Early nominations for the Blue Diamond Stakes 2014 next February have now closed with 1025 yearlings making up the entries for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival classic.
Set to light up Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday February 22, the $1 million Group 1 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is one of the premier juvenile races of the autumn.
Already connections of the current crop of yearlings are eyeing the Blue Diamond prize with all nominees also enjoying a bonus entry into the $250,000 Blue Sapphire for three-year-olds held later in the year.
The 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes nominations, taken by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) on Tuesday, were down slightly from the 1061 taken at this stage last year.
Last year’s winning trainer was the Adelaide-based Daniel Clarken who took home the trophy with his outstanding filly Miracles Of Life.
This coming season Clarken will be back again vying for back-to-back Blue Diamond Stakes having entered 11 hopefuls.
He is taking the better now than later approach having been forced to pay the hefty $55,000 late entry to get Miracles Of Life into the Blue Diamond Stakes this autumn.
“We learned this year that if you don’t nominate your yearlings at the outset, you’ll need to fork out $55,000 to run!” he said.
The bulk of Clarken’s Blue Diamond-bound youngsters are owned by the same connections of Miracles Of Life, Teeley Assets, who also enjoyed success in the event back in 1999 with the now famous sire Redoute’s Choice.
“The majority are owned by Teeley Assets but including the couple we specked ourselves, all look like being early prospects that should give us a real chance,” Clarken said confidently.
“When they’re strong and natural yearlings at first entry time, they have to be nominated.”
Fellow South Australian horseman Tony McEvoy is also well-represented with 33 entries.
Master trainer of juveniles David Hayes heads the nominations with 84 entries, 17 more than the number he paid first nomination fees for last year.
Hayes is vying for an incredible sixth win in the Blue Diamond which he came close to achieving this year when Fast ‘N’ Rocking ran second to Miracles Of Life.
Some of the other best represented trainers and syndicates meanwhile include Mick Price (70), dominant Golden Slipper winning trainer Ms Gai Waterhouse (67), Darley Australia (63) for trainer Peter Snowden who won back in 2011 with superstar colt Sepoy and Victoria’s head horseman Peter Moody (54).
As for the dominant sires Fastnet Rock easily tops the list with 73 of his offspring nominated followed by Northern Meteor (40), and Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel on 33.
2014 Blue Diamond Stakes first declarations close on Tuesday November 19.
Second declarations will then be taken on Tuesday January 7 followed by third acceptances three weeks later.
The Blue Diamond Stakes final field of acceptors will then be released on February 15, 2014.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au in the lead-up for all the updates.
In the meantime why not enjoy the early spring carnival betting markets open at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus welcome bet bonus!
2014 Blue Diamond Stakes Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse 22/02/2014
Top 10 Nominators
|Gooree Pastoral Co. Sydnicate||50|
|Aquanita Racing P/L||27|
Top 10 Sires
|More Than Ready (USA)||29|
|Exceed And Excel||26|