The final field for the 2014 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) was released this morning prior to the barrier draw, which has just been completed at Caulfield Racecourse and has completely opened up the event.
Touted as a showdown between exciting sprinters Earthquake and Rubick, neither runner has fared particularly well in this morning’s barrier draw; Rubick set to jump from barrier 10 while Earthquake, the day’s most notable loser, will have to overcome barrier 15.
Having claimed early favouritism for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes after an easy victory on debut in the Colin Pearce 100th Birthday Plate (1000m) before strolling home in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude event for fillies (1000m) two weeks ago, Earthquake appeared on course to continue her perfect career start at Caulfield on Saturday but will now be against all odds following the terrible draw.
The team of trainer Gerald Ryan and jockey Brenton Avdulla tasted Group 1 success with Snitzerland in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last week, and will be hoping classy colt Rubick can capitalise on a slightly better barrier to deliver the pair a second title in as many weeks.
After figuring as outright second favourite for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes after a similarly excellent career opening to his female counterpart, the Encosta De Lago colt now sits atop betting markets for this weekend’s Caulfield feature, but will have to be on-song from the get-go if he is to overcome talented two-year-old Chivalry, who has consolidated his outright third-favourite status by drawing barrier 5.
Chivalry finished third to Rubick in the 2014 Blue Diamond Prelude C&G two weeks ago, but displayed a keen ability to run well late, having rounded the final bend well and truly off the pace in a particularly wide position.
Having pushed Rubick to the limit in the prelude event two weeks ago to finish second, Mick Price-trained Jabali is perhaps given the best chance of a good early position of any of the leading five chances in the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes, having drawn the ideal barrier 3, while Team Hawkes-trained Nostradamus will leave from barrier 11.
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2014 Blue Diamond Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||341220||BOOMWAA||Robbie Laing||Noel Callow||13||56.5kg||70|
|2||11||RUBICK||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||10||56.5kg||78|
|3||2×10||MOHAVE||Peter Snowden||Chris Symons||6||56.5kg||70|
|4||213||CHIVALRY||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||5||56.5kg||70|
|5||14||NOSTRADAMUS||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Glen Boss||11||56.5kg||70|
|6||2×2||JABALI||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||3||56.5kg||71|
|7||3×25||CORNROW||Mick Price||Luke Nolen||4||56.5kg||66|
|8||2×4||ZULULAND||David Hayes||Mark Zahra||7||56.5kg||63|
|9||36||FRANCESCO||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||8||56.5kg||63|
|10||19||MALAGUERRA||Wez Hunter||Brad Rawiller||1||56.5kg||63|
|11||67||STRATUM STAR||Rick Hore-Lacy||Craig Newitt||12||56.5kg||63|
|12||1×1||EARTHQUAKE||Peter Snowden||Damian Browne||15||54.5kg||78|
|13||11||NAYELI||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||9||54.5kg||72|
|14||41×86||GOLCONDA||Robbie Laing||Daniel Stackhouse||2||54.5kg||68|
|15||2×8||TOP DOLLY||Tom Hughes||Craig Williams||17||54.5kg||65|
|16||3×25||PIACENZA||Tony McEvoy||Michael Rodd||14||54.5kg||66|
|17e||08||STATUE OF WARRIORS||Jerome Hunter||–||16||56.5kg||60|