The first of the Darley-owned juveniles heading towards a run in the Blue Diamond Stakes 2014 next autumn, Orujo will debut in the first in Melbourne this Saturday.
Prepared by Darley’s soon-to-leave head trainer Peter Snowden the unraced Exceed And Excel colt is one of 25 two-year-olds among the first acceptances for next year’s $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 22.
In the tentative pre-field Blue Diamond Stakes odds at the Aussie bookmakers it is Snowden’s smart filly Earthquake, also by top Australian sire Exceed And Excel, who is installed as the clear favourite.
She earned top spot after an impressive two and a half length win on debut at Randwick on November 9.
Orujo meanwhile is yet to be added to the markets with the bookies waiting to see what they’ve got when they line-up for the first time in the $80,000 Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m) this weekend.
There they take on a field of 10 other two-year-olds, only two of which have had a previous race start.
They are leading the markets for the Caulfield opener on Saturday too at a quote of $3.20 Orjuo, a half-brother to Limes, drawn in gate nine with Craig Newitt booked for the ride, after a winning Warwick Farm trial on November 21.
Snowden already has a decent opinion of the youngster and believes they have what it takes to go all the way to the Blue Diamond Stakes field.
Their run on the weekend however is crucial if they are to stay on the Blue Diamond path and start to get some attention ahead of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“He is in the Diamond and I think he’s a legitimate chance (to make it to the race), but he needs to show us something tomorrow,” Snowden told RSN’s Racing Ahead on Friday.
“He’s a nice little horse and he’s trialled well up here in Sydney. He’s only been down there a couple of days, but he’s quite tractable and does everything right.
“He settled in extremely well, Paul (Snowden’s son and assistant trainer) said he was on his right leg this morning and you’d swear he’d been here before the way he went around, so that’s a good sign.”
In Sydney another of Snowden’s early Blue Diamond hopes, Street Cry filly Memorial, also runs this weekend.
After a stellar two and a half length win at Rosehill over 1100m on debut a fortnight ago she gets the chance to make it two on the trot at the same track and distance in the $85,000 Blackwoods AAP Industries Plate (1100m) this weekend.
Originally Snowden had Orujo also accepted for that race, but has opted to run them in Melbourne instead where they’ll face the likes of Peter Moody’s unraced It’s About You and the David Hayes-trained Zulu Land who was a $1.5 million yearling purchase.
Snowden will instruct Newitt to take the horse forward, but that they’d be needing cover to really put themselves in the finish.
“He’s not just one-dimensional,” Snowden said.
“I think he’s got enough race-nous to go forward but not over-race and get back in behind a couple, which would probably be to his benefit first time Caulfield which is a pretty hard track to win at your first time the Melbourne way.”
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