the straight at Flemington,” he said.
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