Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody will look to keep on a winning streak this Melbourne Festival of Racing playing a strong hand numbers-wise with four acceptors for the Blue Diamond Stakes 2013 at Caulfield on Saturday.
Moody enjoyed a record breaking victory at Flemington last Saturday with his superlative mare Black Caviar posting her third consecutive Lightning Stakes triumph and this weekend his attention turns to his crop of smart two-year-olds in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Originally the 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes field drew a capacity 16 starters but the early scratching of the Mark Kavanagh-trained Talindert Stakes winner Casquets has left 15 hopefuls in the mix, four of which are prepared by Moody.
The shortest-priced of Moody’s quartet, and the best fancied male in a fillies-dominated Blue Diamond Stakes betting market, is Thermal Current paying around $7.50 to upset the likes of undefeated Adelaide filly Miracles Of Life and Peter Snowden’s Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude winner Guelph.
Drawn in barrier six with the stables number one jockey Luke Nolen booked for the ride, Exceed And Excel colt Thermal Current is out to break their maiden status at start number three.
After a second on debut at Flemington they were last seen running third to stablemate Dissident in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) on January 26, an effort they are tipped to improve on.
Saturday will see Moody add winkers to Thermal Current’s gear, something he did when winning the Blue Diamond Stakes back in 2009 with Reward For Effort, and is happy with his decision to send them into the race fresh without a run in the Prelude.
“I didn’t think he needed another run after the Prelude,” Moody said.
“I sent him to the water walker for nine days and he bounced back well and cleaned up in the coat, which I had been struggling to do.”
Sebring colt Dissident, to wear blinkers for the first time, is also in the Blue Diamond mix for Moody put is a $26 outsider after their horror barrier 15 draw.
Due to be ridden by Vlad Duric, aboard for their Preview win, Dissident was last seen running a brave third when defeated only half a length by Kuroshio in the Group 3 Blue Diamond (Colts & Geldings) Prelude over 1100m at the track on February 9.
Rounding out Moody’s Blue Diamond chances this year are then Kona Breeze and Quest For Peace who are drawn in gates 10 and seven respectively.
Hard Spun filly Quest For Peace has run fourth in both of her career starts so far firstly behind Kuroshio in a black type at Flemington in October and then four months later when beaten three and a half lengths by top fancy Guelph in the BD Prelude.
They earned their Blue Diamond call-up later in the picture having originally been tipped by Moody as a Sires Produce type over 1400m, but a likely fast pace on Saturday and her continued improvement will see him give her a shot here.
“I always considered her a Sires sort of filly so she is going to be stronger than any of them at the end of 1200 metres,” he said.
Kona Breeze meanwhile, due to be ridden by Singapore-based hoop Brett Prebble, has finished runner-up in their three starts leading up to the Blue Diamond most recently crossing three lengths off one of Snowden’s other highly-regarded fillies in Saturday’s race Metastasio in the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1100m).
“She’s a remarkable little filly,” Moody said of Kona Breeze.
“I thought that she’d have one run and then go to the paddock but she continues to improve.”
So which one is Moody leaning towards? And does he think any of his have the class to overcome the top fancies?
”There’s not a lot between mine,” Moody said.
”They are all fit, well and healthy but I’ve just got to hope they are good enough.
“They need to lift on current form to beat Miracles Of Life And Guelph but it’s a big field and we’re playing at home and they have to travel.
“(But) I’d be lying if I said I did not have a leaning to the two colts.”
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